Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

When Christmas spirit was winning

December 6, 2013

Over at National Review Online, where they’re talking about their own least favorite Christmas songs, Jim Geraghty asks why the postwar period was such a fertile time for the true modern classics of the season. Geraghty cites:

  • “White Christmas”
  • “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
  • “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”
  • “Let It Snow”
  • “Sleigh Ride”
  • “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”
  • “Silver Bells”
  • “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”
  • “Frosty the Snowman”
  • “Little Drummer Boy” [N.B.: Your team at Christmas Spirit Fail considers these latter two to be proto-fails for the novelty gags that would soon come to typify the cultural detritus of the season.]

“Post-Boomer modern artists keep using these songs on their own Christmas albums suggests they have timeless quality,” Geraghty writes. “They’re just good songs, and the theme of appreciation and gratitude probably resonates with many as they take stock of their lives as the year ends.”

Although he does pay tribute to a more cynical reading offered by XKCD:

We leave it to our readers to guess which explanation CSF favors.


“I am a poor singer too, pa rum pa pum pum”

December 13, 2011

As a song, “The Little Drummer Boy” (the “The Carol of the Drum”) is one of the most annoying additions to the Christmas canon. As a film, it decidedly tilts the Rankin/Bass holiday special verdict toward cloying.

But its greatest offense has been to provide “inspiration” for literally hundreds of cover artists. One of the worst we at Christmas Spirit Fail have ever heard is Justin Bieber’s:

For this abomination, we must give a tip of the homburg to the Divine Professor A, and turn it over to her:

Having found the lyric genuinely amusing, I listened to the song and found it immensely annoying. I think I’d managed thus far in life to avoid hearing the voice of Justin Bieber. It’s so irritating!… especially when accompanied by constant snare drumming, which is, apparently, regarded as essential, even when layering in rap, for anybody doing a new arrangement of that always awful song “Drummer Boy.”

Which reminds me, if you ever feel like giving me a gift, and you think all you’ve got to give is that drum number you’re threatening to perform, realize you are making a mistake. There’s also the gift of silence. I’d prefer that. I know baby Jesus reputedly appreciated the gift of drumming — according to that nasty song — but consider the possibility that Jesus was just being nice. I know, politeness is a quality alien to infants, but — come on! — it was Jesus! Put the damned drum away.

Althouse: an honorary Christmas Spirit Failer if ever there was. Welcome to our curmudgeonly fireside.

A Baby Changes Everything

November 27, 2009

Duh. Of course it does. I’m not sure why but I’ve always thought Christmas songs from Mary’s perspective were a bit strange. This one takes the cake. I first heard it performed in a church and it was quite disconcerting. It must be popular though. When you do a youtube search for “A Baby Changes Everything,” most of the videos that come up are from churches. This one, though, combines The Nativity Story with The Passion of the Christ. Woah. It’s not the Faith Hill version but it’ll do.