Posts Tagged ‘Jingle Bell Rock’

Rock of ages

November 23, 2009

I remember when rock was young.
The songwriters had so much fun.
They took greetings of the holiday,
And played them in a rock-and-roll way!

First came Bobby Helms in 1957 with “Jingle Bell Rock.”

Then Brenda Lee upped the ante in 1958 with “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”

Audiences swooned, and America’s department stores signed what can only have been an irrevocable, 200-year contract with Helms and Lee to play their songs every ten minutes from Halloween to New Year’s.

Despite near-total saturation of rock-and-roll Christmas songs, some artists have continued to inflict rock-themed songs on us. Indeed, by the 1980s, they just needed to stop:

(Go, Santa, go . . . far away from here.)

And this profusion of rock-themed ohrwurms has brought with it a hideous array of covers, which are designed to fill in all the empty spots between the original “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” on the radio. Because we care for you, we’ll leave you with only this example:

Dave Barry, honorary Christmas Spirit Failer

November 23, 2009

We recently dug up this nugget of a column from Dave Barry, back in 2002:

Let’s all get into the Holiday Spirit, as expressed by the festive song heard so very often on the radio at this time of year:

“Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock!

“Jingle bell …”

BANG

That was the festive sound of the radio being struck with a hammer by reader Sarah Frates, who writes to say she is sick of “Jingle Bell Rock.” She also states that her husband, Ralph, isn’t a big fan of “The Little Drummer Boy.”

I am with Ralph on that. Oh, sure, “The Little Drummer Boy” is a beautiful song, for maybe the first 35 minutes. But eventually it gets on your nerves, those voices shrieking, “Rum-pa-pa-pum!”

For openers, drums don’t go “Rum-pa-pa-pum.” Drums go “Rat-a-tat- tat.” Also I have issues with the line from “The Little Drummer Boy” that goes, “The ox and lamb kept time.”

Really? How? Did they clack their hooves together, castanet-style? Are we supposed to believe that two barnyard animals with legume-level IQs started doing the macarena?

Read the whole thing. Includes an interesting excursus into popular music for Jewish winter holidays.