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Holding It All Together-The Twelve Songs Of Christmas

By Amy McCollom
It sure does seem like there are only 12 Christmas songs when you turn on the radio and hear the same ones over and over again. No wonder some people hate Christmas music. How many ways can you sing Silent Night and still make it sound interesting? Zzzzzz! This is only the first week of Christmas, and I have already had my fill of that song.

Now, don’t get me wrong; I Love Christmas music. But if I hear Amy Grant singing “Breath Of Heaven” one more time while driving, I’m going to punch the dashboard. Have you ever worked in retail and had to endure those Christmas tapes over the music-com in a store for 8-12 hours a day for 2-3 months, you would get as tired of them as faking a smile and saying Merry Christmas to the customers who just trashed your fitting rooms and knocked over the stacks of t-shirts you spent hours folding. Too much of anything, is just too much, and the Christmas season can drain you of your jolly faster than pine needles falling off a fir tree. 

Christmas music is supposed to put us in the Christmas spirit, and it can and does, IF it is done correctly. 

1.  Christmas music should not start until December 1. Most stores start playing Christmas music as early as the day after Halloween! That is way too early for anyone to be ready for that.

2.  Radio stations need to set up a more diverse set of songs to play. Instead of 20 versions of Silent Night, how about cut that down to two per day, and mix it up with different styles. Most Christmas songs sound alike, no matter who is singing them, so find those that sound different. Reggae, Hip-Hop, Country, Pop, Disco…make it interesting.

3. Just because a song mentions Christmas, doesn’t make it a Christmas song. It’s still a love song. Don’t be playing that on a Christian radio station and passing it off as a Christmas song just because Christmas is mentioned. It is what it is. We know.

4. We need faster Christmas songs. Too many songs are so slow, I just about fall asleep listening to them. That’s not good when I’m driving. Wake me up! I need to hear people decking some halls, ringing some bells, and fa la la-ing. Jazz up Silent Night with a 4-3 beat, a rockin’ bass, and some horns in the back.

5. There needs to be more New Years Eve songs. All other holidays have songs, but the only song for the end of the year is Auld Lang Syne, and it’s kind of a sad and lonely song. We need a hopeful, happy, Hip-Hip-Hooray song! 

I found some interesting very old forgotten Christmas carols that I had never heard before, and now I share them with you:

“Adam Lay Ybounden” (or “Adam Lay in Bonds”)

This song, which sounds very Medieval with an Irish/Scottish vibe, was written by an unknown author in the 15th century. Although it’s lyrics focus on the downfall of man, the redemption of man is made evident in the birth of Jesus in the third verse, thus deeming it a Christmas song. It’s a rather pretty tune.

“The Wexford Carol”

This traditional Irish Christmas carol, although recorded by many choirs and popular song artists, has not been a popular radio hit. I personally enjoyed it greatly, and want to make it a yearly tradition in our family to listen to it on Christmas morning. It moved me.

To go to the internet page where I found these forgotten Christmas songs, follow this link:

Some people have to be in the right mood to listen to Christmas music. But almost everyone I know, unless they are mad or sad or just a grump, likes fast and happy music. That’s what I like about certain Christmas songs. No matter what I was thinking or feeling before the song came on, when I hear a perky song like “Holly Jolly Christmas” or “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,” I just start bobbing my head, moving my feet, snapping my fingers, and feeling happy! I can’t help myself! Happy music just makes you feel good! I wish I could bottle that feeling up and pass it out free to people.

Christmas music will indeed put you in the Christmas spirit if you find some that you enjoy and it’s not shoved down your throat like green lima beans. Trust me, there is Christmas music out there that you will find appealing, you just have to look for it. Find your style, your favorite singer, or try something totally new (or old and forgotten) and let the music move you into the holiday spirit. 

P.S. – you’ll like singing Christmas carols even more if you take a few minutes to learn the correct words to the songs. It’s not hard. If you can’t sing though, there is always the kazoo! Stay safe out there.

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