A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our readers.
As usual, what Americans call ‘The Holidays’ is an odd mix, especially in the special music now played. What are effectively Gospel carols [especially if they sing all the verses] invade the public square in a way that would be unthinkable and promote outrage any other time of the year. There are plenty of songs, too, about that well known cargo cult deity, and then others simply celebrating the joy of an excuse to dine and party with family and friends, which is the part most people really like anyhow.
Some of the songs celebrate weather phenomena that are a bit unusual in half of the United States, mainly snow. I confess that I have, as far as I know, never actually seen live a one-horse open sleigh! But there is also a genre of songs that mix snow with Romance. You know the ones: “Winter Wonderland,” “Let It Snow,” and “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” It occurs to me that the chances of having a white Valentine’s Day anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere are probably higher than the odds of a White Christmas, though I am willing to be corrected on this; yet snow seems to play a very limited role in Valentine’s Day iconography. We need carols and special music, I think, for occasions other than Christmas; why not these songs as Valentine’s Day carols?