Friday, November 30, 2007

Bing Crosby = Christmas. Nat King Cole = Christmas. Dan Fogleberg = Uh, yeah. Notsomuch.


I'm a Christmas music junkie. I will not lie to you, when Al came in the house the day after Halloween with a scowl on his face and said, "Can you BELIEVE those nutty radio people are doing the 24/7 Christmas music ALREADY? Gotta sell those advertising spots! Grrrrr...." I had to bite the insides of my cheeks to keep from grinning. I do love me some holiday tunes - mostly the traditional ones, but there are a few I love that are more contemporary, too.

I DO restrain myself and NOT listen to any Christmas songs until Thanksgiving Day. That's my own little rule. It's hard for me to keep to that rule! I don't want those songs around so long I get tired of them, but I do want a nice long month to fa-la-la along before I have to give them all up again the day after Christmas. Because on the day after Christmas, it all just starts to be depressing. I don't need to be reminded of the joy of Christmas because it's over now, blah, and I have a whole 'nother year to wait before it gets here again.

Christmas music, to me, is happy, joyful, sometimes funny, sometimes sincere, sometimes bouncy and rollicking, sometimes sweet and melodic. But Christmas music should never make you want to rend your garments and cry out in anguish. Y'know? Give me some Burl Ives singin' about the Holly Jolliness or Bing Crosby belting out instructions to Deck the Halls or - sigh - Nat King Cole, y'all. Oh, my man Nat, roasting those chestnuts on that open fire. Yes! Those songs - they capture the mood, they set the stage, they make me want to whip up a fruitcake and string cranberry and popcorn garlands. Build me a snowman and pretend he's Parson Brown. Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum on my little toy drum for my new baby Savior.

But lemme tell ya what ain't doin' it for me. And it's a new phenomenon.

The addition of "Another Auld Lang Syne" by otherwise fine musician Dan Fogleberg to the holiday play list. Because, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Check out the lyrics, people, in case you aren't familiar with them, or have blocked them out as a measure of self preservation because you, like I, inevitably end up weeping into a head of cabbage in the produce department every time this song gets played at your local supermarket:

Met my old lover in a grocery store
The snow was falling Christmas Eve
Stole behind her in the frozen foods
and I touched her on the sleeve
She didn't recognize the face at first
but then her eyes flew open wide
Tried to hug me and she spilled her purse
and we laughed until we cried
Took her groceries to the checkout stand
The food was totaled up and bagged
stood there lost in our embarrassment
as the conversation dragged
Went to have ourselves a drink or two
but couldn't find an open bar
Bought a six-pack at the liquor store
and we drank it in her car
We drank a toast to innocence, we drank a toast to now
Tried to reach beyond the emptiness
but neither one knew how
She said she'd married her an architect
Kept her warm and safe and dry
She said she'd like to say she loved the man
but she didn't like to lie
I said the years had been a friend to her
and that her eyes were still as blue
But in those eyes I wasn't sure if
I saw doubt or gratitude
She said she saw me in the record store
and that I must be doing well
I said the audience was heavenly
but the traveling was hell
We drank a toast to innocence we drank a toast to time
We're living in our eloquence, another old lang syne
The beers were empty and our tongues grew tired
and running out of things to say
She gave a kiss to me as I got out
and I watched her drive away
Just for a moment I was back in school
And felt that old familiar pain
And as I turned to make my way back home
the snow turned into rain.

- Dan Fogleberg "Same Auld Lang Syne"

And if thoughts like snow turning into rain, old familiar pain, loveless marriages and sitting in a parked car drinking canned grocery store beer with your old lover on Christmas Eve (SHUD-DER!) weren't depressing enough, throw in the dirge-like tempo and the sad, whining sax solo of the REAL Auld Lang Syne at the end, and what you have is a recipe for total emotional disaster. Stay away from the knives people, Dan Fogleberg's warming up at the mike and he's wearing his Santa hat and carrying a six pack.


