December 7, 2020
I noticed last week that my car radio had switch from Prime Country (1980’s and 1990’s music) to Country Christmas. Since Melissa has been listening to Christmas music at home and she had taken the Jeep, I assumed she had switched channels. I asked her about it on our Sunday drive and she said she had not changed the channel. Instead, the channel itself had changed. She had noticed this happened with her smooth Jazz channel as well. It was now playing jazz versions of Christmas songs. I guess we get Christmas regardless.
Most of the playlist was country renditions of songs from the Classical or Big Band eras of music. I checked online and found that this was indeed true. Most long-time Christmas classics are from prior to the Rock era, and still dominate the holiday charts. I have also noticed a lot of the classics were recorded around World War II. This was a major period of transition. Many of the favorite Christmas movies are from this same era, while most of the classic animated movies come from the 1960’s (the Boomer children of Builder parents). While a few other songs have made the list (e.g., “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey and Walter Afanasieff, “Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney, and “Last Christmas” by George Michael), it is still the oldies that command the airwaves.
When I took a Music History course thirty years ago, I learned the importance of music in our daily lives. I have a hearing difficulty and music never was a big deal for me. Even today I rarely listen to music unless I am driving in a car. Even then it is more for the distraction than the pleasure. There are few songs I know the words to because I have never been able to hear them, instead I am attracted by the tunes. Even so, I still attribute certain songs to times in my life. That is why I listen to Country Prime, and why I still like the Carols at Christmas. I guess there are many people like me.
Thoughts: It seems a rite of passage in any genre of music is that when you make it big, you record a Christmas album. Melissa is a musician and avid listener and she told me you can find Christmas songs in every (nearly every?) genre. I joked about listening to “Rocking Around the Mosh Pit.” When I checked, Melissa was right. Popular Punk songs held tiles like, “I Won’t Be Home For Christmas” and “There Ain’t No Sanity Clause.” I also found several groups who had recorded “White Christmas,” with the original lyrics. If music can cross boundaries, why do the rest of us stay apart? Do the work. Change is coming and it starts with you.