Timeless lessons of Christmas songs

December 24, 2012|By John E. McIntyre | The Baltimore Sun

Waiting at Patient First this morning for my bronchitis to be diagnosed, I was trapped in an examining room listening to Christmas music.

There was also a small child in a nearby room screaming in pain and panic, and that helped me to understand what Mary and Joseph must have thought about that kid with his damn drum.* Withal, I arrived at a fresh understanding of the importance of this music.

That "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" prefigures the surveillance state has long been understood, but I had not had much occasion to reflect on the lyrics to "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer." The conclusions one must draw from it are quite clear:

Verse 1: If you differ in the slightest from the norm, you can expect to be ridiculed and shunned.

Verse 2: But if the boss promotes you, all the little sycophants will sing your praises.

Contemporary Christmas music does much to prepare children for the adult world.

And a merry Christmas to you, one and all.

*I have speculated in the past that "The Little Drummer Boy" is piped into Hell, and hearing it again has done nothing to shake that insight.

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