I like Christmas carols. I like the holiday camaraderie felt when we find ourselves joining in, singing along with complete strangers, sharing in a common spirit of Christmas celebration. We all know most of the words to the popular songs, although I must admit, I’m a little puzzled by the titles of a few. For instance:
The First Noel
We all know the story of the first noel, or Christmas, but what about the second and third, right on up? It’s nice to celebrate the first anything, but it almost makes the following noels insignificant. I mean, ask me which birthday I like better, my first or my twenty-first.
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Who the heck is “Hark”? And how come only the angels named Herald get the attention? I’m surprised NOW hasn’t hooked on to this one.
Must Be Santa
Let me get this straight. A chubby old guy with red cheeks, dressed in a red suit, hollering “Ho ho ho”, being hauled around in a sleigh by reindeer. Must be Santa? Who the hell else would it be, ya wingnut? Uncle Howard doesn’t have a sleigh.
Go Tell It on the Mountain
Any thing that starts with a direct order doesn’t sit well with me. I don’t like to be told what to do at my age, and maybe I want to tell it on my back porch.
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Come on. No one says “Ye” anymore, unless maybe a Quaker. Can’t we just make one teeny weeny adjustment and say “God Rest YOU Merry Gentlemen”? Please?
The Twelve Days of Christmas
I hate to say this, but I figure this song has probably caused more “ugly holiday incidents” than all the others together. I remember riding by a neighbor’s house early one Christmas morning. He was standing in the doorway in his skivvies yelling something about the 13th freakin’ day of Christmas as he shoved the still decorated tree angel first in a snow bank.
The “O” Christmas Carols
O Christmas Tree, O Little Town of Bethlehem, Oh, Holy Night, O Come All Ye Faithful, O Tannenbaum…enough with the “O”s. I don’t know of one Christmas carol that begins with the letter “U”.
The Wassail Song
What in the world is a wassail, and even if the vast majority of people knew, who would want to go a-wassailing? Wikipedia says wassail is a hot spicy punch, so what are we talking about here? Going on a drunk and serenading the neighbors?
The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
Every time I see this song in print, the parentheses always follow with the chestnut thing. Doesn’t it stand to reason that if people need to read the opening line of a song to know which one it is, that perhaps that opening line SHOULD be the title? Sheesh. Not to mention that one would have to be an idiot to write an article about “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)”. My fingers hurt just thinking about it. Maybe we should just call it TCSCROAOF.