When it comes to public opinion, “Christmas Music” can be a real conversation divider. There’s a radio discussion forum I participate in , for example, which seems evenly divided at the moment by those who quite like or are indifferent to “Christmas Music” and those who absolutely loathe it.
I must admit years ago I fell into the latter camp. It was mostly because I worked at Coles Supermarkets and had to “endure” weeks and weeks of “Christmas Music”. What made it especially unbearable was the limited loop and predictable nature of it all. As I used to take lunch at exactly the same time every day, I quickly noticed the same songs were played at the same time every day. It was handy in a way, because as soon as I heard “Silent Night”, I knew it was time for lunch, and when “Hark The Herald Angels Sing” came on, I knew it was time to come back.
As much as those traditional numbers have endured, it’s great we now have a few modern day classics like “Last Christmas” and “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” which have re-invented the genre somewhat. But the interest in “Christmas Music” in Australia, and other English-speaking countries seems to come nowhere near the interest of the Swedes.
THE leading nation for Christmas music has got to be Sweden. Every year at this time their charts are dominated by Christmas albums and singles. It’s quite a phenomenon. I remember a couple of years ago when something like 6 out of the Top 10 CDs were Christmas-themed. Check out swedishcharts.com and you’ll see with words like tomten (santa) and jul (xmas) there are currently about 10 albums in the charts which are Christmas albums. Even Benny from ABBA, with his group, BAO, has a Christmas album this year.
But it’s not all “silent night” and seriousness. They also have good fun with Christmas music and these are two of my favourites….
The first is by the group Happy Hoes. One of the singers was in the 90s band, “Army of Lovers” and had an affair with the King of Sweden. The male singer is a drag queen. One of the other singers delivers a “classic line” in the second verse about she deserves great presents… which is “I deserve some diamonds and some gold, stuff that i can sell when i grow old…” CLassic!
The other is my Magnus Carlsson, a singer I met once who last year released a whole box set of his previous Christmas albums. I love this song where he delivers the line… “it’s christmas in a week and a day and i don’t know what to give away, so i might just wrap myself in paper for you baby”.
Swedish christmas music – my special subject. God Jul!