I admit it, I like Christmas music. I secretly start listening to it about mid-October. When I'm alone, I'll even put on Anne Murray.
But for the Christmas music connoisseur, there are certain unavoidable annoyances. Some are truly irritating: "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth," or "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" (shudder). Some are merely over-played: "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas," or "The Christmas Song" (informally known as "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.")
And, of course, there is the fate-cursed category of the irritating and overplayed. The list is, sadly, long.
Rudolph, I'm lookin' at you, Buddy.
This year, the member of that unhappy family that is the sharpest stone in my shoe? Ah, "The Little Drummer Boy."
On its own merits, this song has two problems: it's musically repetitive (OK, not as bad as
"100 Bottles of Wassail on the Wall" "The Twelve Days of Christmas," but bad enough) and it's ideologically ridiculous. Who plays a drum for an infant?
It has the further misfortune of being well nigh unto irresistible for most musicians--rockers, crooners, yodelers: they all fall under its spell.
In my mind, I can clearly see each artist, closing his or her eyes in deep contemplation of the song's message. "Yeah," they all say, "my music is my gift to the world, man!"
(Which I suppose is fair enough. But it would be nice if that sentiment could come with a little less rumpumpumpum.)