Two songs however are forever on my "naughty list" though. They drive me nuts year after year.
And the winners are...
"So This Is Christmas"
I'm sure I'm going to be stoned for the first one but John Lennon makes me want to visit his grave and pelt it with snowballs. Just because you use kids voices and throw some sleigh bells in the background does not a Christmas song make. I get nagged enough in real life...I don't a drug addled dead hippie trying to emotionally manipulate me into hating myself while he croons that life sucks around the world and I haven't done squat because the children sound so mournful and tell me God is watching and there's war and that life just SO SUCKS SO HARD. If I wanted *that* I'd go down and talk to the Code Pink ladies...which brings us to #2.
The second is equally manipulative and again involves children singing mournfully...this one involves a waif who goes to a store ON CHRISTMAS EVE TO BUY HIS DYING MOTHER SHOES SO SHE'LL LOOK GOOD FOR JESUS! Okay, first of all...where's this kids DAD? I mean...with momma dying tonight and all...surely Dad has noticed his boy has left...and also...what sort of home does this kid live in that he thinks the best use of his last moments with his mother on earth is at some department store buying *shoes?* What sort of weird kid even knows his mom's shoe size? A kid that gets beat up on the playground a lot, that's WHO!
Plus he's obviously getting some different stores about Jesus in Sunday School than *I* did if he's thinking that nice shoes on dead momma are necessary to impress Jesus anyway.
The whole story smacks of some attempt to guilt a stranger out of money...not unlike last Saturday when some guy fed Lisa a line at the gas station that he needed some BART money to get back home to Oakland.
It just feels like such lazy storytelling. Let's see...poor kid, check. Christmas eve, check. Dying momma, check... let's see...whats a pathetic item to buy? SHOES! Completely useless for a dying person so it's even more heart wrenching...let's see...how about a guy with a heart of stone whose heart melts as the kid begs him to buy the shoes...throw in a dash of Jesus and you've got a guaranteed tear jerker, right?
Sing it with a bit of country twang and you'll get `em every time!
Boy I sound like such a cynic don't I.
Now...I'm not saying emotional manipulation is bad per se. One can get properly carried away year after year as Luke II is read aloud, sniff a little bit during a well sung rendition of "Oh Holy Night" or pause meaningfully and look up at the sky while looking at a beautifully staged nativity scene. I don't mind being emotionally manipulated as long as it's DONE WELL. "So This is Christmas" and "Christmas Shoes" are about as subtle as a pumpkin pie to the face...and like pumpkin pie...it's overly sweet and mealy I don't really care for it.