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.