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Ranger Jeff
12-02-2015, 01:48 AM
Inspired by the thread about the Peanuts theme "Linus and Lucy".

I divide "Christmas music" into three catagories: 1) religious, B) secular, and III) seasonal. Let me explain more.

1. Religious would be songs about the birth of Jesus. "Silent Night", "O Holy Night", "Adeste Fideles, etc. Even lighter fare like "Little Drummer Boy", as they're about the first Christmas.

B. Secular songs would be the ones about Santa, reindeer with glowing noses, snowmen coming to life, coming home for Christmas, decking halls with holly boughs, and how good your baby was to you.

III. Seasonal songs are more just winter songs. Winter wonderlands, Julie Andrew's favorite things, sleighrides and that sort of thing.

Though I'm not certain how solid the line is between B and III. I think Charles Brown's "Please come home for Christmas" could be a III, not B. There are others.

Discussion? :confused:

Thudlow Boink
12-02-2015, 08:53 AM
Heh. I just posted in the thread about definitive versions of Christmas songs:That'd make it a lot more Christmasy than some of these other songs whose only connection to Christmas is that they're about snow or cold weather.That'd be your third category, seasonal songs, into which I'd place all songs that are about winter, snow, etc. There's no inherent reason these songs couldn't be played throughout January or February, except maybe that everyone's sick and tired of winter by then. This category includes Jingle Bells, Winter Wonderland, Frosty the Snowman, Let It Snow, Baby It's Cold Outside, Sleigh Ride...

bienville
12-02-2015, 09:14 AM
That'd be your third category, seasonal songs, into which I'd place all songs that are about winter, snow, etc. There's no inherent reason these songs couldn't be played throughout January or February, except maybe that everyone's sick and tired of winter by then. This category includes Jingle Bells, Winter Wonderland, Frosty the Snowman, Let It Snow, Baby It's Cold Outside, Sleigh Ride...

...and this song written by your good friend bienville from the SDMB!
(shameless plug!)

That Early Winter Sundown (https://youtube.com/watch?v=XUZmtEt1Tfk) - written by ME!!!

Nonsuch
12-02-2015, 10:26 AM
That's about how I see it too, and I have favorites in all three categories.

cher3
12-02-2015, 10:40 AM
I'd add one more category, though I mostly wish they would just go away: Whiny pop songs about faithless lovers or being lonely at Christmas (e.g., "Last Christmas" "All I want for Christmas is you", etc.) We have those songs ad nauseum all the rest of the year; they can take a rest during the holidays. In any case, throwing the word "Christmas" into your song at random doesn't make it a Christmas song.

Ranger Jeff
12-02-2015, 11:06 AM
cher, those are the ones that I think border between secular and seasonal. The songs that really aren't about Christmas but do mention the celebration. Frankly, the LAST song I wanted to hear Armed Forces Radio pump out was "I'll be home for Christmas" while on alert in a fighting hole behind an M-60 dining on Ham and Lima Beans c-rats.

Though I blame Norman Rockwell for a lot of that sort of crap but that's another issue.

kenobi 65
12-02-2015, 11:09 AM
I'd add one more category, though I mostly wish they would just go away: Whiny pop songs about faithless lovers or being lonely at Christmas (e.g., "Last Christmas" "All I want for Christmas is you", etc.) We have those songs ad nauseum all the rest of the year; they can take a rest during the holidays. In any case, throwing the word "Christmas" into your song at random doesn't make it a Christmas song.

Yes, yes, yes! Those songs make me crazy when they get played on the Christmas music formats. To me, the two biggest violators are Wham's "Last Christmas" (which you mentioned), and Dan Fogelberg's "Another Auld Lang Syne".

Chronos
12-02-2015, 11:19 AM
What about songs that are about a specific holiday other than Christmas, like Auld Lang Syne or Deck the Halls?

And then there's songs that don't actually have anything at all to do with Christmas or the season, but which end up on Christmas playlists anyway, like Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, Pachabel's Canon, or Handel's Hallelujah.

Thudlow Boink
12-02-2015, 11:23 AM
Frankly, the LAST song I wanted to hear Armed Forces Radio pump out was "I'll be home for Christmas" while on alert in a fighting hole behind an M-60 dining on Ham and Lima Beans c-rats.I can understand why, but that's kinda what the song is about (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I%27ll_Be_Home_for_Christmas#Theme).

Prof. Pepperwinkle
12-02-2015, 02:54 PM
Between religious and secular I have a category of "legendary", songs that have Jesus or Mary or Herod as the subject but are not canonical. For example:

The Cherry Tree Carol
The Little Drummer Boy
Herod and the Cock

justmeetee
12-02-2015, 03:30 PM
By the time Christmas actually arrives I have begun to hate it because of the habit of advertisers to put their sales pitch to the tune of traditional Christmas songs. I could go on a long tirade about the commercialization of the season but this isn't the thread for that.

