Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Where is Johnny Marks when we need him?

When's the last time a good new Christmas song was written?

So far as I can tell, it was in the 1990's.


Is it our love of nostalgia?  Or lack of interest?  Or lack of talent?

I'm dumbfounded.

Starting Thanksgiving week, we all start listening to Christmas music.

And according to various charts, here are the most popular songs and when they were written:

"All I Want for Christmas is You"  1994

"Grown Up Christmas List"  1992

"The Christmas Song"  1944

"Rockin' Round the Christmas Tree"  1958

"Feliz Navidad"  1970

"A Holly Jolly Christmas"  1965

"Jingle Bell Rock"  1957

"White Christmas"  1940

"It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas"  1951

"Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer"  1949

Interestingly, most of our favorite Christmas songs were written by men who were devout Jews of European Jewish descent.  Johnny Marks, Irving Berlin, Walter Afanasieff and Mel Torme. 

Some might say they took advantage of a commercial opportunity.  I like to think that they appreciated their Christian neighbors and used their musical talents to honor a special time of year.

I, for one, hope for new Christmas classics.

The story of hope and grace is eternal.  There is enough musical talent around the world to write many more.

The Advent is upon us.  Let the inspiration inspire you songwriters out there to add to the best time of the year.