Why are there no more new Christmas music classics?
As I wandered through one store after another, entranced by the ubiquity of “Silver Bells”, I realized that virtually every song I hear is either a variation on a traditional Christmas tune (because it doesn’t matter how crappy your band is, you can do a version of “Jingle Bells” or, if you’re an a capella group, “Silent Night”), a cover of a well known semi-modern Christmas song (because you’re not a real adult contemporary artist until you’ve done your take on “White Christmas”), or non-sensical tripe being passed off as “Holiday Hits” by the brain-dead fraternity of pop music producers (because if I could name one, I’d shoot myself).
I’m sure someone can think of a song to buck my trend. Perhaps Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” which is as much a Christmas Classic as the movie that entrenched it in the Christmas psyche, “Love Actually.” Take that however way you want.
What about U2’s “Baby Please Come Home”? For those who thought “Yeah!” I’m sorry, but that’s also a cover. Orginally done by Darlene Love in 1963. That said, it’s a really good Christmas cover, which I think are great.
I suppose this is all just symtpomatic of what I’m getting at: modern Christmas songs suck.
I don’t know what happened. Maybe it’s just the culture we live in now, where the artist is more important than the songwriter, where pumping out a “Very Special Christmas Album” is more important than, well, art. For some reason we’ve stopped writing (or caring about writing) fun, endearing songs that embody the holiday season and that can add to the legendary playlist that inspires mix CD after mix CD, year after year.
I’m not saying I know what the answer is, I just know I want to hear a new song worth being covered next Christmas.