Wednesday, November 15, 2006

It's Beginning To Sound a Lot Like Christmas...

There's a radio station in town that for the past 3 or 4 years has played exclusively Christmas music on the weekends in November, then the day after Thanksgiving has played Christmas music 24 hours a day, 7 days a week right up until December 26th.

Bah, humbug.

Don't get me wrong--I'm as much a fan of cheezy, schmaltzy Christmas music as the next guy. But good grief! Christmas has become a hungry monster, gobbling up every ounce of love and meaning in its path...and it must be stopped.

I have a pastor friend who was a broadcast journalism major in college. He has a Sunday morning radio show called Emmanuel in the A.M. that plays on the "Christmas station." He plays a wide variety of music, most of it excellent, and much of it that you really won't hear anywhere else. He takes great pride in finding fantastic musicians who play Christian music who have gone unheard or undiscovered.

But, if you haven't done the math already, since his show is on a Sunday, and the station is committed to playing only Christmas music on weekends, he's been told that he also must play nothing but Christmas music on his show from November 5th (ALL SAINT'S SUNDAY...ugh) through December 24th (when it will FINALLY be appropriate, but so doggone tired out that nobody will care).

The first year the station did this, he said "no" and the station put another show in its place for 2 months. But last year, the pastor decided he didn't want to do that. He has a lot of regular listeners, and there's a lot to be said about a local person with local ties doing this ministry. He realized he was missing out on 2 months of mission opportunity through his show. So he gave in.

Sort of.

He agreed to play Christmas music, but never specified what he would play. So, the first Sunday in November last year, he played Silent Night. For 2 hours. He went through his archives and found every single different version of Silent Night in existence. Another week he played a Christmas choral concert from a local Lutheran college.

And so it went.

I've been listening to the show on my way to church, and so far this November, as much as I can tell from my 15 minute commute, he hasn't had a "theme day" yet. But for 2 consecutive Sundays I HAVE heard a song that sounds like it's by the Rolling Stones lamenting the commercialism of Christmas. When I track down the title and artist I'll post the's cynical, but with the tiniest note of hope.

Anybody have any ideas for either individual songs or "themes" that my friend can play on his show to "stick it to the man" and protest forcing Christmas on us while still playing Christmas music? If you have any good ideas, I'll definitely pass them along.

I think I'm going to suggest that he play The Messiah by Handel in its entirety. That's about 2 hours...



Brian said...

I'm in agreement with you about playing the Christmas music. It's absurd to start playing it before Thanksgiving. If I was ruler of the universe, Christmas music would be played sparingly from Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve. Once it was the 24th, it could be played 24/7 until the Christmas season was over.

Can't think of any theme music, but I'll think on it.

By the way - glad you started writing again. It's gotten me motivated to start again as well.

Rev Scott said...

Is that Pastor Ron's show, or am I thinking of someone else?

How about "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" over and over? Talk about descending to the ninth level of hell. Do you remember when one of the local stations changed formats a few years ago and the outgoing djs played "It's the End of the World as We Know It" for three hours straight?

In a serious vein, what about Beethoven's Ninth Symphony? That's a holiday favorite up here in the north country.

The Anonymous (Pipe)Dreamer said...


Thanks for the encouragement. I've bookmarked your blog and have begun checking it out--good stuff! It was fun to go back and re-read about the "Mole Wars" too...

The Anonymous (Pipe)Dreamer said...

Rev Scott,

Yup, it's Pastor Ron that you're thinking of.

And good lord...the thought of 2 hours of "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer." May God have mercy on your sick, twisted soul!

I do remember listening to "It's the End of the World as We Know It" ad nauseum during the format change...can't remember which station it was, though. My, how time flies.

As the saying goes, "time's fun when you're catching flies."

Or was it "fun flies when you're doing time?"