At Long Last

The question has hung in the air for over half a decade now. Friends have asked it. So have strangers. I’ve never known exactly how to reply.

On Tuesday, lying in a dentist’s chair, listening to an FM radio station burble a non-stop stream of Christmas songs — not the occasional Christmas tune interspersed with more generic easy listening, but one long, unbroken, treacly strand of artificially-sweetened “holiday cheer” — I thought I could almost discern the outlines of an answer; the buzzing of the drill, however, made it hard to be sure.

Yesterday I wandered the aisles of Home Depot, subjected to more uninterrupted Christmas music. It might have been during the chorus of “Jingle Bell Rock”, a song that has always made me want to inflict grievous bodily harm upon its original perpetrators, that I recognized, in a moment of blinding clarity, the truth that had always been right before my eyes:

This is why I hate America.

2 thoughts on “At Long Last

  1. There is that ilk of holiday music, yes. But there is other stuff, too, more in keeping with the qualities of the season (and any season without music is a poor one, so to my mind it’s worth looking). It’s not the sort of thing that gets any heed on FM radios anymore, but it’s out there.

    You might try the Pittsburgh Camerata’s “A Pittsburgh Wassail”:

    http://www.pittsburghcamerata.org/apw.htm

    …not that any particular connection to the city is necessary. They do a nice collection of carols and things from various bits of the Old World, none of which are crass, and all of which are useful in the evenings when the light leaves so soon.

    The Gourd Music label also puts out some things from before the time of unending Christmas consumerist slog:

    http://www.gourd.com/catalog.html

    …you’ll need to scroll a bit, but they sell (!) several nice things, including Robin Petrie’s gentle offerings.

    They’ve also got Woody Phillips’ “A Toolbox Christmas”. Which is frickin’ -awesome-.

  2. Oh, ‘cmon now. You don’t hate America, The Land of the Free…..the land of “We shall force Christmas cheer down your throat, starting in October!”

    Gosh….and now I’m going to have to take back the Nat King Cole Christmas collection I got you.

    You ruin everything!

    :::walks away grumbling:::

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