My very best wishes for a happy Christmas to OoL readers, contributors and administrators.
Christmas came early for me this year through an unexpected email several weeks ago from James Higham inviting me to contribute to OoL. My sincere thanks to him, Julia M and Longrider for their invitation. I hope to contribute more in the New Year and am grateful for readers’ comments which enable a different sort of discussion and audience than I would have on my own blog.
What follows isn’t about carols but popular songs of the festive season.
It emerges that the Pogues’ ‘Fairytale of New York’ with the late Kirsty MacColl is the most popular song of the decade, or, as the Telegraph describes it, ‘the century‘.
It features such hopeful and cheery lyrics:
Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God it’s our last
Although I could barely stomach popular Christmas songs as a child, I never thought this would have become so, erm, cherished over the years. I enjoy the Pogues, however, this song is not one of their best, in my (humble) opinion.
We exist for nearly a full year before we get to a happy, festive period which over 90 per cent of the population can enjoy — and with good reason.
As for the type of Christmas songs I did not fancy when younger growing up in the States is a song I’ve been known to sing quite frequently at home over the past few years. Perhaps I’m just getting older now, but ‘A Holly Jolly Christmas’ is something I’ve been humming since the first Sunday of Advent (the start of the Church year) in the run-up to Christmas for the past six years.
Lyrics, written by Johnny Marks, a Jewish songwriter, include pleasant notions, such as these:
Have a holly jolly Christmas
And when you walk down the street
Say hello to friends you know
And everyone you meet …
In retrospect, it seems that the nice Christmas songs those of us 50 and over remember were written for grownups and not for kids. Have a listen to Burl Ives singing ‘A Holly Jolly Christmas’. You’ll be buying mistletoe ere long:
Either I’m getting sentimental or just looking for something happy in our postmodern world. (Actually, I read that we are in the post-postmodern world, but the term for it escapes me. Quite frankly, I don’t really care.)
Enjoy your Christmas holiday — whether you profess as a creed (or not) — and have fun!
May the spirit of the season remain with us past Twelfth Night! It really <i>is</i> the ‘best time of the year’!