As Charlie Brown (and my mother) would say, "Goooooood grief."

Oh, and that "Christmas Shoes" song?



  1. Oh my. I have not heard this delightful, uplifting treat. No, I have not. Just reading the lyrics kinda made me wanna go grab a six-pack myself.

    And I haven't heard the Christmas Shoes one either? What planet am I on?!

    You're so right. Gimme the classics anyday!

  2. I can NOT STAND the Christmas Shoes song. It is horrid, just evil. It's like someone sat down and said, "Now what would make people REALLY cry on Christmas...Let's write a song about that." No thank you.

  3. I guess it shouldn't be a surprising shock(being family and all), but I agree with you totally about Christmas music. But somehow, the older I get the faster I get tired of it. Maybe because I have no children to keep me constantly cheered up! But anyway, Gay would agree, too, I think. Where are you Gay?

  4. Hope I never hear that song!!!!!! I love the Christmas on 93.9. Usually a great mix. Emma keeps demanding her Christmas music and she tries to sing like her mom does, which is only the parts of the song she knows.

  5. I can handle only so much Christmas music at a time. I'm with Al: Christmas music on Halloween? I have never heard of this Dan Fogleberg...

  6. We are in the same Christmas boat. I absolutely LOVE Christmas music, but I will listen to it as soon as I can! I love, love, love Charlie Brown Christmas music, and Tony Bennett Christmas isn't too bad either. My Sirius in the car has a Holiday channel and that is where it stays unless the Christmas Shoes comes on. As soon as I hear (or see the title of) the Christmas Shoes song, I IMMEDIATELY turn the channel. ICKY

  7. I'm more on Al's side with the whole Christmas music stuff... I'd prefer to wait until Thanksgiving (the day after, actually - which is when we put up our tree). The day after Halloween though? Yeurgh.

    The Christmas Shoes makes me cry like a fool and I turn the station when I hear it! Not that it isn't a beautiful sentiment, but come on!

  8. I like the good ole' songs of Christmas, & a few of the renditions, but not till Dec 1st. &
    Dan fogleberg can drink all the beer he wants, never did like that song anywho..

  9. I can't handle the Christmas shoes either - it is dangerous to cry while you are driving and the car radio is the only place I ever hear it since I would never purchase it for my iPod! Dan Fogelberg doesn't bother me though.

  10. i'm torn -- i love love love love love the old stuff (get the picture?)

    But there are many newer versions that I really like as well.

    HOWEVER... then there is crap like this! How does that have anything to do with Christmas.

    I love U2. And I like the tune to the song... but the lyrics for their Christmas song "Baby, Please come home"... REALLY festive!

  11. I really really love me some holiday music. I have the same rule. Not until the day OF thanksgiving can I listen to it. I have like 20 christmas CDs and my XM radio is stuck on the HOLLY channel right now.

    Sad sappy christmas music...don't love it. I hate to cry when I drive. And Christmas isn't supposed to be depressing.

    I haven't heard the "christmas shoes" song. who sings it?

  12. I listen to Christmas music from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas!

    And I've known that Dan F. song forever, but I always think of it as more of a New Year's song, not Christmas.

    My favorites are the Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin and Tony Bennett type songs. And of course, Nat King Cole. Though I also really love that Eagles Christmas song, which I can't for the life of me remember right now because there's a different song playing.

  13. Christmas Shoes. Oh boy. Last year, our church did a Christmas program by that very name, with that song as the theme! The whole thing was like acting out the song in slow motion. It was touching, but I had a lump the size of a grapefruit in my throat the whole time!

    I don't think I've heard that other one, but the lyrics are HORRIBLE!

    I love the classics. Tonight while we were decorating the tree, we were playing Christmas music. Phoebe was waiting for me to unwrap the next ornament, and she started singing, "I am wait-ING!" to the tune of "O Holy Night." Great.

