Dr Johnson Defines & Scrivens 'Pon Christmas Music Divers
, December 20th, 2010 07:53
Twitter's @drsamueljohnson writes for The Quietus on the Vexatious & Timely topick of Christmas music
The Festival of Christmas does combine Traditions Pagan, Saxon, Anglican & American. Once Families ‘cross the Land would gather at the pagan Solstice to mark the Closing-in of Winter. In our Day Christmas is mark’d by my Lord LAWSON’s buxom Daughter showing festive Fayre upon the electrick Lantern, thus inducing TUMESCENCE in middle-ag’d Men ‘cross the same Land.
Most persistent of festive Traditions is that of the Christmas Song, a Wassail to mark the Season and jade the Palate in equal Measure. The relentless Ghastliness of Christmas Musick may only be due to the cold Hand of Winter, which does freeze all ‘neath its Palm, including the musickal Discernment of the Masses. Englishmen who are too vainglorious & self-serving to fast at Lent do happily forego their melodick Judgment.
The historick Bard of the Season is Black Country Jester Mister Nodrick HOLDER, a Simpleton condemn’d to sport twin Cheek-Beards to warm the scant Contents of his HEAD. Advent does begin not with the first of December but with a Filigree-clad HOLDER’S screech’d Exhortation that it is CHREEEEESTMAAAAS.
Beyond our Shores, Carollers in the American Colonies do forewarn Infants to be neither Boisterous nor Tearful nor Petulant; then telling that these are not fitting Virtues for the Arrival in Town of Saint NICHOLAS & imploring them to be good for the Sake of Goodness.
Mewling Orphan-Troupe the Choristers of the School of St Winifred do pass the Season by positing that there is no one quite like Grandma. Yet said Infants undo their Reasoning by singing of an archetypal antient Matron who is quite like all Others IN EVERY REGARD.
Pious Eunuch Sir Clifford RICHARD usurps the Mantle of Mister Chas. WESLEY as the eminent Hymnalist of the AGE. Fearful of the heathen Wrath of Prof. DAWKINS, his Lyricks are naught but a Motley of bland Tradition & bowdleris’d Theology as he bedecks Fires with Logs, Trees with Gifts & does dismiss fully Centuries of Carolling as mere Christian RHYMES.
Rival one-brow’d Theologian Mister Chris de BURGH sermonises that our LORD came travelling from far Space one Advent-tide, preaching a monotone Gospel of La La La La La La La La La La, &c.
Mister Shaking STEVENS, a Celt afflicted with St. Vitus’ Dance, does wish all a Merry Christmas, lacing a banal Inventory of the Season with Sleigh-Bells.
The mass’d Troubadours of all England do combine as the Band of Aid to plead Do They Know ‘Tis Christmas? ‘pon behalf of the Goodfolk of Abyssinia. I judge their Beseeching to be most inefficacious, for this Song has been the most popular in the Charts of three Christmases, yet with no concomitant Rise in Knowledge of Christmas amongst the benighted ETHIOPS.
Today Dark Lord Mister Simon COWELL does hold a Monopoly on Christmas Musick, sending forth a whey-fac’d Shill to deliver a Homily of Progress in Shanty Form each December. Young BURKE, LEWIS, WARD & MCELDERRY are so unremitting with Verse that Generations yet unborn shall believe the Canticles of the Season to be the Property of COWELL’S Cavalcade of Child-Carousers. Cabals of the Face-book may conspire to thwart COWELL by hastening Freethinkers to purchase the Works of Rage ‘Gainst The Machine, tho’ with mix’d Success. In the Respect of MELODY, Evil does triumph o’er Good each Christmastide.