Christmas Music – Muse By An Atheist

November 28, 2017 – I have been listening to the holiday music being played at work very carefully as of late. After Black Friday, which started on Thanksgiving Thursday and ended Sunday evening, the store is relatively quiet and the music is the only sound that penetrates the hum of business. There are a number of observations I wish to make.

I need to note that very few of the selections made by the powers-that-be have to do with scripture. Most have to do with love won, lost and wish for. They have to do with presents to be placed under the tree or for things as wide-ranging as two front teeth to yachts and diamonds. However, songs concerning the birth of the child Jesus are few and far between.

There are songs which praise Santa Claus and his wonderful reindeer Rudolph. They are asking for material things that seem to have nothing to do with the true meaning of the holiday of Christmas. Yes, gifts were brought by the three wise men that were given to the child Jesus, but they were simple and kindly, not of great value other than the idea of the gift itself. The songs deal with the twelve days of Christmas, something invented by a Jewish songwriter.

I have been listening to the songs of winter, wishing for happy holidays, snow and family gatherings.

They deal with a little drummer boy only bringing his talent and of gifts not mentioned in scripture. I am yet to hear a song of pure praise of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.

I will not get into the fact that the child was most likely born in late March to early April and the holiday was moved by the church to usurp the pagan holidays of the winter solstice. Or that the Yule Tree and Yule Log are of the pagan origin.

Many retailers have come to despise the music, for they repeat the same songs by different singers over and over again.

Over the years I have come to know the wrong words to many of these songs. On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a bagel with some creamed cheese.

I sing of Rudolph the quick draw cowboy and yell at the kid with the drums keeping the baby awake. I sing of Sammy Klaus, the great Jewish toy maker from Brooklyn. I do have a sick sense of humor.

Many in retail have a love/hate relationship with the music. Many are sick of the repeating songs and wish to get back to the mundane soft rock offered to our guests. Many of us curse the music inside our heads as “earworms,” repeating over and over again. Some sing along only to find their co-workers staring at them in confusion. Some love the sounds of Christmas, no matter how they are presented.

There are some 27 days until Christmas as of this writing. I know the music will continue through the New Year, digging deeper into my psyche, threatening my sanity for five more weeks.

I do wish the powers-that-be select songs from other cultures to play on occasion. I would love to hear some Cajun versions of Christmas, something in German or French would be nice once in a while. I would love to hear some of the classical songs written in the 18 and 19 centuries song by choirs. Just as long as the songs about grandma being run over by reindeer and by Alvin and the Chipmunks are left out of the fold. Anything to break the monotony of twelve versions of Winter Wonderland forced on us daily.

About David Rosman

David is the winner of the Missouri Press Foundation's "Best Columnist" in 2013 (First Place) and 2014 (Second Place), the 2016 Harold Riback Award for excellence in writing, and the winner of the 2007 Interactive Media Award for excellence in editing.
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