Thursday, December 23, 2010

My new most-hated Christmas song

In years past here on InsomniMom, I've written posts about three of my most-hated Christmas songs, including"I Saw Mommy Committing Adultery with Santa Claus," "Mary, Did You Know," and "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer": you'll be pleased to know that I've come up with a new song for this year's Loathe List and it is "Carol of the Bells."

Since it is December 23, we've all been listening to Christmas music played in all the stores, every store everywhere in every single city, even in dusty little used-book stores where the most recently published book is Jaws as a Penguin paperback, since Labor Day. So as it happens, "Carol of the Bells" has been played quite often, and in my hearing. I don't ever really remember registering this song before as a carol; it has become best known as the tune of the Garmin GPS jingle.

The Garmin songs are fairly witty -- at least, they were because come to think of it, I haven't seen a single Garmin commercial, old or new, this season -- but that song.....THAT SONG. It is so urgent. There is nothing that is either peaceful or silent about the Christmas night on which those bells were ringing. And they don't seem all that happy to be welcoming the Baby Savior, either. Honestly, they seem a little ticked, with those baritones in the background bellowing "DING....DONG....DING....DONG" on that descending scale while the sopranos are shrieking so far up the scale, so high and so fast that you can't even really make out the words, that the whole thing is enough to make an adult clap her hands over her ears and run away crying, let alone a tiny innocent baby. I think a Metallica concert could be less damaging.

All in all, my thought is that this song is too frenetic, too jarring, too manic, no matter who sings it. And anyone who has to sing it, because they're in the high school chorale or church choir or whatever? I think there ought to be a mandatory cup of wassail offered immediately after practices and performances so that everyone can just calm the heck down. There is no need to get in so het up; that's what the shopping malls are for.

I can't complain about the lyrics, because as I mentioned before, I can't understand most of them. I do understand that ominous and ferocious-sounding "merry merry merry merry merry Christmas" as if the singers are just DARING you to have a bad one so that they can have an excuse to come around to your house and punch you in the throat.

But I can complain about the music, oh yes. I can complain about the music loud and long, almost as long as "Carol of the Bells," which, like "The Twelve Days of Christmas," is practically eternal. I'm assuming that the lyrics are pretty innocuous since they're about the birth of Jesus, but the MUSIC. The MUSIC.

I can go on and on about the music because guess what piece of music Aisling's piano teacher gave her to work on and perfect with many hours of practice during this festive and joyful season?


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