  14. My 11 yr old daughter recoiled in horror earlier today when the "Shoes" song came on and I blurted out, "I HATE that song!" "Mommy, why????" "Because your cousin had it on repeat on her CD player and I've heard it AT LEAST 10,000 times!"

    Give me "Jingle Bell Rock" any day!

  15. I am right there with you! That Christmas shoes song makes me change the station and the lyrics to the Dan Fogelberg song are depressing.
    On another note - congrats on succeeding with NaBloPoMo! You did it in spite of internet issues and illness!

  16. Not quite the Cheery Chirstmas tune. And I am with Chrissy, I cant stand the Christmas Shoes song either. When it first came out they played in about every 5 minutes.
    Lets here it for Let It Snow, White Chirtmas, Jingle Bells... I enjoy hearng a new version every now and then, but I am all for the old classics

  17. When I hear the opening notes of Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song" I feel all warm and fuzzy inside--just like I had a shot of Jack Daniels.

  18. I actually like "Same Auld Lang Syne" although not at Christmas. Every now and then a girl is just in a blue mood and this is just the song you want to hear!

    But don't even get me started on "The Christmas Shoes"...I'm welling up just typing it...

  19. Oh, come on. Nothing is more festive than running into a bitter ex in the grocery store. Well, maybe dental surgery....

    I heard a bunch of Neil Diamond Christmas songs today.... aaaargh.

    Christmas Shoes!!!!!
    I can't even SAY the title with out sobbing!!

  21. www.ishouldbefoldinglaundry.comDecember 1, 2007 at 10:38 PM

    Nothing like a jolly jingle to encourage throwing back a few beers and then driving home on Christmas Eve.

    Sounds like an AWFUL song. (I have never heard of that song or the shoe song.)

  22. I remember as a child staying up all night listening to Christmas songs the night before Christmas...each song built the excitement a little bit more.

    Principled Discovery

  23. My favorite Fogleberg song is Leader of the Band. It reminds me of my dad. :)

  24. I, too, was surprised to hear Fogelburg's song on the all-Christmas station. What does that have to do with Christmas? Ok, since I'm complaining, I also hate the Christmas Shoes song. But I'm happy to listen to the oldies Christmas songs anytime.

  25. Christmas songs are always so magical. The moment you hear it start, you will naturally sing along or hum along (if you don't know the lyrics) just can't help it...even for the ever famous "jingle bells"

    I love Christmas!

  26. I've always hated John Lennon's Happy Christmas (War is Over)--Depress-o City! We start singing Christmas songs in October so the kiddos can learn the words--Baby ChubChub won't say "Mama" but toddles around the house singing Falalalala!

  27. Lol, I love Christmas tunes too. I don't start listening until after Thanksgiving, because.......

    It's not truly thanksgiving without at least one round of Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant (damn I am old). After that I can do the Christmas Carols.

  28. I cannot listen to Christmas Shoes. I feel the same way about "I Hope You Dance" every other day of the year.
    I know when I'm being played, thank you very much!

  29. i like the dan fogleberg song! sometimes you're just in a melancholy christmas mood and you need just the right song.

  30. Okay. At first I could not believe that you could come up with this enormous post in just less than an hour.

    THEN when I saw 29 comments, I could not believe that you could achieve 29 comments in 15 minutes.

    THEN I realized you wrote this on Nov 30.

    LMAO! I really am a ditz.

    Okay, I'm totally with you on paragraph #2. Christmas music begins the day after Thanksgiving and ends the day after Christmas. No exceptions.

    And a hearty amen to the rest of it as well!

  31. I just can't do those songs. I change the channel by the second note of Christmas Shoes.

    I'm with you...I'll take Nat.

  32. My sister's "status" on Facebook was this earlier this week:
    Ashley hates "Christmas Shoes." Songs about dying are NOT OK at Christmas.

    I totally agree.