I’m not a huge fan of Christmas music. I don’t want to hear it until the day after Thanksgiving, and it must be gone by the time the tree is taken down, 12 days after Christmas. In between those two periods I have a few things I like well enough, such as:
… as well as some Bach, Dean Martin, Alan Jackson, Harry Connick, and other bits and bobs. Most Christmas songs, however, go through me like alien blood through the deck of the Nostromo.
And then Katrina–proprietor of The Crescat–went ahead and posted about something called “The Christmas Shoes.” My wife insists she introduced me to this … thing … at some time in the past, but my brain (God bless it’s faulty wiring) erased all memory of it. This is good and bad.
The good is that I was able, for a time, to live a life that did not include “The Christmas Shoes.”
The bad is that I get to experience the horror of first discovery all over again, like some terrible version of Groundhog Day, but with music composed by people who despise all things good and pure.
Honestly, I don’t want to get all hyperbolic here, but “The Christmas Shoes” is something squeezed from the very hindquarters of Satan himself. This is the sound hell’s chorus makes after feasting on a diet of nothing but marshmallows and syrup and hate. This is the soundtrack for a thousand Hallmark Channel Original Movies, compressed by some unholy alchemy–perhaps involving non-Euclidean geometry and dark chants howled to Yog Sothoth during a gibbous moon in the eldritch shadows of Innsmouth or Arkham–into the span of five minutes. I cannot be certain, but I suspect cosmic evil was somehow involved in its aborning, because nothing this impure can be created without the taint of ancient horrors from beyond space, beyond time. And, being me, I cannot let this thing pass from my mind without
inflicting sharing it with you.
Here it is, for those who may not know, or may have blotted it from their brainpans, or haven’t yet experienced it this year. There’s an official video starring Rob Lowe, but I think this amateurish film-school-project version really amps up the mawkishness to 11.
Is this the worst song ever?
Yes it is.
I hear you starting: “But what about-”
“And you’re forgetting-”
No, I’m not.
I’d listen “Macarthur Park” or “Wonderful Christmas Time” and Culture Club every day for the rest of my life if it meant never hearing it again. It is all that is manipulative and tacky not just about hyper-sentimental Christmas fare, but about Evangelical pop culture in general. To say the boys in the band “New Song” have tin ears isn’t enough. They have tin hearts. This is Evangelical “Jesus is my boyfriend” pop culture, which can imagine–even through the eyes of a child–a dying woman who needs to get dolled up in red pumps to look spiffy for Jesus. Even in death, blind consumption is substituted for faith. Good Lord, kid: leave the damn shoes, and get the lady a priest for a final confession and anointing of the sick.
Because I’m not a cruel blogger, I will leave you with a palate cleanser. If the music of New Song is the sound of Lucifer cackling, then this is the sound the angels made on the first Christmas:
And here’s Elvis, because it’s Elvis, and that’s enough: