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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmas Special

So, one of our local radio stations ("lite" format) has gone to "all christmas songs, all the time" for the month.
For obscure reasons, this station is frequently on in my car - leads to surreal moments as the ponderous NPR announcer starts discussing in graphic detail the latest bombing, crashing or shooting, and with a flick "We're all having a Wonderful Christmas Time..." sproings onto the air.
A short pause, and a little voice says "Daddy, what country were those people blowed up in? What was their name?..."

Anyway, as one might imagine, 94.5 Lite's playlist gets stretched a bit, though I can't understand why they don't do more traditional advent hymns, one more pop version of Sleighride will surely drive the whole town insane.
Oh, and when did "A few of my favourite things..." become a christmas song? It is sung during a summer thunderstorm (incidentally symbolising the imminent annexation of Austria by the Nazis).

Which makes me digress: stations here play "christmas songs" higgledy-piggledy, there is no theme, no attempt to fit them to the season and no attempt to match mood (which is what makes a good DJ). So we transit straight from "joke" songs, to traditional christmas carols, to advent hymns, to Epiphany post-christmas songs, to on-christmas-eve/day-only songs (sorry to rant, I was at King's for several years, and they are a Church of England established college (they have a formal religious role, up to and including an obligation to hold certain masses), and the advent and christmas carol and hymn services adhere quite strictly to thematic choices - coincidentally the King's Choir just came on iTunes with a christmas carol... lovely. Better still live.)

Anyway, the British music scene is large enough to be valuable, and small enough to be innovative (as opposed to the US scene). One of the "great traditions" of the UK scene is the "one-off christmas hit" which can range from the saccharine to the absolute classics (or both, I have a soft spot for the Band Aid "Do they know its Christmas?").
So, 94.5 Lite put on one of my favourites, by accident I'm sure, and they won't be doing it again.

It is very seasonal though, this year of all years.


Stop the Cavalry by Jona Lewie (1980)


Hey, Mr. Churchill comes over here
to say we're doing splendidly
But it's very cold out here in the snow,
marching to win from the enemy
Oh I say it's tough,I have had enough
Can you stop the cavalry?
I have had to fight, almost every night
down throughout these centuries
That is when I say, oh yes yet again
Can you stop the cavalry?
Mary Bradley waits at home
in the nuclear fall-out zone
Wish I could be dancing now
in the arms of the girl I love

Chorus:
Dub a dub a dum dum
Dub a dub a dum
Dub a dum dum dub a dub
Dub a dub a dum
Dub a dub a dum dum
Dub a dub a dum
Dub a dum dum dub a dub
Dub a dub a dum

Wish I was at home for Christmas
Bang! That's another bomb on another town
While Luzar and Jim have tea
If I get home, live to tell the tale
I'll run for all presidencies
If I get elected I'll stop - I will stop the cavalry

Chorus

Wish I could be dancing now
in the arms of the girl I love
Mary Bradley waits at home
She has been waiting 2 years long
Wish I was at home for Christmas

1 Comments:

Anonymous jfaberuiuc said...

We must have a station owned by the same group in Champaign...we were in a party/gift store buying giftwrap, which during the holiday season is relatively traumatic in general, and "Favorite things" came on over the radio. I asked a similar question, though I can't say I have ever seen Sound of Music and couldn't place a season for it. If anything points out just how much Christmas is equated with commercialism rather than the birth of a child under circumstances that would otherwise be considered an extremely unlikely excuse by a mother protesting carnal ignorance when the situation on the ground indicated differently....anyway, it's this song at Christmastime. Happy holidays.

3:42 PM  

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