Thursday, December 15, 2011

Some of the Worst, Some of the Best

Maybe I wrote this last year. Or maybe I just thought about it. I love Christmas music, except for the songs I loathe.

Among the worst:

1. Last Christmas I gave You My Heart - I am sad to report that at least two new versions of this tired and ultra-schmaltzy tune have hit the air waves this year. As if the over-played original weren't painful enough! My teenage son came home from school mocking this song. Gosh, I'm proud of that boy! Just one more heartening example of how his school passes on transcendent values.

2. Christmas Shoes - So I made it to the third Sunday of Lent without hearing this one that is, without question, right off the schmaltz-o-meter. Pretty sure this is the reason the schmaltz-o-meter was invented. Doink!

3. Santa Baby - No need to elaborate.

4. Elvis' Blue Christmas - Ditto.

5. Unnamed Song -- This ghastly number starts out "Where are you Christmas? Why can't I find you?"  I don't know the title because, in truth, I have never gone beyond the opening line. Where's that seek button? Or that left-over air sickness bag?

Tunes we like:

1. The Little Drummer Boy - Strictly speaking, this, too, musters some serious schmaltz, but I just like it. David Bowie and Bing? Love it. Bob Seeger? I like this one, too. An added plus? He's a Detroiter.

2. Carol of the Bells - From Transsiberian Orchestra to Kenny Rogers, this is a fav.

3. O Holy Night -  Love Celion Dion. Josh Groban? More than I can take.

4. Anything sung by The Carpenters, Frank Sinatra, or Andy Williams - Yes, some undeniable schmaltz.The Carpenters scream 1970s, but I came of age listening to their eight-track recordings. The others were childhood staples and bring back happy memories of sitting near our fireplace and watching the snow fall.

5. The Messiah - I never get tired of this.

6. Christmas Canon- Makes me want to take up piano or violin.

7. The Grinch - This one hearkens back to Christmas 1986 when I was attending my Officers' Basic Course at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. What can I say about Arrrrmy training? Hour after hour of some of the most painfully boring lectures ever endured. My caffeine addiction dates back to afternoons attempting to avoid nodding off as field grade officers droned on about who knows what.

The little bit of levity was Captain Al Rommel (I'm not making this up. I trained with a Rommel and a Patton). If a lecture proved particularly heinous, Al would lean over and whisper, "stink, Stank, STUNK!"

7. Anything my kids play - Tim and Kolbe have brought the gift of music into our home, and I love it.

Googling Worst Christmas Songs Ever will produce a list far more colorful than mine. Did John Denver really sing, "Daddy, Don't Get Drunk This Christmas"? That even tops "Christmas Shoes."


Pier said...

Re: Santa Baby. My great niece, age 3, listened to that song and said with a worried voice, "I don't want Santa Baby, I want Fat Belly Santa." Haha!

Rachel said...


Have y'all seen "Vader did you know"? totally up Kolbe's alley. Check it out.

Marshall Johnston said...

Hi Kelly. Excellent blog.

Al Rommel. Wow. He was hilarious. That's someone I hadn't thought of in a long time.

You realize that many of our OBC compatriots have retired. For example, Brian Kueter retired last year and is running his family catfish farm in Pocahontas, Arkansas. In fact Kueter's last job was battalion commander of the officer training battalion at the Academy of Health Sciences at Fort Sam. In 1991 I ended up going to the Advanced Course with Kueter, Rob Goodman, and several others from OBC. I saw Mike Cook during Desert Storm and Chris Hill while I was at the Advanced Course. He was in the Baylor program for hospital admin. But, that was '91. Brian is the only person with whom I've maintained even sporadic contact since then. We are friends on Facebook. Anyway, great folks.

Merry Christmas,


Kelly said...

Merry Christmas, Marshall! Good memories of great times in San Antonio. Take care.