Friday, December 01, 2006

Christmas Songs

Christmas songs have come a long way and at the same time have endured. Well, think about whatever comes to mind when someone says the two simple words, Christmas songs. !)—you likely think of songs such as “I’ll be Home for Christmas.”

From the free domain songs that are still absolutely moving, like “O Holy Night” and “Little Drummer Boy,” sung by kids in itchy Christmas pageants or pious choirs once a year without fail and simple ditties about food and presents and figgy pudding and nog, Christmas songs have gone into penetrating, challenging, bonding, and spiritually elevating realms.

John Lennon, I think, started the trend of a Christmas song with a higher consciousness—with “And so this is Christmas, and what have you done?” and “And so this is Christmas (war is over), for weak and for strong (if you want it), the rich and the poor ones, the road is so long….” Imagine (or remember) how those frolicky, campy, or solemn and religious Christmas songs now had the words “war” and “fight” directly stated rather than implied? Stunning.

And then came the unusual duo or unlikely star remake trends for Christmas songs, which were, really, equally moving: Bing Crosby joined David Bowie to remake “The Little Drummer Boy.” Do Christmas classics. Elvis’s “Blue Christmas” is resuscitated.