Thursday, December 26, 2013

Two Great, Unsentimental Christmas Songs for Boxing Day

Boxing Day is another one of those holidays whose original intent has been subsumed by commercialism and commerce. No shame in that - it's happened to all the best holidays!

So for Boxing Day, let's listen to two Christmas "carols" that fight back against commercialization, but not in smarmy, schlocky ways - it biting, rocking, fighting-for-the-little guy ways.

I'm talking about Father Christmas by The Kinks and Elf's Lament by Barenaked Ladies.

The Kinks' song Father Christmas was released in 1977, during bad economic times in Great Britain. It's about a department store Santa who gets attacked by a gang of poor kids. The poor kids don't want toys, they tell Santa, they need money for food; and their dads need jobs.

Barenaked Ladies' song Elf's Lament explores the conditions in Santa's workshop, and the need for betting working conditions for the elves through unionization.

But don't get the idea that these songs are downers. These are rollicking, up-tempo rockers that just happen to have bitingly clever lyrics and points-of-view - don't forget the little guy, the less fortunate people - too rarely heard in Christmas music.

Here is Father Christmas (try to ignore the poor video quality):

And here is Elf's Lament:

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