Sunday, December 16, 2007
A Few of My Favorite Things, Part One: Little Rodents Singing About Christmas
My taste in music has not always run in rational directions. I once bought a Partridge Family album. One of my favorite albums as I was entering puberty was Jingle Jangle by the Archies. There was a time when I preferred the Monkees to the Beatles; I even joined the Monkees fan club. Once, I had just enough money to buy one new album. I chose Golden Earring over Lynyrd Skynyrd.
I realize that I have just frittered away whatever coolness points I may have had, if any.
Thankfully, my tastes have matured and changed.
Here is an opinion of mine that has not changed, though: when I was a child I thought that Christmas with the Chipmunks was one of the greatest Christmas albums ever made; now that I am a man, I still believe that Christmas with the Chipmunks is one of the greatest Christmas albums ever made.
First of all, the three-part harmony created by Alvin, Simon and Theodore is amazing.
Second, if you want pathos with your Christmas, it’s in there. Hearing David Seville sing longingly of wanting a white Christmas will break your heart. And if hearing Alvin exclaim at the end of the song, “Hey Dave, look, it’s snowing!” doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, you need to get your tear ducts cleared out.
Third, there is high comedy in this album, too. When you hear Alvin take off in his own direction on Over the River and Through the Woods and Jingle Bells you’ll laugh and laugh. Of course, he’s an egomaniacal showoff, but you’ll still laugh.
Fourth, a special guest star sings on one of the songs. I won’t give away his name, but he had a shiny nose. And he sings like he has a head cold.
Finally, the album is just plain fun. While Christmas is many things, it certainly ought to be fun. So put this album on and smile.
Now, some folks might complain that there is none of the true meaning of Christmas on this album. Indeed, there are no Christmas hymns or Christian carols. I think that’s ok. I mean, do you really want a bunch of Chipmunks singing about the birth of the Christ Child? I didn’t think so.
So, if you’ve got it, play it. If you don’t have it, go buy it.
By the way, sometimes I still hear I Think I Love You, Jingle Jangle, and Take the Last Train to Clarksville in my head.
And one more thing: I really like the Carpenters.
But not as much as I like the Chipmunks.