The Songs of Christmas

22 December 2009

The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) identified the most requested and most played Christmas songs of 2006 and listed them here: http://www.ascap.com/press/2006/112706_xmassongs.html

Out of curiosity, I performed some research on and analysis of the songs to determine their content.  The goal was to determine if Christ is really the focus of Christmas and the songs that are most often sung as part of the celebration.

If you want to skip all the details you can just cut to the chase.

Here are the ASCAP most popular Christmas songs:

1) The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) Written by: Mel Tormé, Robert Wells Performed by: Nat "King" Cole Lyrics: http://allchristmaslyrics.com/the-christmas-song-lyrics.htm

2) Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas Written by: Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin Performed by: The Pretenders Lyrics: http://allchristmaslyrics.com/have-yourself-a-merry-little-christmas-lyrics.htm

3) Winter Wonderland Written by: Felix Bernard, Richard B. Smith Performed by: Eurythmics Lyrics: http://allchristmaslyrics.com/winter-wonderland-lyrics.htm

4) Santa Claus Is Coming To Town Written by: Fred Coots, Haven Gillespie Performed by: Bruce Springsteen Lyrics: http://allchristmaslyrics.com/santa-claus-is-coming-to-town-lyrics.htm

5) White Christmas Written by: Irving Berlin Performed by: Bing Crosby Lyrics: http://allchristmaslyrics.com/white-christmas-lyrics.htm

6) Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Written by: Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne Performed by: Andy Williams Lyrics: http://allchristmaslyrics.com/let-it-snow-lyrics.htm

7) Jingle Bell Rock Written by: Joseph Carleton Beal, James Ross Boothe Performed by: Bobby Helms Lyrics: http://allchristmaslyrics.com/jingle-bell-rock-lyrics.htm

8 ) Little Drummer Boy Written by: Katherine K. Davis, Henry V. Onorati, Harry Simeone Performed by: The Harry Simeone Chorale & Orchestra Lyrics: http://allchristmaslyrics.com/little-drummer-boy-lyrics.htm

9) Sleigh Ride Written by: Leroy Anderson, Mitchell Parish Performed by: The Ronettes Lyrics: http://allchristmaslyrics.com/sleigh-ride-lyrics.htm

10) Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer Written by: Johnny Marks Performed by: Gene Autry Lyrics: http://allchristmaslyrics.com/rudolph-the-red-nosed-reindeer-lyrics.htm

11) It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year Written by: Edward Pola, George Wyle Performed by: Andy Williams Lyrics: http://allchristmaslyrics.com/it's-the-most-wonderful-time-of-the-year-lyrics.htm

12) I'll Be Home For Christmas Written by: Walter Kent, Kim Gannon, Buck Ram Performed by: Vanessa Williams Lyrics: http://allchristmaslyrics.com/i'll-be-home-for-christmas-lyrics.htm

13) Silver Bells Written by: Jay Livingston, Ray Evans Performed by: Kenny G Lyrics: http://allchristmaslyrics.com/silver-bells-lyrics.htm

14) Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree Written by: Johnny Marks Performed by: Brenda Lee Lyrics: http://allchristmaslyrics.com/rocking-around-the-christmas-tree-lyrics.htm

15) Feliz Navidad Written by: José Feliciano Performed by: José Feliciano Lyrics: http://allchristmaslyrics.com/feliz-navidad-lyrics.htm

16) Blue Christmas Written by: Billy Hayes, Jay W. Johnson Performed by: Elvis Presley Lyrics: http://allchristmaslyrics.com/blue-christmas-lyrics.htm

17) Frosty The Snowman Written by: Steve Nelson, Walter E. Rollins Performed by: The Ronettes Lyrics: http://allchristmaslyrics.com/frosty-the-snowman-lyrics.htm

18) A Holly Jolly Christmas Written by: Johnny Marks Performed by: Burl Ives Lyrics: http://allchristmaslyrics.com/holly-jolly-christmas-lyrics.htm

19) It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas Written by: Meredith Willson Performed by: Johnny Mathis Lyrics: http://allchristmaslyrics.com/it's-beginning-to-look-a-lot-like-christmas-lyrics.htm

