eating, songs played to death it
must be Christmas time
So, Christmas is over now and I thought I’d file a post-xmas post to say so long to it until next year.
I don’t know how you feel about Xmas but I like certain customs in the lead up to it more than the day itself which comes and goes very quickly, even the dinner most people slave over (but which is usually pretty well cooked, at least in this household, so I usually enjoy it). I actually like decorating the tree and other parts of the house and the Christmas dinner itself, the smell of oranges and honey glazed ham, (the turkey itself is not up to much smell-wise by itself and is quite a bland meat no matter how you cook it), and certain songs that come out every year (bar a few of the more cheesy ones), and buying presents for the kids in my family (the adults are harder to please, I find!). There is more I dislike than like about Christmas though, mostly the commercial lead-up – from the end of Halloween to Xmas Day and even until New Year’s Eve – and I sometimes wish I could escape to a country that does not celebrate this crazy season as intensely (there has to be one somewhere).
A few days before Christmas, I heard a song by Jonie Mitchell called ‘River’ in which she imagines skating away on a frozen river to escape all the Christmas fuss. I thought ‘I know how you feel Jonie’, especially as I was trying to get all my Christmas shopping done. On the other hand, there are a mix of traditional and modern songs I do like to hear every year that are really true to the original sense of Christmas. Little Drummer Boy by Bing Crosby and David Bowie is one of my favourites and I’m glad it’s not played as much or I’d be tired of it by now as well. It’s a lovely, traditional song duet-ted by two great performers of their respective eras (they could do without the contrived conversation leading up to the song however). There are more I like, even the odd religious hymn as well (though I’m not a church goer), that give you a break from the popular ones being aired non-stop, when you almost wish there was a blackout.
My top three Christmas songs are:
- Peace on earth/Little drummer boy – David Bowie and Bing Crosby
- Happy Xmas (War is Over) – John Lennon
- Stop the Cavalry – Jonah Lewie
Of all the Christmas songs I cannot stand, the ‘top’ one is the Band Aid song. There has been unusual focus this year on how offensive this song is but it is. And though it was a song meant to raise money for charity for Africa which it did, in spades, it does not mean it is any less offensive to people starving in Africa and other parts of the world. I think the hypocrisy this year of one certain former singer that co-wrote and produced it is what has brought it back to everyone’s attention. Freedom of the City medals /honours are handed out willy nilly anyway it seems, judging by the fact he has one (like stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and, in some cases, honorary degrees from universities) but once you have one you can’t just give it back under such conditions as ‘take it away from (a certain contentious person) and I’ll take it back’ – how sanctimonious – nor tell a city council how to go about their ‘Freedom of the City’ business. The Freedom of the City honour, for any city, is still ‘owned’ by a city, not by the person on whom the ‘honour’ is bestowed. Correct me if I’m wrong. The city in council in question accepted the returned freedom of the city honour but refused to give it back to him as requested, whether or not they took it away from the contentious person in question (and yes she really shocked everyone with this humanitarian issue but that’s a whole other post). Not so much a question of ‘use it or lose it’ but ‘try and give it back and you will lose it’! So that backfired on him, the sanctimonious twit. He’s also allegedly got medals associated with colonialism in Africa (when he’s otherwise still making a profit from a song about starving African children) which he has not mentioned giving back. I really cannot stand this person so it serves him right.
Anyway, back to Christmas music, I wonder how many of the above songs are popular in Japan given that it undoubtedly churns out its own hits as well (none of which I know I’m afraid). I mentioned in a previous post an association in Japan that marks holidays, real or made-up (I think I mentioned a ‘lactobacillus day’) and how much money is spent on them. Christmas is the second biggest one after Halloween in Japan in terms of spending. No doubt music hits are a big part of this with Japan’s array of boy bands and girl bands. So, if I wanted to escape somewhere, it appears Japan would not be the best place to flee to, though there must be somewhere in Japan that doesn’t buy into the whole thing (maybe Okinawa,, even with its American military base, which generally does not see itself as Japanese. Or the disputed Sakhalin Islands? The latter is more Russian I bet than Japanese).
Anyway, hope you all survived Christmas, whether you managed to escape or not. I hope the season did not sadden to any greater degree anyone who finds Christmas a difficult time of year.
I hope you enjoyed my blog this year and continue to enjoy it in 2018. I came across some pretty good blogs this year myself as a browser and look forward to finding more.