Christmas Carols and Musical Perils

by Rachael Birri

In the words of Mr. Parks, “Christmas songs are like food; everyone has an opinion.” For example, Mr. Parks hates “Santa Baby.” He describes it as “very disturbing” and just “weird,” a sentiment shared by most, not to mention the greediness of the singer requesting such items as a ‘54 convertible, a duplex, and the deed to a platinum mine. Inversely, his favorite Christmas song has none of Santa Baby’s creepiness and cringe-inducing lyrics. He enjoys “Winter Wonderland” because of its “sophistication” and how it “doesn’t become obnoxious after several listens.” Here are several more favorites and ear gougers from Bellbrook teachers.

Ms. Ames:

Favorite: “Oh Holy Night,” while pretty, holds many memories for Ms. Ames from singing it at church and listening to Mariah Carey’s version on her favorite childhood Christmas CD.

Least favorite: “The Twelve Days of Christmas” can be fun occasionally, like a version Ms. Ames saw on YouTube with two teachers, but when she encountered it on the radio on the way into school she felt, “here we go again,” due to its repetition and redundancy. “I can’t listen to the whole thing.”

Mr. Craig:

Favorite: Even though “Christmas Canon” by the Trans Siberian Orchestra is not a traditional Christmas song, Mr. Craig feels it “really gets you in the spirit.”

Least favorite: “Last Christmas” which he describes as “that 80s sounding song”  is the object of his hatred because it “creeps me out.”

Ms. Bertke:

Favorite: Along with Ms. Ames, Ms. Bertke loves the “beautiful” song “O Holy Night.” Ms. Bertke found a flash mob version of the song on YouTube where people in a mall began to sing together, rising one at a time. The people were from all different faiths and ethnicities and showed a “respect and appreciation” for the beauty of the song and the holiday; there was real “joy in their eyes” as they came together to sing in good spirits in spite of whether they celebrated the holiday. This is tied with “All I Want For Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey because you “can’t be in a bad mood when you hear it,” a curious juxtaposition of songs.

Least Favorite: “Grandma Got Ran Over By a Reindeer” is her least favorite. “I don’t know why, I just hate it. Hate it.”

Mr. Fromm:

Favorite: “Silent Night” is a “pretty” song and a classic.

Least Favorite: Mr. Fromm does not show the same appreciation for Mariah Carey as Ms. Ames and Ms. Bertke, and says his least favorite Christmas song is “anything on the Mariah Carey Christmas album” along with “Grandma Got Ran Over By a Reindeer,” which he hardly qualifies as a Christmas song.

Mr. Erwin:

Favorite: “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” is a “sentimental” song for Mr. Erwin because his grandfather was in the service straight out of high school. When he was away one year for Christmas the song would cause his family to “tear up.”

Least Favorite: Mr. Erwin finds “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” “rude” in the caroler’s “demands for figgy pudding,” saying that “it’s not very inclusive,” only sharing the figgy pudding with “kin,” a word that’s unknown definition caused Mr. Erwin “frustration and resentment” growing up. All topped off with the fact that he “can’t imagine figgy pudding tastes that good.”

Ms. Bills:

Ms. Bills’ indecisiveness disqualifies her 5 songs from being listed. “Because, as a singer and an instrumentalist, I have always had a love/hate relationship with holiday music.”

Mr. Breese:

Favorite: Mr. Breese loves how “holiday has very pretty songs” that you don’t get to hear throughout the rest of the year, his favorite being “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.”

Least Favorite: He finds the category of songs where dogs bark to the tune of “Jingle Bells” and other holiday favorites “very annoying.”



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