20) I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus Written by: Tommie Connor (PRS) Performed by: John Mellencamp Lyrics: http://allchristmaslyrics.com/i-saw-mommy-kissing-santa-claus-lyrics.htm

21) Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) Written by: Gene Autry, Oakley Haldeman Performed by: Elvis Presley Lyrics: http://allchristmaslyrics.com/here-comes-santa-claus-lyrics.htm

22) Carol Of The Bells Written by: Peter J. Wilhousky, Mykola Leontovich Performed by: John Tesh and the Christmas Symphony Orchestra Lyrics: http://allchristmaslyrics.com/carol-of-the-bells-lyrics.htm

23) Do They Know It's Christmas? (Feed the World) Written by: Midge Ure (PRS), Bob Geldof (PRS) Performed by: Band Aid Lyrics: http://allchristmaslyrics.com/do-they-know-it's-christmas-lyrics.htm

24) (There's No Place Like) Home For The Holidays Written by: Bob Allen, Al Stillman Performed by: The Carpenters Lyrics: http://allchristmaslyrics.com/home-for-the-holidays-lyrics.htm

25) Santa Baby Written by: Joan Ellen Javits, Philip Springer, Tony Springer Performed by: Madonna Lyrics: http://allchristmaslyrics.com/santa-baby-lyrics.htm

 

Analysis of the songs' content

1) The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) Mentions of- Jesus/God/Nativity: 0

materialism or immorality: 1 (kids focused on materialism) pagan/mythical/fictional beings: 2 (Jack Frost, Santa) pagan celebrations/activities: 1 (Yule) falsehood: 1 (flying reindeer)

 

2) Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas Mentions of- Jesus/God/Nativity: 0

materialism or immorality: 0 pagan/mythical/fictional beings: 1 (the Fates) pagan celebrations/activities: 1 (Yule)

 

3) Winter Wonderland Mentions of- Jesus/God/Nativity: 0

materialism or immorality: 0 pagan/mythical/fictional beings: 0 pagan celebrations/activities: 0.5 (bells were used to scare away evil spirits)

 

4) Santa Claus Is Coming To Town Mentions of- Jesus/God/Nativity: 0

materialism or immorality: 1 (focus is toys) pagan/mythical/fictional beings: 1 (Santa) pagan celebrations/activities: 1 (Christmas tree)

 

5) White Christmas Mentions of- Jesus/God/Nativity: 0

materialism or immorality: 0 pagan/mythical/fictional beings: 0.5 (children listen for sleigh bells… on Santa’s sleigh?) pagan celebrations/activities: 0.5 (bells were used to scare away evil spirits)

 

6) Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Mentions of- Jesus/God/Nativity: 0

materialism or immorality: 0.5 (kissing between apparently unmarried individuals) pagan/mythical/fictional beings: 0 pagan celebrations/activities: 0

 

7) Jingle Bell Rock Mentions of- Jesus/God/Nativity: 0

materialism or immorality: 0 pagan/mythical/fictional beings: 0 pagan celebrations/activities: 0.5 (bells were used to scare away evil spirits)

 

8 ) Little Drummer Boy Mentions of- Jesus/God/Nativity: 0.5 (indirect reference to “the king”)

materialism or immorality: 0 pagan/mythical/fictional beings: 0 pagan celebrations/activities: 0

 

9) Sleigh Ride Mentions of- Jesus/God/Nativity: 0

materialism or immorality: 0 pagan/mythical/fictional beings: 0 pagan celebrations/activities: 0.5 (bells were used to scare away evil spirits)

 

10) Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer Mentions of- Jesus/God/Nativity: 0

materialism or immorality: 0 pagan/mythical/fictional beings: 2 (Rudolph, Santa) pagan celebrations: 0

 

11) It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year Mentions of- Jesus/God/Nativity: 0

materialism or immorality: 0 pagan/mythical/fictional beings: 0 pagan celebrations: 1 (scary stories told around winter solstice)

 

