Sunday, December 23, 2007

39 Hours, and Counting

It's that most wonderful time of the year, again, when I start to develop an uncontrollable twitch every time I turn on the TV, turn on the radio, or go into a store. A month of nonstop saturation bombardment with Christmas music will do that to you. If it was being broadcast on armed forces radio, it would probably contravene the Geneva Convention.

Understand, I like Christmas. I like it a lot. I even like Christmas music, in manageable doses. But this ceaseless, repetitive, inescapable blare of cheesy arrangements of secular standards like "Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer" and his many cousins —

Well, it gets to me, it does.

Ages back, in my previous life as a musician, I attended a songwriting seminar featuring some famous guy whose name I should remember now but don't, and the one piece of advice he handed out then that I remember to this day was, "If you want to get your song recorded, write a song about Jesus. It doesn't matter how bad it is; someone will record it.

"But," he said, "if you want to write a song that will get played over and over again and generate royalties for the rest of your life, write a Christmas song without Jesus."

Anyway, here we are, with a day and a half to go to zero hour, and my traditional Christmas music uncontrollable twitch has returned. Usually it's Mel Torme's "The Christmas Song," that pushes me over the edge, but this year it's "The Carol of the Bells." It seems like everyone and his dog is using that one as the soundtrack for a commercial this year. Ding dingy ding. Ding dingy ding. Buy at our store! Buy at our store! Come in right now! Come back and buy some more!

How about you? If you had it in your power to remove just one Christmas song from the rotation, which one would it be?