Monday, December 3, 2007

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Artwork "courtesy" of Mick Reasor

Okay, I have another carol complaint. (Mostly I just like the comments my rants generate.)

I love to hear "It's the most wonderful time of the year with the kids jingle belling and everyone telling you 'Be of good cheer!' It's the most wonderful time of the year! It's the hap -happiest season of all with those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings when friends come to call. It's the hap - happiest season of all." Its catchy, its fun to sing, and who doesn't like saying "hap-happiest"?

But then it gets to the part that drives me crazy (which happens to be in the chorus, so when I think its safe to listen again is just annoys me again.) I don't think I have ever roasted marshmallows at Christmas, but I bet someone has, so that isn't the part that makes me cringe. The part that drives me crazy is "scary ghost stories."

For the past three years I have looked, and searched, and read, and dug, and I have only found ONE Christmas ghost story that was written before this song was. (The first recording of the song was in 1963). And, if I do say so myself, it is not a scary one, unless you are a little kid, but then you won't be hosting parties, so the song isn't to you anyway, little kid.

I love "hearts glowing," and adore "loved ones near," but every time I hear this song I just wish that Eddie Polla and George Wyle would have tried harder to find a line that was actually related to Christmas.


There'll be sleigh riding stories
and tales of the glories
of Christmases long, long ago

There'll be gift inventories
and tales of the glories
of Christmases long, long ago

There'll be financial worries
and tales of the glories
of Christmases long, long ago

Bonus: What other famous song did George write?


Jessica said...

That always bugged me too. Seriously, who tells ghost stories on Christmas? I assume they're talking about "A Christmas Carol", but that's not scary except for the Muppet's version with that creepy doll thing as the ghost of Christmas past. But I'm fairly certain that movie wasn't around when the song was written. Hee hee.

Tammy said...

George also wrote the Gilligan's Island theme song. Bonus points to me! :)

And your rant made me laugh (as your rants usually do... and then of course I laugh at Jess jumping on your soapbox as she's always happy to do). It's funny, I've never really thought about that line much. But I do have some vague memories of Micky Mouse disney cartoons with Christmas themes where they're telling scary ghost stories... not sure if they come before or after 1963 though....

Your versions of the song are great - the last one especially made me laugh :) Yesterday, someone called Cristmas
'Stressmas' which made me laugh a little, but then it made me a little sad... but then, it made me smile, because I can probably not remember a single Christmas that hasn't been a little stressful on some level (getting everything ready last minute etc). But I also can't remember a single Christmas I haven't enjoyed, so it can't be ALL bad :) But I don't like the way 'Stressmas' takes the name of Christ out of 'Christmas'.

Actually, if you want to start a rant that I can really get behind (you're welcome to join in of course Jess), you should rant about people who write Xmas instead of Christmas. I won't do it! It's taking away the whole meaning of Christmas, and is really ungrateful and inappropriate and- actually Brecken, I'll leave it to you. I'm getting too hyped up to write anything further.


Merry Christmas!
xo Tammy

PS. Lark, in Australia, it's currently 8:36am

Jessica said...

Here's a few more alternate lines:

"There'll be blown budget worries
and tales of the glories
of Christmases long, long ago."

(be proud of me for that one Tammy, since worries doesn't actually rhyme with glories)

"We'll sing 'hallelujah'
and perhaps dance the hula
like we used to do long, long ago."

hee hee. That one would bug you even more than the ghost stories one.

"There'll be warm apple strudels
and soft snickerdoodles
from grandmother's homemade dough."

I thought that one was actually fairly good. The last line could use some help, but I like the apple strudel/snickerdoodle rhyme.

Steve & Margaret said...

I loved the comments, so I went to wikipedia. In response to "xmas" I agreed until I read this:
"In early Greek versions of the New Testament, the letter Χ (chi), is the first letter of Christ (Χριστός). Since the mid-16th century Χ, or the similar Roman letter X, was used as an abbreviation for Christ. Thus, Xmas is an abbreviation for Christmas."
As for you, Brecken, look up "Christmas" on wikipedia and I bet you'll find out why they told ghost stories. :)

Tammy said...

Dear Steve/Margaret,

Thank you for sharing that! Now, I'm going to write Xmas, and then just in case whoever I happen to be around thinks that I'm taking the meaning out of Christmas, I'll impress them with my Greek/Roman trivia :)

That's really cool! I'm glad to know that :)

(And Jessica, even in Australia, worries, doesn't really rhyme with glories.... sorry!)


xo Tammy

Steve & Margaret said...

Yeah, I just can't leave this alone. So I was trying to find info on the whole ghost story thing, and apparently, that's just a Christmas tradition in England, to sit in front of a fire and tell ghost stories. One site even said that hosting murder parties is a Christmas tradition there. Weird. :)

JoJo &/or Bob said...

So funny. "Christmas Carol" is SO not scary! :)

JoplinJohn said...

They wrote Gilligan's Island.

JoplinJohn said...

Oops, sorry, didn't see Tammy's post above.

Bill, Kristin and Will said...

I just loved reading the comments as much as the original rant. I was just telling Kristin that that line always bugged me. Leave it to Steve to justify what seemed like a perfectly valid rant. Way to go! ;) Anyways, however you spend it, Merry Christmas!

Bill and Kristin Evans