Friday, December 18, 2009


(this one is for my father - Mele Kalikimaka, Dad.)

Weds. night as I was making pesto and K&L played (relatively) peacefully at the kitchen, some Bing Crosby came up on the iPod Christmas mix.

Now, I wouldn't have gone and explicitly sought out Bing, especially not his Christmas music, but it came up as an Amazon deal one day (BTW, if you're into music and don't check out the daily download special on Amazon, you're really missing out!). I think it was $2 for the album. So I bought it.

Why? Especially given that I don't like Christmas music (gasp!)*.

Mostly because it was something my parents, and particularly my dad, used to love to listen to when I was growing up and I figured for 2 bucks I'd see what I thought of it 40 (double-gasp) years later. Had it improved with age?

Semi-related Mark Twain quote digression:

"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he'd learned in seven years."

(Note: There is apparently some question as to whether or not this is truly a Twain quote. See here.)

And I found that I didn't hate it. I disliked it much less than much of the Christmas music you hear these days. But that's beside the point. The point is, after a couple of songs, K looked up.

K: Daddy, K like this guy singing.
me (somewhat stunned): You do?
K: Yeah. This man and this woman. I like them singing.
me: Wow. That's cool. Your grandpa Van would be pleased to know that.
K: Why 'Grandpa Van?'
me: He was my father. Your grandpa. And he used to play this all the time at Christmas.

We let it continue on, through "It Came Upon..." and "Do You Hear..." and then "Rudolph..." came up.

K: We sing this!
me: You do?
K (excitedly): At school. "Rudolph Red Nosed Reindeer." We sing this at school!
me: Cool.
K: Yeah.
L: Rudolph Nose Deer.
K: I like this Daddy, this good music.
L: Good muthic.

"Frosty" was next up, and she liked that too.

It made my evening, her volunteering up this appreciation. She doesn't often seem to be impacted by music, not like L is, so to have her offer up an opinion, and a positive one at that, seemed, well, significant. Especially when most of the songs were things she's not yet familiar with.

Which gets me to this:

*Christmas music, especially the "classics," have been played so much, that even the best of it is long past it's expiration date for me. So much of Christmas music just plain sucks -- it's cheesy, predictable, boring. And even the stuff that's not bad, the stuff that's better written/better performed, is played againandagainandagain, year in and year out, overandoverandover ad nauseam. So even if it was once worth listening to, it has lost almost all appeal. (It's no different than with albums you loved that the guy next door in the dorm played over and over until you couldn't stand them. Even the best tunes get pretty well used up on repeated listening.

So Christmas music? Bah! And to rub salt in the wounds, the "season" starts earlier every year, and so too does the canned, schlocky music.

No comments: