Tuesday, December 4, 2012

[unrelenting War on Advent] playlist

At the gym this morning, a trainer and her client were like, "Yay, Christmas music!" and my first response was "Unrelenting War on Advent!" and then I realized the song playing on the radio was "Let It Snow," which isn't actually a Christmas song. (In contrast, at Trader Joe's on Sunday I heard "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" and cringed for multiple reasons.)

The trainer said that one year it was like the last day before Break and barely anyone was in and she had Christmas music on and someone asked her to turn it off and she did but she thought, "Grinch." I did not say, "Unrelenting War on Advent!"

She talked about some class she does where she plays holiday music and she really does try to be inclusive -- e.g., including the Chanukah song. (On reflection, I assume she means the Adam Sandler song -- which is trufax an amusing song, though, hi, I bet Jews have lots of songs they sing at Chanukah, because they're Jews and thus have lots of songs for every occasion.)

Somewhere in here the client commented that there aren't really a lot of "Advent-y" songs, and in my head I was like: THANK YOU for acknowledging that the season of Advent even exists! -- Advent songs aren't peppy upbeat radio songs (like "Let It Snow") because they're about expectant waiting, and also they're explicitly religious so they're not radio songs and ugh, we mostly don't play explicitly religious songs on the radio period for obvious reasons (though, okay, I have a Josh Groban album (no, I don't remember why -- possibly a gift from Singspiration) which has actualfax Jesus songs on it, so probably so does every other album, of which there are many since apparently everyone needs to make a Christmas/holiday album [Edit: And on that subject, on Thursday night, someone I know from high school posted to fb: "How was I completely unaware that Sufjan Stevens released another amazing 58 song, 5 album Christmas extravaganza? So ridiculously excited right now! http://www.npr.org/2012/11/19/165470944/first-listen-sufjan-stevens-silver-gold " /edit ] -- because people need 87 different renditions of the same few dozen songs for their parties? idek.), so when we talk about "Christmas music" we probably mostly mean either generic winter stuff (which varies in quality, and obviously elides the entire Southern Hemisphere) or songs about "Santa" -- which I want to burn in a fire because, ugh, lying to your children.

I am not trying to take away anyone's holiday joy* but seriously, if you want joyful music in the darkness, go for it. If you want it to explicitly reference the cold/snow/dark of the season, go for it. Please don't subject me to crappy music, and please respect my desire to observe my personal spiritual/religious practice of expectant waiting during the ~4 weeks of Advent and then celebration during the 12 Days of Christmas (see also: Lent and Eastertide); see also: my desire to not have "Christmas" cantatas or carol sings during Advent.

[Later today, someone on facebook linked to: The Daily Show with John Stewart: "The War on Christmas: Friendly Fire Edition" (it gets good about 4 minutes in -- "Christmas is so big now it's eating other holidays").]

* posts I have read recently include:

When I was thinking about secular radio not playing Advent songs I remembered that on Sunday, @OccupyAdvent shared their #adventplaylist:

and then today they Tweeted the YouTube playlist link.

I am debating including Ani DiFranco, "The Waiting Song" (or "Second Intermission" -- yes, I ran a lyrics search for "wait").

Edit: @OccupyAdvent added:

And friends of mine suggested:
  • Joni Mitchell, "River" (Coming on Christmas, waiting)
  • Avril Lavigne, "I'm with You" (I tend think of Avril Lavigne's "I'm with You" as describing my relationship with God in general, but it strikes me as pretty darn Advent-y)
Plus, obvs., given my joy sadhana this season: Bob Franke, "Say Yes"

And after Wednesday's concert, possibly: Jenna Lindbo, "Angels on the Subway"

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