With plummeting temperatures, the threat and promise of snow, and the turning of pages of the calendar, we are fully into the Christmas season. We hear Christmas hymns and other holiday songs on the radio, in TV commercials, at school and church pageants.
But I wonder if we are all sufficiently aware of some of the deep historical meanings behind some of our favorite carols. For example:
The Top Five Christmas Songs Associated with Major Historical Events
1: During the long, cold winter of 1979-1980, the Hunt Brothers famously attempted to corner a precious metals market. Remember those days? And we were singing...
2: Then there was the Christmas season of 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell down and the Soviet Empire collapsed like a house of cards. Ronald Reagan’s brilliant strategy had succeeded, revealing the Russian Military to have degenerated into a paper tiger, and we Reaganites laughed out loud, and sang
"Parade of the Wooden Soldiers"
3: In the fall of 1492, after a long and hopeful summer voyage from Spain, Christopher Columbus finally spotted land. But we forget to look at it from the point of view of the islanders. What were the hopeful native carolers singing on shore, when they spotted him afar off, and didn’t yet know what was in store?
"I Saw Three Ships"
4: A century ago, in the autumn of 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt dispatched American forces for the far land of Panama, so that the local folks who favored the economic benefits to come from a shipping canal could become a free country of their own. Panama declared independence on November 3, and the Americans sang
"We Need A Little Isthmus (Right This Very Minute...)"
5: When Bill and Hillary Clinton were packing up to leave the White House in December-January of 2000-2001, they ordered the movers to take pretty much everything not nailed down, from historical artifacts to priceless artwork. Ready to furnish their new home in Chappaqua, New York, they watched the movers cart American history into their trucks and sang
"My Favorite Things"
Top Ten Groups for Targeted Caroling
Too often, our families, neighborhoods, church groups, and social clubs organize caroling teams to walk up and down the street, singing any old carols, with no rhyme or reason to the selection. They just sing the songs they know, or the ones where they can hit the notes, or use some other such silly method for choosing their playlists.
But styles change, and this year, it’s all the vogue to have specialized groups, gathering together to sing the most appropriate songs for their own causes. See if you can join one of these happy groupes instead of your usual vocal troupe; at least join them for their signature carols. For example:
1: The CEOs and CFOs of Multi-National Conglomerates who have moved most of their production lines to China, Japan, and South Korea after giving up on the anti-business nature of the current administration:
"We Three Kings of Orient Are"
2: The shop stewards and enforcers of the Groundskeepers, Landscapers and Legalized Pot Growers Union, Local 101:
"The Holly and the Ivy"
3: Your local Dentists, Orthodontists, Periodontists, and other members of the American Dental Association:
"Hard Candy Christmas"
4: The itinerant roofers and siding replacement crews – both legal citizens and illegal aliens – who follow hailstorms, hurricanes, and Chevy Chase movie sets:
"Up on the Housetop"
5: The Congressmen and Senators who were irresponsible enough to vote for Obamacare, which will cause 91 million Americans to lose their health insurance over the next year and a half, and who will face these angry voters wherever they go over the Christmas holidays.
Their campaign workers continue to burn the midnight oil back at headquarters, soliciting campaign contributions for the very challenging 2014 elections to come. All the while, the Obamacare apologists go caroling around their districts, door to door, singing:
"(I'm Gettin') Nuttin' for Christmas"
6: The political activists of the so-called “gay marriage” lobby, celebrating their victories in Springfield and elsewhere this year, as desperate politicians continue to cave to every special interest group, in order to avoid actually working toward solutions to our economic woes. So now, for just a hundred bucks or so (depending on county and municipality), they can get an official-looking something that purports to be a marriage certificate, and with joy they sing:
(their original choice, “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” had to be removed from the playlist after an injunction…)
7: The greenies, environmentalist wackos, and other advocates of so-called “alternative energy cars,” who join together with their fellow owners of battery-operated Volts and Leafs and Teslas, rejoicing that they’re walking from door to door, so nobody needs to notice that their battery ran out and they’d be better off hitching the things up to a horse, as they sing:
“Goin’ on a Sleigh Ride”
8: The purveyors of sleeping pills and other drug dealers, dealing with customers with, shall we say, sleeping disorders, who turn to their local pusher for “a little something to get them through the night:”
“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”
9: The reporters, newscasters, and other “journalists” of the MainStream Media, who spiked every press release from the Right in 2009 and 2010, disregarded every warning about Obamacare and the administration’s other failings, who continue instead to preach their rose-colored glasses view of Obama’s policies to whoever will listen to them… and when we tell them the truth even today, they just cover their ears and yell at us to stop bothering them and to instead
“Go Tell It On The Mountain”
10: Al Gore, the Carbon Credits Exchange investors, and the rest of the world’s Manmade Global Warming nutcases, who continue to dismiss the absolute proof of recent years that Manmade Global Warming does not, and could not possibly, exist. So it is with a heavy heart that they find themselves forced to sing a medley consisting of:
“Frosty the Snowman,”
“Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow”
Enjoy the season, friends! Merry Christmas!
Copyright 2013 John F. Di Leo
This is an attempt at a light-hearted humor column by a Chicago-based Customs broker and international trade compliance trainer. Much of what appears here is completely incorrect. Some of it is absolutely true. If you can’t tell the difference, please don’t write us letters of complaint; just read some other column instead.
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