I’ll be writing about the songs I love, but for now I’m continuing the series of songs I hate. When I say I “hate” a certain Christmas song, I don’t mean I simply don’t like it. “Hate” means just hearing the opening notes throws me into a convulsive, tormented state resembling the transformation of Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde in just about any movie version you can think of. My shoulders hunch, my face screws up, several nervous tics erupt, and I let out a wail of torment and disgust.
It might be more accurate to say there are Christmas records I really hate, since the songs themselves may not be a problem. One such is “Jingle Bells.” I have no problem with “Jingle Bells”–unless it’s Frank Sinatra’s version.
Okay, it’s not even Sinatra’s voice that bothers me or his musical phrasing. It’s that obnoxious bunch of crooners singing background, especially their “those j-i-n-g-l-e bells, BONNNNNGGGGG!” I feel that reverberating “bong” inside my head. Oh, but I also twitch at their “doo-doh” and “doo-day” echoing rhymes for “snow,” “sleigh,” “go,” and “way.” It just sounds so wrong for such vocal stylings to accompany lyrics that paint this old world, Victorian picture of snowy landscapes and sleigh rides. I picture Sinatra singing this at some jazzy Christmas party, drink and cigarette in hand, while the singers pop up from behind the bar with every “doo-doh.”
Not my scene, but plenty of people relish such a holiday environment. Diamondqueen, of course, loves this version; and I know from reading comments on YouTube that there’s tremendous respect and affection for Sinatra’s rendering. I don’t expect everyone to like what I like and hate what I hate; to each his own. I just wish I could control my agitation when those “bongs” set my brain crashing against the walls of my cranium.
You may also like: Diamondqueen wrote her own blog post about the “songs that drive Chester crazy,” and she followed up with a post about trimming the family tree and playing those very songs to irritate the hell out of me.