Christmas. This single day of the year is the only holiday to spawn an entire music genre. It is big business. Almost every major recording artist has taken to releasing a Christmas inspired tune, if not their own album (or two or three). I have to admit that I love it! The day after Thanksgiving I am the first one to turn the knob to that “all-Christmas” radio station, looking forward to hearing a whole month’s worth of auditory bliss. I love almost any of the holiday inspired tunes and have no problem listening to them over and over again. I could listen to back to back versions of ”Santa Baby” or “O Holy Night” any day and keep right on singing along.
There is however, one song unfortunately lumped into this class which continues to beguile me. “Last Christmas,” written by George Michael and released by Wham! in 1984, has been a widely successful “Christmas” song, reaching numbers high on the billboard charts in many different countries and by now recorded and released by almost 100 different artists.
It is a well known fact around my household of my dislike for this seasonal diddy, and my children love to get my goat, at any time of the year, by merely humming the first few bars. This year the song has been particulary present, with the original Wham! version, the cast of Glee and Taylor Swift recordings in regular rotation. Much to my dismay, it was even on my new The Blenders Christmas CD. It follows me from the house to the car, into the store, and back out again.
There are some minor lyrical details that bug me, but my major problem with this song is that it is not about Christmas. It merely mentions that Christmas is the unfortunate time of year that a certain relationship falls apart. Nothing Christmasy about that. So, to me it feels like a regular wistful pop song about love gone wrong. But, old George thought of setting it at Christmastime. This idea just so happens to capitalize on the holiday market a little (or a lot)!
This might sound a tad “Bah-humbug!” But, the reason I’m writing is to say that I’ve turned a corner. I’ve decided that I shouldn’t be a hater at Christmastime (even if the song that I’m hating isn’t even about Christmas). Since I can’t get away from it, I’ve been trying to hum along and even sing a few words of the chorus. My kids have noticed, “What…? Mom, you’re singing it!”
I figure maybe it will grow on me, like fungus, mold or a helpful bacteria. I might not like it, but in the Christmas spirit, I will at least learn to live with it!
Does anyone care to share their most favorite and least favorite Christmas tunes?