I don’t know what came over me. One minute I was shopping happily among the Christmas drones. The next, I was being hauled out in four-point restraints and a spit shield. It’s as though some demonic interloper crawled into my ear and inspired my brain to madness.

It sounded a little something like this:

“The party’s on. The feeling’s here. That only comes. This time of year. Simply. Having. A wonderful Christmas time.”

I just started spitting again.

Paul McCartney, who launched the Beatles and set rock ‘n’ roll on a new course, has created a song so foul, the barking dog version of “Jingle Bells” sounds like Mozart by comparison. Behold the genius of Sir Paul’s work, but try not to imagine the ice-pick melody of this seasonal work.

“The choir of children sing their song. Ding dong, ding ohhh. Simply. Having. A wonderful Christmas time …”

Go ahead. Spit. You’ll feel better.

So, in spite of the restraining order, I went back to Walmart. And all was fine until I wandered beneath a speaker and heard this:

“Here’s to you, raise a glass at Christmas time. Here’s to them, underneath that burning sun. Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?”

Yes, they know it’s Christmastime, because even in Ethiopia, this song plays a million times a day. It was performed by Band Aid and word in the desert is, the hungry folks would like you to send food but please. Stop singing.

Back in 1980-whatever it was, that Bob and Doug McKenzie song really cracked us up. It was a special time when we all came to believe that Canadians weren’t overly polite igloo dwellers. They were actually hilarious.

“On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: two turtlenecks and beer.”

But now, after 20 years of listening to this ear-molesting tune, it’s not just that we have no idea what a “took” is, we don’t care. Please, Bob and Doug, go back to the tundra with your French toast and back bacon. But leave the beer. I’ll take the beer.

“Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” was a hilarious glimpse at the unsavory side of family dynamics the first dozen times we heard it. But now we understand that grandma wasn’t the victim of a simple accident, she flung herself in front of that stampeding herd. With that kind of family singing that kind of song, who wouldn’t? We wish her peace. Dr. Elmo, not so much.

I love Springsteen; you love Springsteen. The Boss isn’t just a powerful performer, he’s a force that failed to go commercial when all of rock ‘n’ roll seemed to be doing so. But come on. If we have to listen to him banter playfully with Clarence Clemons one more time (“You guys all been good and practicing real hard? Clarence, you been rehearsing real hard now so Santa will bring you a new saxophone, right?”) we might all go down to the river and jump in. This song is nothing more than an excuse for WBLM to show that it has Christmas spirit, too. And they show that spirit 40 times a day starting in November.

Has anybody out there heard John Denver’s “Please Daddy (Don’t get Drunk for Christmas)?” You have? My condolences. How long were you in therapy after that?

“Just last year when I was only seven. Now I’m almost eight as you can see. You came home a quarter past eleven. Fell down underneath our Christmas tree.”

For further cheer-busting horror, see also: “Christmas Time” by The Smashing Pumpkins, “Jingle Bell Rock” by Billy Idol and anything sung by Celine Dion.

And how about those dogs barking “Jingle Bells?” Couldn’t you just listen to that over and over? Good news: Someday, that musical equivalent of mange will be followed up with “Jingle Bells” sung by other auditory monstrosities, such as screaming babies, nagging wives and Sarah Palin.

I think Burl Ives just crawled out of his grave to spit.

Mark LaFlamme is a Sun Journal staff writer. You can annoy him with tedious song lyrics at [email protected]


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