Christmas songs are one of the few American traditions where pretty much everyone can sing together regardless of cultural, ethnic, or religious background. I can’t say that I’ve ever come across any traditional Christmas song that was labeled as explicit, incited violence, or was somehow considered culturally subversive. Many of these traditional songs have been recorded by biggest musical stars of multiple generations and who themselves are of multiple faith groups.
This past week, however, I had the most bizarre–and I mean bizarre–discussion about Christmas songs in schools where some schools are deliberately changing the words of Christmas songs so that the word “Christmas” is never sung.
To me, this is absurd in and of itself. However the absurdity went to a whole different level of head scratching where school systems are seriously considering changing the words for Christmas songs to be non-offensive. In this discussion, “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” was going to be changed to “Have a Holly Jolly Nondenominational Celebration of Winter.”
As an audiophile and lover of the integrity of music I’m appalled. I’m embarrassed for those administrators who have to spend time on this.
This is parody. Period.
I think Weird Al Yankovic would be better suited to changing Christmas lyrics than school administrators. Therefore, now in schools we are going to deliberately teach wrong lyrics to kids?
The Christmas season and the genre of Christmas songs have existed for hundreds of years in American culture and are a part of our national heritage and identity. Any effort to overtly change Christmas lyrics is wrong. Furthermore to do so in such an utterly ludicrous way is doing our kids an injustice and it’s completely contrary to the very notion of what education is all about.
If you don’t like the rich tradition of Christmas songs then go ahead and write your own. I’m sure that “Have a Holly Jolly Non-Denominational Celebration of Winter” will be a big hit and soon be included in the canon of Christmas songs. I’m sure we are all waiting for the single to hit iTunes.