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Play it again, Santa

March 13, 2010

I was cleaning the house yesterday, a process which usually includes cocktails and 1970’s British Glam Rock (on Friday afternoons, at least).  It is a rare treat to sweep the stairs to Bowie, Bolan, or Ferry, and broomsticks make for excellent air mics.  I was midway through considering sweeping up cat fur and just how much one cat could shed when some lyrics caught my attention.

Are you hanging up a stocking on your wall?
It’s the time that every Santa has a ball

Oh, I smiled to myself, my CD player has shuffled to Slade’s “Merry Xmas Everybody.”  I’m not a big consumer of Christmas music, mind you, but a few crossover songs like the Slade one have found their way into my music collection over the years, this one through a greatest hits album.  I’ve often considered making a clever mix of cool Christmas songs, but there ends up only being like three or so once you start searching.  Nonetheless, I turned to the CD player to skip forward, but then stopped.

Now, I’ve replayed what happened next in my head a dozen times since, but I still can’t explain it: I let it play.  I stood quietly in the big, empty house, and let it play.  It was a giddy experience at first, listening to Christmas music – in March!  I felt like I was smashing taboos and defining new paradigms. This was beyond irony, this was radical consumption.  It’s a perfectly good song, I thought to myself, it just happens to be about a cultural phenomenon that happens in an entirely different part of the year.  I don’t avoid Led Zeppelin’s “The Lemon Song” merely because citrus is out of season, right?

So here it is,
Merry Christmas,
Everybody’s having fun,
Look to the future now
It’s only just begun.

Suddenly, though, I began to feel anxious.  What if my housemates came home just then?  It would be tantamount to having one’s hand in one’s pants in a way that I swear to god wasn’t sexual but it totally looked sexual and Donohue was on the screen and you just KNOW they’re going to tell other people, you just KNOW.  You make one mistake and it haunts you, it haunts you for the rest of your life.  So I couldn’t move, the stereo seemed to pull away from me.  I would have to wait it out.

After an interminable coda the song finally faded away, and I exhaled.  The next, non-seasonally specific track came on and everything seemed clearly and thankfully March.  I turned my attention again to the cat hair and the broom.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 13, 2010 1:14 pm

    I will listen to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” at any time of the year because it is quite simply…. AWESOME. It’s a great song, period. Here’s to more out of season listening….

  2. March 13, 2010 2:11 pm

    Agreed on BOTH songs mentioned.

  3. March 13, 2010 2:52 pm

    There are a bunch of songs I look forward to hearing every year around holiday time… I’m taking this post as permission to listen to them anytime I want. I think I’m going to start with John Denver and the Muppets. My favorite part is this exchange during “We Wish You A Merry Christmas:”

    Piggy Pudding?!
    No, it’s figgy pudding, made with figs.
    (and bacon)

  4. badhedgehog permalink
    March 13, 2010 6:09 pm

    Noddy Holder transcends mere seasons.

  5. evmaroon permalink
    March 13, 2010 10:50 pm

    I might have started dancing with you, see. I grimace every time my iPod gives me a song from Harry Connick Jr’s “Songs I Heard” album, because I really don’t want anyone to know how much I adore kids’ musicals. And yet I listen to that album anyway.

  6. March 13, 2010 11:55 pm

    I’ll sing along to those old-timey Xmas songs like “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Santa Baby” at any time of the year if they come on.

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