Fall on your knees
Christmas songs leave me cold, pun intended. The only joy I extract from most is hearing them remade in the most wretched way possible. A good example of this is Debbie/Deborah Gibson doing "Sleigh Ride" from one of those "Very Special Christmas" comps. If you haven't heard it, you must. It's hideous, cloying, nasal, everything horrific about Ms, Gibson in one red-and-green giftwrapped package. I get moist just thinking about it.
Having said all this, I have to admit there is one song and one particular version of it that makes me well up against my will. All of my aging hipster doofus indie cred is going to fly out the window with this one, but it weighs heavily upon me and I feel the need to unburden myself, always the first step of recovery:
Celine Dion's version of "O Holy Night".
It is so bombastic, emotionally manipulative and over the top that it makes me stop whatever I'm doing and Just. Listen. I'm not sure what it is that I like so much about it -- maybe the haughty, condescending tone of the lyrics combined with her holier-than-thou delivery ("Fall on your knees"? Smell you, Miss It!), the huge swelling of the orchestra combined with that one soul-shivering note she hits during the final "Noel", or this truly touching sentiment early in the song:
Long lay the world
In sin and error pining
'Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth
I'm not a religious guy, but that's some good writin' there, whether you believe in the Easter Bunny or not.
I'm ashamed to like this song as much as I do, while at the same time, I'm glad I do, because it reminds me there's still some vestige of a soul buried deep down inside. Plus, fag DNA requires some disposition to Dion, whether it's affection or craning the neck to watch the train wreck. She sings this song like she's a British nanny and the tune is a screaming baby that won't stop crying. Shake, shake, shake.
In a last-ditch, desperate attempt to save reputation, I offer my other Christmas favorite, the polar opposite of "O Holy Night", the incredibly cynical, yet still happy ending "Christmas Wrapping" by the Waitresses.
Download the Waitresses, "Christmas Wrapping"
Bah, humbug, but that's okay 'cuz it's still my favorite holiday. Akron, represent.
Speaking of which, I'm off to Cleveland this Monday for TWO. FULL. WEEKS. I should have a shitload of material for 2005.