In the words of the Barenaked Ladies, it’s all been done. The snarky Christmas song, the treacly Christmas song. The inescapable mall dirge with the arpeggiated melody stamped onto player piano rolls in hell. The one where Shane MacGowan calls Kirsty MacColl an old slut on junk. (That one actually slaps.) The song about fucking Santa Claus – oh god there are a bunch of them. The solipsistic Evangelical paean with the deranged Godhead figure. That version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” where Bruce is just fucking flat. Because god is dead, Straight No Chaser. Fuckin, like, hymns.
There are no new jokes about Christmas. Oh, your uncle gets drunk on Christmas and talks about Trump? Thank you, open mic night comic. There is nothing new to say about Christmas, no new melodies to sing, no new tricks to make it feel festive except to add sleigh bells. Even on the “new” songs, everybody cribs from the same material.
Merely by making a Christmas song, you risk Kirk Cameroning, becoming another foot soldier in the War on Christmas. And, it bears repeating, a majority of people on Earth don’t celebrate Christmas. No, Bob Geldof, they don’t know it’s Christmastime. They also probably don’t know it’s Administrative Assistant’s Day or Casimir Pulaski Day either.
And yet – this counts as a controversial opinion on Passion of the Weiss – I love Christmas. At this point the only acceptable reason to love Christmas is an affinity for bourbon and ham, but honestly, I love all the corny stuff. I love making cookies, I love giving gifts, I love sending out cards. What can I say, I’m lame.
That having been said, every time I hear “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” it makes me want to nuke the North Pole from orbit. So, with that in mind, I and my esteemed colleague William Kolb Youngblood II – a POW guest poster on loan from the Washington University poetry department – present our Non-Traditional Christmas Music Advent Calendar. (NTCMAC if you like military-sounding initialisms.) 25 songs – we’ll keep updating it until Christmas – that won’t make you want to commit ho ho homicide.
Happy holidays, POW family, and #FreeDrakeo.