12) I'll Be Home For Christmas Mentions of- Jesus/God/Nativity: 0

materialism or immorality: 0 pagan/mythical/fictional beings: 0 pagan celebrations: 2 (use of mistletoe, presents on a tree)

 

13) Silver Bells Mentions of- Jesus/God/Nativity: 0

materialism or immorality:  1 (shopping for treasures instead of treasure in heaven) pagan/mythical/fictional beings: 0 pagan celebrations: 0.5 (bells were used to scare away evil spirits)

 

14) Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree Mentions of- Jesus/God/Nativity: 0

materialism or immorality:  1 (shopping/treasures) pagan/mythical/fictional beings: 0 pagan celebrations: 2 (mistletoe, decking the halls with boughs of holly)

 

15) Feliz Navidad Mentions of- Jesus/God/Nativity: 0

materialism or immorality: 0 pagan/mythical/fictional beings: 0 pagan celebrations/activities: 0

 

16) Blue Christmas Mentions of- Jesus/God/Nativity: 0

materialism or immorality: 0 pagan/mythical/fictional beings: 0 pagan celebrations/activities: 1 (Christmas tree)

 

17) Frosty The Snowman Mentions of- Jesus/God/Nativity: 0

materialism or immorality: 0 pagan/mythical/fictional beings: 1 (Frosty) pagan celebrations/activities: 1 (magic)

 

18) A Holly Jolly Christmas Mentions of- Jesus/God/Nativity: 0

materialism or immorality: 0.5 (mistletoe kissing usually associated with unmarried individuals) pagan/mythical/fictional beings: 0 pagan celebrations/activities: 1 (mistletoe)

 

19) It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas Mentions of- Jesus/God/Nativity: 0

materialism or immorality: 1 (kids’ focus on toys) pagan/mythical/fictional beings: 0 pagan celebrations/activities: 1.5 (holly, bells were used to scare away evil spirits)

 

20) I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus Mentions of- Jesus/God/Nativity: 0

materialism or immorality: 0.5 (suggested immorality: mommy kissing someone other than daddy) pagan/mythical/fictional beings: 2 (Santa, Santa’s reindeer) pagan celebrations/activities: 1 (mistletoe)

 

21) Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) Mentions of- Jesus/God/Nativity: 0

materialism or immorality: 1 (do good because then you will get stuff) pagan/mythical/fictional beings: 1 (Santa) pagan celebrations/activities: 0.5 (bells were used to scare away evil spirits)

 

22) Carol Of The Bells Mentions of- Jesus/God/Nativity: 0

materialism or immorality: 0 pagan/mythical/fictional beings: 0 pagan celebrations/activities: 0.5 (bells were used to scare away evil spirits)

 

23) Do They Know It's Christmas? (Feed the World) Mentions of- Jesus/God/Nativity: 1

materialism or immorality: 1 (thank God others are doomed instead of you?) pagan/mythical/fictional beings: 0 pagan celebrations/activities: 0

 

24) (There's No Place Like) Home For The Holidays Mentions of- Jesus/God/Nativity: 0

materialism or immorality: 0 pagan/mythical/fictional beings: 0 pagan celebrations/activities: 0

 

25) Santa Baby Mentions of- Jesus/God/Nativity: 0

materialism or immorality: 7 instances of  materialism, 1 instance of immorality (suggesting unmarried kissing is OK), 1- the tone of the singer is sexually suggestive pagan/mythical/fictional beings: 1 (Santa) pagan celebrations/activities: 1 (Christmas tree) falsehood: 1 (Santa coming down chimneys)

 

Net result out of the 25 most popular Christmas songs:

Mentions of- Jesus/God/Nativity: 1.5 (6%)

materialism or immorality: 18 (72%) pagan/mythical/fictional beings: 11.5 (46%) pagan celebrations/activities: 17.5 (70%) falsehood: 2 (8%)

 

You tell me... what does this say?  Post your feedback and let everyone know.

 

Torah Portion

תצוּה (Tetzaveh)

 

 

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Yom Chamishi, 7 Adar, 5778

Thursday, February 22, 2018

 

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