By the way "Marry Christmas From The Family" by Robert Earl Keen is the best Christmas song in case you were wondering.

Chronos
12-02-2015, 06:09 PM
Between religious and secular I have a category of "legendary", songs that have Jesus or Mary or Herod as the subject but are not canonical.
And some of these can get pretty weird, like "I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In". What's the Baby Jesus doing on a ship?

Quartz
12-02-2015, 06:49 PM
And some of these can get pretty weird, like "I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In". What's the Baby Jesus doing on a ship?

Camels (qv the flight to Egypt) are the 'ships of the desert' aren't they?

Lemur866
12-02-2015, 06:56 PM
Yes, and ships are the camels of the sea.

dropzone
12-02-2015, 09:03 PM
Joni Mitchell's River is only set at Christmastime, and I assume it's about breaking up with Graham Nash, as part of the suite of songs about the most documented relationship between two songwriters ever.

longhair75
12-02-2015, 09:18 PM
Another category:

Christmas songs that are over played on the radio during the season:

Burl Ives singing "It's a Holly Jolly Christmas"
Bobbly Helms singing "Jingle Bell Rock"
Brenda Lee singing "Rocking Around the Christmas Tree"
Eartha Kit Singing "Santa Baby"

AHunter3
12-02-2015, 10:11 PM
Between religious and secular I have a category of "legendary", songs that have Jesus or Mary or Herod as the subject but are not canonical. For example:

The Cherry Tree Carol
The Little Drummer Boy
Herod and the Cock

Yeppers. Add to that list...

I Saw Three Ships (Christ and "his laydee" sailing into port on a sailing ship, WTF?)

The Holly and the Ivy (you KNOW this was pagan and then got Jesus-centered lines dropped in later)

God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen (well, this one's arguable)


Labdad
12-02-2015, 10:11 PM
Slight hijack: some years ago, I was listening to a radio interview with Randy Newman.

He said, "Irving Berlin was the greatest Jew since Moses! He took the two biggest Christian holidays, Christmas and Easter, and wrote songs about them. The first was a weather report and the second was a fashion show!"

That would be "White Christmas" and "Easter Bonnet," by the way.

Slow Moving Vehicle
12-02-2015, 10:58 PM
Yeppers. Add to that list...

I Saw Three Ships (Christ and "his laydee" sailing into port on a sailing ship, WTF?)

The Holly and the Ivy (you KNOW this was pagan and then got Jesus-centered lines dropped in later)

God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen (well, this one's arguable)



"God rest ye merry, gentlemen, let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ, our Savior, was born on Christmas Day
To save us all from Satan's pow'r when we had gone astray
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy."

Pretty explicitly Christian, I think you'd have to say.

Happy Lendervedder
12-02-2015, 11:19 PM
What about songs that are about a specific holiday other than Christmas, like Auld Lang Syne or Deck the Halls?

And then there's songs that don't actually have anything at all to do with Christmas or the season, but which end up on Christmas playlists anyway, like Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, Pachabel's Canon, or Handel's Hallelujah.

You could technically add Jingle Bells to this list; it was originally written for Thanksgiving. But I suppose it's still "seasonal."

rowrrbazzle
12-02-2015, 11:59 PM
And some of these can get pretty weird, like "I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In". What's the Baby Jesus doing on a ship?"Oh, they sailed into Bethlehem"? It's a land-locked town, currently about 10 miles from the nearest body of water, the Dead Sea.

That would be "White Christmas" and "Easter Bonnet," by the way."Easter Parade".

thelurkinghorror
12-03-2015, 12:28 AM
Old thread (http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/showthread.php?t=590038). Religious music won out and this forum isn't particularly religious. IMHO that's deserved; most of it is timeless while the other categories have a higher "tacky" ratio, and avoids the awfulness of some modern Protestant church music.

kaylasdad99
12-03-2015, 05:15 AM
I just call everything playing on KOST 103.5 FM these days a Christmas carol, and let it go at that. It makes things easier for me, which is the whole point.

:D

Labdad
12-03-2015, 09:15 AM
"Easter Parade".

:smack:

Thudlow Boink
12-03-2015, 11:12 AM
I guess a fourth category would be music for other holidays, like Haunakah or New Year's Day, that occur at about the same time and so get lumped in with the Christmas/Holiday/Seasonal music.


By the way, in case anyone's interested, Audible's offering a free lecture by Robert Greenberg on A Brief History of Holiday Music (http://audible.com/pd/Arts-Entertainment/Free-A-Brief-History-of-Holiday-Music-Audiobook/B018INQNQA/ref=a_search_c4_1_3_srTtl?qid=1449155694&sr=1-3).

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