Saturday 10 December 2016

Adventopocalyptic Carols

That eternal dilemma, ain't it? Trying to balance the "here" and "not yet" of Christmas - where people are wanting to sing carols but it's still September.
Do they know it's Christmas?

Here at the Beaker Folk we have done it this year by having an alternative Christmas songs evening. Basically we pushed all the Beaker Folk into the Moot House, and played them the worse Christmas pop songs of all time.

A hard challenge, of course. Let's start by eliminating the five good ones. We have the two, proper bitter-sweet Christmas songs - "Fairytale" and "I believe in Father Christmas".  And then the two feel good funny ones from the 70s, from Slade and Wizzard.  And then "Stop the Cavalry". But all the rest is pretty fair game for something awful.

Still, we got there. We started with the least offensive, and worked up to the most ghastly. By the end people were coming out shivering, pale and wasted - convinced there are worse things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in our Beaker philosophies.  So at least it worked.

10.  Little Drummer Boy: Yeah, it's nearly worth it for the idea that Bing just thought Bowie was some random weirdo who'd wandered in to sing along.  But it's still awful.

9. Hallelujah: In which Alexandra Burke managed to combine something that was vaguely spiritual sounding, yet vaguely secular, yet vaguely intended to bring the money rolling in.

8. The Lord's Prayer to the Tune of Auld Lang Syne: Not a phrase anyone should ever hear.

7. Mistletoe and Wine: "Children singing in Christian rhyme?" Did Our Lord bring us new forms of pentameter? Was it all blank verse before the Shepherds arrived?  What? What?

6. Mr Blobby: Noel Edmonds believes in the power of positive thinking. But then, who knows what he was thinking this time?

5. Do They Know It's Christmas? In which, every ten years or so, people who make more money that we can imagine make us feel guilty because they spared the time to sing one line.

4. Earth Song: The one in which Michael Jackson revealed his Messiah complex.  No, Christmas wasn't about you, Michael.

3. Father Christmas, do not Touch Me: By those long-haired funsters, the Goodies. Time has not dealt well with Christmas songs about indecent approaches by old men to young women.

2. Pipes of Peace: A song that mostly seems to exist to prove that Paul McCartney could produce something worse than Shakey's "Merry Christmas Everyone". Pipes of Peace? Pipes of Pants, more like.

1. Happy Xmas (War is Over): Frankly I'm surprised even the ghastly fraud Lennon and his coat-tail-hanging wife dared release this pile of drivel. It's sickly, it's rubbish, it's got a sing-song chorus and it's not true. If he hadn't made "Imagine" I'd think this was just a terrible one-off.


  1. AMEN!!!
    (there are also some pretty dreadful arrangements in New Christmas Praise - ask any bandsman or visit the threads on 4barsrest)

  2. All together now - bah humbug!

  3. I had hoped that copyright protection would come to our assistance and prevent us printing the words of "Little Donkey". Alas no. A persevering priest and a gracious copyright holder ensured that this was sung last year.

  4. Personally I can't stand Bing Crosby's White Christmas, mainly because one is supposed to go all gooey over it. But then there are a lot of things I can't stand about commercial Christmas, eg obscene Christmas cards (yes, they do exist), cards showing two male robins cuddling up together (in reality they'd be tearing each others' breasts out), cards showing idealized 18th-century gentlemen and women enjoying a Dickensian Christmas complete with Xmas tree (Christmas was not celebrated in that way in the 18th century and X-trees did not arrive until Prince Albert), people who press wine or spirits upon you at unsuitable times of day, like 10am, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Christmas cards featuring penguins (what the hell have penguins got to do with Christmas, there are none in the Arctic anyway), the application of Christmas slogans and labels to any and every item of hardware/white goods the retailer needs to shift, well satirized by the late great Carl Giles who drew a signboard featuring "Festive Aspirins".

    I think I'll go back to bed till Epiphany.


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