It’s Beginning to Sound a Lot Like Xmas

In which The Author is mentally tortured
contrary to International Law

Yes, as usual, as soon as December starts the usual CDs have vanished from the sound system in work, to be replaced by a host of crappy ‘Christmas’ compilations. We’re used to endless repetitions of Slade, Wizzard, Wham! and Band Aid every year of course, but this year it seems that every song with a vaguely seasonal air has found its way onto the CD player in the office.
We’ve heard ‘All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth’ at least forty times over the past fortnight, interspersed with some awful gospel treatments, Tin Pan Alley’s most cliched products yet, and even a terrible old crooner (could it really be Bing?), all helping to reduce the festive spirit to a wrist-slashing level that not even the most suicidally committed Emo kid could dream of.
To make matters worse, the random facility on the player no longer works, so that we know exactly will occur at any given point of the sequence. For fuck’s sake, isn’t there some sort of International War Crimes Convention against this sort of mental torture?
To redress the balance, I’ve just put together a CD of carols recorded by the choir of King’s College, Cambridge. When I take it into work tomorrow, I wonder how opinion will be divided. Gareth the militant atheist will probably turn up his nose straight away – possibly even refusing to allow it anywhere near the hardware. At the other end of the spectrum, Vicky and James will probably harmonise along with it in the kids’ section.
I’m not a Christian, but I’d rather listen to traditional carols sung in a beautiful fashion than endless repeats of ‘Rudolph the sodding Red-Nosed Reindeer’.
And this year, I’ve got a special surprise lined up for the kids who knock my door, expecting 50p a time for singing a quick burst of ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’ – the Credit Crunch has come to town! Instead of the automatic handout they seem to expect, they’re going to get a very different sort of handout: a list of twenty or so proper Christmas carols, ranging from ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ all the way through to ‘We Three Kings of Orient Are’. If they can sing just one verse of any of them, they get the money. If not, they get the bum’s rush instead.
In a generation or two, all our traditional music will have been washed away on a tide of American commercial crap. The fight back starts here.
In the meantime, here’s one Xmas song that won’t be finding its way onto my compilation for work:


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