Friday, November 25, 2011

Jingle bell time is a swell time

I clearly remember the first time I ever heard the song "Jingle Bell Rock." I was in the fifth grade and visiting my friend Patty, who strapped on her tap shoes to tap her way to happiness to the tune of "Jingle Bell Rock." I thought it was snappy and peppy and much less stodgy than the holiday music the old folks made us sing. Who would croon "Away in a Manger" when we could tap to "Jingle Bell Rock"?

Since then I've heard the song approximately eighteen million times, give or take a few million, and it's beginning to wear. I still find the song snappy and peppy and a whole lot of fun, but my enjoyment is tinged by the bitter knowledge that a few short weeks from now I'll be tempted to pull the plug on any speaker that emits a single jingling note.

Ditto "The Little Drummer Boy." Double-ditto "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer." Super-double-ditto "Frosty the Snowman," which makes me want to take a blowtorch to the next snowman I see.

A few holiday songs never lose their appeal; I can listen to Jose Feliciano sing "Feliz Navidad" any day of the year, and just about anyone singing or playing "Sleigh Ride" makes me happy. I never get tired of the Vince Guaraldi music from the Charlie Brown Christmas special, although I rarely watch the show. Christmas carollers singing a capella are wonderful even when they're not, if you know what I mean, and I'll even happily sing along loudly despite the fact that I can't carry a tune.

You should have heard me a little while ago trying to whistle along with the fluty parts of a Mannheim Steamroller song. Then again, maybe it's better than you didn't--or you might want to pull the plug on me!

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