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Rex, the Mediocre Musician yearns for a silent holiday season.


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The (sour) sounds of the season

(Note: Rex, the mediocre musician - and composer of Fredericksburg Phone Book Polka - submitted this week's column)
Dec 10, 2008


OK we get it. It came upon a midnight clear, and the reindeer were up on the housetop, and Santa was on his way to town, and then the drummer boy showed up and they all rocked around the Christmas tree.

After decades of hearing the same insipid music, I have grown to dread the sounds of the holiday season. They have become the chains of Christmas past, clinging to us through every store, over every radio station, and on every street corner. The sleigh bells (hear them ringing?); the carolers (I fear them singing).

Those chestnuts are still roasting (What are chestnuts? Has anyone ever really roasted them? How come you can't find them in a can of mixed nuts? How come there are no chocolate covered chestnuts? If you can't cover a thing in chocolate, it is not food.)

The other reindeer are still laughing at Rudolph and calling him names. Even global warming can't make Frosty melt.

You know it's bad when the parodies replace the original lyrics in your brain.

We three kings of orient are, riding on exploding cigars

Even though it glows (Like a light bulb!)

The plans that we made... walking 'round in women's underwear

Why does Christmas need so many songs, anyway? Other holidays don't have original scores. There are no Valentine's Day hymns. I never heard The Night Before St. Patrick's Day. Why are there no Halloween carolers - trick or treaters are out there knocking on doors anyway. They don't sing and they even get candy.

But here comes Christmas, and it's time to crank up the cloying songs.

I thought the most annoying tune had to be Jingle Bells. First, there are no bells jingling in today's world. Jingles have pretty much been replaced by horns and sirens.

No one rides in sleighs, let alone open sleighs, let alone "one horse" open sleighs. And as a child of the north, I never saw anything "dashing" through the snow. The preferred verb is "slogging" or "plowing."

But my daughter came up with the most egregious offender - the Twelve Days of Christmas. She said, "Dad, that song never ends!" (she echoed the words my older brother told me as a child: Rex, no matter how many times you sing it, she'll never be coming 'round that mountain.) I can't remember when I've made it to the lords a'leapin or maids a'milking. I usually lunge for the radio dial at two turtle doves.

Please, please somebody write a new Christmas song (and, no, having dogs bark it or Captain Kirk recite it does not make it new). Here are some suggestions to get you started:

No more Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen
Let's try an internal combustion engine

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
It was dark and empty because we'd all gone to Taos

The weather outside is frightful
The fire is so delightful
They've been singing since 4 o clock
Make them stop, make them stop, make it stop!

Sigh. All I want this Christmas is a Silent Night.