Wednesday, December 8, 2010

All I Want for Christmas Is... Silence!

I have blogged before, and often, about the musical selections played at my job. I love some of it, hate some more and generally am indifferent to the rest of it. That all changed last Monday. I came back from being off the Sunday after Thanksgiving to find that they'd changed the channel, so to speak. Now it's Christmas music, 24/7.

I'll not waste anyone's time rehashing my dislike for religion, as that's mostly been spared. The music mix is not too different from the usual, in that it's holiday-themed music performed by a lot of the same artists who are included in the day-to-day set. It's all Christmas music, but they've somehow avoided using any of the religious carols. So, no "O Holy Night", or "Silent Night". Nothing about angels or mangers or any of that stuff. As near as I can tell, they only play the secular songs.

That means they're playing "Jingle Bells" and "Here Comes Santa Claus" and "Blue Christmas". By limiting the pool to secular songs, that reduces the available selection, so I get to hear multiple renditions of the same songs over and over again. I've heard four or five or more versions of "Blue Christmas" (but not Elvis') and "Sleigh Ride" and "Winter Wonderland". The lone religious tune I've picked out from the rest is "Carol of the Bells", which gets a pass in my book because it's an old Ukrainian tune that predates Christianity.

It's driving me insane, one song at a time. It's not all bad. They play Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" They even play "Welcome Christmas" (that's the "Dahoo doraze" song) from How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I've heard songs by Sheryl Crow, KT Tunstall and the Dandy Warhols. Did you know that Jethro Tull recorded a Christmas album? Me neither, but their "Greensleeved" is pretty cool. Ditto for Goldfrapp's "Winter Wonderland".

They also play any song that so much as mentions the word "Christmas", whether it's really a holiday song or not. I've heard several covers of "Last Christmas" (the Wham! song). I've never thought of The Pretenders' "2000 Miles" as a holiday song, but it's in the mix. I was trying to figure out why they played Sade's "The Sweetest Taboo" until I heard the line "Every day is Christmas and every night is New Year's Eve". They've also played a few head-scratchers. I do not know what bizarre calculus inspired them to include Sting's "Love Is the Seventh Wave", but it is welcome when I hear it, a respite from the holiday monotony.

The actual holiday isn't too far off, but those nights until they turn the music back are going to be arduous.


  1. Don't forget Rudolph the Redneck Reindeer and the Christmas version of that Convoy song! :)

    At least you are spared Cliff Richard(Google him)'s Mistletoe and Wine...

  2. My first real job was driving Santa's Sleigh ride in a department store and we had ONE 7" single which was played on ONE side until it was worn then turned to play the B side till christmas. My mind has blanked out what it was after two months of hell. Things we do for a little money.

    Caroline xxx

  3. Thank you, Jenny for inflicting that awful sound on my ears. You're right, though. I don't have to suffer through that one.

  4. My father does this in his house. For some reason, he finds it amusing to play holiday music all the time in the season. Otherwise, it's Wagner 24/7. Now I like Wagner, but not all the time and I always remind him that we're nominally of the Hebrew persuasion and that should naturally negate Christmas tunes...he shrugs at me as if to say "It's my house and my stereo and shut up now."

    And he wonders why we don't like to stay there...