Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmas Music Sucks

No, I'm not being a scrooge or a grinch. Christmas music really does suck. Now that being said, I'm a sentimental guy, and will be in tears Christmas eve listening to my daughters sing with the church choir, and when we all sing Joy To The World. But in general, how many covers of Jingle Bells can you tolerate?

John Lennon did Christmas songs, and I appreciate them. They're not as overplayed as others. But Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmas Time" makes me gag.

Perhaps the most retched Christmas song was sung by George Strait, called "Christmas Cookies". It's worth owning as a substitute for Ipecac in the event of accidental poisoning.

Mannheim Steamroller does as good a job as any in covering Christmas songs, but even those are becoming old.

I stumbled on a disk called "Blue Yule" and popped it in this morning. Good stuff. Original blues tunes done by blues masters with a Christmas theme. Highly recommended.

But for true holiday music, nothing touches Handel's Messiah. I heard a broadcast of our local symphony orchestra and choir doing a performance of The Messiah the other night, and it left me with goose bumps. Spectacular. For a community the size of ours (half a million or so) we are really blessed with the quality of fine arts available.

When I was in high school we had a class required of all people in vocal music called "Oratorio Choir". It was a combination of all classes, all grades. We had a large school, so we had in excess of 500 kids in that group. We performed Handel's Messiah with the school orchestra, and it was a great musical education and experience. They couldn't get away with that today, and that's a shame. It was one of those few high school education experiences that has stayed with me my entire life.

I'm hoping to leave work early enough to stop and purchase a CD of "The Messiah". I know it's heresy to spend money on myself at Christmas, but I've wanted this for years. But I'm particular on what I'm looking for. I want an entire orchestra, not a harpsichord as accompaniment. And for orchestra, I'm not talking about the Sioux Falls symphony. And I want a full choir, not a small group, not the Voices of Dubuque, and not the Vienna Boys Choir. I want the best from New York, or Boston, or London. If anyone has a suggestion, leave me a comment.

That would really make my Christmas.


BipolarPrincess said...

I hope things are going well at home for you.

Jon said...

Thanks Princess! Merry Christmas to you and the Piglets!

Jacqui said...

I love Mannheim Steamroller.

See the problem is that they play the same handful of songs repetitively.

I have a station on right now that's playing christmas songs (only) 24 hours a day but I just have it on for noise. I'm able to drown it out. But, then I played flute & piccolo in school (as did my sister) & we would both practice at the same time at home & both be able to tone each other out. My mother never understood how.

Anyway, good luck with the CD hunt!

Jon said...

Thanks Jacqui. I was a grinch again, and did another Christmas music post. But it's out of my system now. :-)

And I did get my CD, and it's great!