Imagine going out on a cold, winter night to see a talented musician perform and discovering that the only thing she or he will be playing is, “She wore an itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, yellow, polka dot bikini” and “Kum Ba Ya.”
Well, the holiday equivalent of that just might happen tonight on a radio show (90.1 FM or streaming live at http://www.wusb.fm between 6pm and 8pm EST). I am one of the guests. The concept is great: get a handful of talented Long Island folk and rock musicians (of which there are many) and they will perform live holiday music in the studio. So far so good. But on the closed-group Facebook message discussion, the DJ asked the musicians what they will perform. Here is a list of some of the entries:
Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
Frosty the Snowman
Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas
Rock Around the Clock
All I Want for Christmas is You
Excuse me, but, any other time of the year other than Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, et. al. there musicians would never dream of playing mediocre, musical garbagio like this. I mean, here we are at a time when one faith tradition, Christianity, says that this is the time of the birth of the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Son of God, the Advent of Hope coming to us after a few thousand years of waiting for finally being saved from oppression at the hands of occupiers and we are prepared to respond with Marshmallow World. And… we are in the season of Chanukah for Jews and Kwanza for many African-Americans and we are so moved we will perform Santa Baby.
Dear God! Save us from mediocre Christmas music! And save us from ourselves when ~ no matter what we believe and whether or not we participate in a faith tradition ~ all we can muster from the depths of our souls is Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas.
Bah! Humbug! But not to Christmas. Bah! Humbug! to the watering~down of our thick and hearty soup of the soul. May our music allow those with malls stuck in their minds to be transformed by minstrels and troubadours who are awake and aware of their role of bringing hope to the lost and lonely ones who are still waiting for release from spiritual captivity at the hands of the occupiers of our hearts and souls. “O come, O come Emmanuel.., O come, Dayspring, come and cheer our spirits by your Advent here; and drive away the shades of night, and pierce the clouds and bring us light…”