Dear Mariah Carey et al.,
Please stop ruining my Christmas songs. I know your voices are amazing, you can trill and thrill with the best. The problem is, there is a melody in there somewhere, and I would like to sing along to it. Do you see that crazy woman in the car next to you appearing to be very animatedly talking to no one? That’s me, blasting holiday music and singing loudly, confidently, and dare I say badly. I respectfully ask that you don’t change tempo, add odd syncope, three octave scaling, scats or other interpretive alternate notes. I don’t even like my classics Mannheim steamrolled, sorry.
My favorite Christmas music is the perfect blend of nostalgia, hope and a dash of melancholy: When Judy Garland wants me to have myself a merry little Christmas, I listen. I also love all the 1940’s crooners and their melodious, non-grandstanding interpretations of classics like “I’ll be Home for Christmas.” Seriously, Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas,” can this be topped? I don’t think so.
I also enjoy church classics, and all three and a half hours of Handel’s “Messiah.”
Some songs I love tend to get oversung and destroyed. Take, for example, the frequently maligned “O Holy Night.” This begs the question, if someone is literally screaming at me to fall on my knees, how could I possible hear the angels’ voices?
Songs that immediately grate and make me switch the station:
“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”
“Little Drummer Boy,” any version (sorry, Honey!)
“Frosty, the Snowman”
Anything sung by Mariah Carey
Please, singers and musicians, we know you are all extremely talented, but, just this season, can you simply play/sing the song so we can exercise our God-given right to sing out our Christmas spirit?
p.s. Harry Connick, Jr., if you are reading this, please ignore. You are a music god, and I love your jazzy interpretations of my favorites.
If there is any question left, no, I in no way ever have, had, or will want a hippopotamus for Christmas.