Unlike most sane, sensible people, I actually started listening to Christmas music way back in September – and before you denounce me as a mad child or some such thing, let me explain. I make my own Christmas cards each year (since I was 15!!), and the past few years have had various health issues that have impacted on my ability to undertake this task to the fullness I would desire. The problem is then compounded by having quite a few friends/family who think my work is good enough to desire some for themselves. Not really a problem – least not in a good year, but invariably in order to have any hope of producing enough to provide for them plus at least 50+ for myself, I end up having to start in fairly early on each year, although have to admit this was my earliest yet. Reason for that was knowing from August that I would be having my carpal tunnel surgery most likely before Christmas so knew I’d have to start in immediately just in case the appt came at a bad time. I was also working on the assumption of a difficult post op recovery given the dire warnings I got from the Registrar I spoke to in August. But I digress – this post is about Christmas music so let’s get us back to that topic.
I usually try and listen to “Christian” Christmas music where possible, and had a fair few songs to pull from that I felt would do on a repetitive basis without boring me completely, but sadly a month later and the 20 odd songs I had were well done to death, SO off I went hunting for more. But I then discovered a few things:-
My taste in music is hugely limited when I really dislike female artists!
Many of the so-called Christian carols were really no better in some places than secular songs e.g. Avalon’s Winter Wonderland
There’s truly not a lot of new Christian Christmas music coming out in the UK at least.
I quite like techno style music but that beat is ultra dangerous – gets me too excited and I can’t work properly for bopping around in my chair (you should ask Christine my stepdaughter what I’m like!!)
So, all in all I found myself very limited for new songs but thankfully did manage to locate a few to keep me sane for a bit longer. But one artist I used to listen to a lot, although who I’ve gone off for other reasons now, is Cliff Richard – one thing I admired about him was his willingness to buck the trend at this time of year, and some of his best Christmas songs have been quite overtly Christian – e.g. The Millenium Prayer and Little town of Bethlehem. However, I think he’s perhaps softened too much in the last year or two, as I remember he got so much flak over the Millenium Prayer (basically the Lord’s prayer sung to a switched tune of Auld Lang Syne (sp?) which worked superbly) when many secular radio stations refused to play it (and this was in 1999I think), that he’s now turned to churning out more secular slanted seasonal songs. The last one I remember from 2003 called Santa’s List – lovely tune, but why a Christian would want to sing about Santa is beyond me, and the song could just as easily have had slightly changed lyrics had he desired to continue to maintain a Christian stance. But sadly, like so many in the media business, I feel he’s caving in to the pressure of needing to have his music listened to in order to pay the bills, so has determined to lower his sights quite a bit to keep the PC crowd happy. So once more this Christmas we’re subjected to secular ditzy un-Christian, and in certain instances un-Christmas type songs which do nothing to promote the fact that this season is about a birthday celebration – or at least it’s supposed to be. Okay so I don’t overly subscribe to it myself given its the wrong date anyway, but point is, it’s the only one we have to hold on to, and I think it would be wise for us to continue to do so for as long as possible. Such a change from the 70s and perhaps even the 80s when most singers and bands would be outdoing each other to produce the best Christmas song whether Christian based or not – at least it kept the seasonal influence going. Now that’s being subtlely and slowly removed too – give it a decade or so, and Christmas in its (even) current form may be no more. For me – I think I’m going to start celebrating Hannukkah instead!!