". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas Music

There is a radio station in my town that starts playing Christmas music during Thanksgiving week. I think it's a great idea. I love Christmas music, and there is so very much of it that is wonderful that if I limited my listening to the twelve days of Christmas I wouldn't get my fill! So I often find myself turning to this radio station when I am driving in the car, hoping for something Christmas-y to listen to.

I am frequently disappointed, not because I don't find a Christmas song playing, but because the song that I do find is to me not really a Christmas song. Instead, it's some pop ditty with a Christmas theme. So I continue my button-pushing, looking for something I want to hear.

It's not that I expect the pop station in town to play all sacred music. I like fun, secular Christmas tunes, too, things like "Winter Wonderland" and "Sleigh Ride." But so much of what gets played is not even in that category. Instead, it's Madonna singing "Santa Baby" or Whitney Houston singing about "My Grown-Up Christmas Wish." In my opinion these are not Christmas songs.

I also do not care to hear pop stylists singing Christmas hymns. "O Come All Ye Faithful" is not meant to be vocally interpreted but sung full-out by a congregation and/or choir, if possible with organ, brass and descant. The solo versions too often come across as being about the singer--"look at me, don't I sing this song beautifully?"--than about the adoration of the newborn king.

Judging from the fact that I often turn to the "Christmas" station to hear the same song that they played last hour playing yet again, it seems they could expand their playlist a bit. But I'm not holding my breath.

My husband is the lucky one. He has XM radio, which at this time of year expands its lineup to include several differently-themed Christmas stations, including one that plays only classical/sacred selections. That station has the right idea, except for the fact that on December 26 it will go off the air, since of course, Christmas is over.


1 comment:

Karen said...

Our local Christmas station, begins playing Christmas music one week before Halloween. The station has a huge play-list, but the list contains a lot of pop artists singing carols and renditions of religious Christmas songs.