0988: "Tradition"

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Jared the Great
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0988: "Tradition"

Postby Jared the Great » Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:02 am UTC

Image

Alt text: An 'American Tradition' is anything that happened to a baby boomer twice.

I had no idea Santa Claus is coming to town was that old.
Last edited by Jared the Great on Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:11 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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VectorZero
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby VectorZero » Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:16 am UTC

I wonder what impact the war had on the need to celebrate family and religion.
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KShrike
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby KShrike » Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:18 am UTC

Hadn't lol'd in a long time with this comic.
This one made me lol.
So are we going back to being funny?
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby poxic » Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:18 am UTC

VectorZero wrote:I wonder what impact the war and the subsequent American prosperity had on the need and ability to celebrate family and religion.

Fixed Added to.
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby wolf550e » Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:20 am UTC

An 'American Tradition' is anything that happened to a baby boomer twice.


In the works of Lois McMaster Bujold, on Barrayar, tradition is anything done twice.

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VectorZero
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby VectorZero » Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:21 am UTC

poxic wrote:
VectorZero wrote:I wonder what impact the war and the subsequent American prosperity had on the need and ability to celebrate family and religion.

Fixed Added to.
Fair point. My (eastern European) family's memories of the post war years were a little different in focus.
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salbrech
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby salbrech » Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:25 am UTC

Does this mean that Christmas is dying in the next 10 years?

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Djehutynakht
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby Djehutynakht » Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:28 am UTC

salbrech wrote:Does this mean that Christmas is dying in the next 10 years?



Nah, because now we like them too. I think.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby Kaelin » Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:37 am UTC

This is truly the one time (or at least the first time in a long time) that I have had to say:

"Randall, get out of my head."

And given the era these songs were born in, it's not a surprise they are so sterile.

Also, I have been made freshly disaffected with any sort of holiday celebration that necessarily involves relatives, which is probably besides the point (except for the fact that the next older generation is made up of baby boomers). And then watching TDS's obligatory "War on Christmas" segment sort of fueled it some more.

I better calm down.

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whateveries
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby whateveries » Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:45 am UTC

hey, I am all for mocking Baby boomers, and I am all for mocking Americans. so,this works for me.

also, as christmas season it is, I have been subjected to quite a bit of Dean Martin's rendition of "Let it snow" and I cannot help but think he is singing the entire song to a bottle of gin. (my Bose really brings out the shlur).
it's fine.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby glasnt » Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:55 am UTC

It's ok, because marketing people think that if New Hip Singers re-record classics, they don't count.

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ysth
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby ysth » Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:13 am UTC

I count at least 3 non-xmas songs in there.
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby Copper Bezel » Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:14 am UTC

KShrike: I agree to an extent. The last five have been extraordinarily meh, which makes this the first really good comic in two weeks. However, 981-2 were the usual nichey geek humor I expect from xkcd and not at all below average. 980 was a deviation from regularly-scheduled funny, but I like the variation offered by the big visualization comics (similar to 482), and 979 was just brilliant.

The graph comics based on a clever observation and actual numbers, though, I love - they're one of the best things about this strip.
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby Quicksilver » Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:20 am UTC

What exactly constitutes a Christmas song? I know plenty of hilarious Christmas songs that have received airtime on our radios back in the 90's.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby a0903638 » Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:21 am UTC

hm... What about "Last Christmas" by Wham!? At least in Europe it's the song almost everyone from any generation seems to complain about the most... (which is also part of the tradition) :roll:

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby Azkyroth » Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:25 am UTC

What exactly constitutes a Christmas song? I know plenty of hilarious Christmas songs that have received airtime on our radios back in the 90's.


Anything that has a simplistic, either bouncy or pseudo-contemplative musical tune and lyrics a 5 year old might be proud of having written but would still feel a bit foolish for that nevertheless gets played on endless repeat in retail outlets from the vicinity of Halloween until December 26th or so.

frisbeedetritus
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby frisbeedetritus » Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:37 am UTC

I think you missed "Christmas Eve/ Sarajevo 12/24" by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Score one for the 90's!!!

NotAllThere
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby NotAllThere » Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:43 am UTC

In Europe, we mainly hear songs from the 70s and 80s.

There's probably some deep cultural significance to this, but it's too early in the morning to work it out.
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby BenJPas » Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:47 am UTC

There is no song called "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire."

The song that begins with that phrase is called "The Christmas Song."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Christmas_Song

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby Username4242 » Fri Dec 09, 2011 6:48 am UTC

Last edited by Username4242 on Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:55 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby kthejoker » Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:05 am UTC

The much more mundane answer is that novelty songs dominated the music charts of the early-to-mid 50s, and Christmas songs being de facto novelty songs, those songs were actually chart-topping hits when they came out ("Little Drummer Boy" was a repeat #1 hit, Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree peaked at #14, CHristmas with the Chipmunks hit #1, etc.)

Try to imagine Ryan Seacrest dropping the latest YouTube Christmas parody song in between Rihanna and Maroon 5. That's what it used to be like.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby mpolo » Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:06 am UTC

There are a few "comedy" Christmas songs that used to get a lot of airplay (talking 80's-90's here)-- particularly "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" or "I'm Gettin' Nothin' for Christmas". I'm not sure if I ever heard Weird Al's "Christmas at Ground Zero" or "The Night Santa Went Crazy" (which is newer) on the radio.

I've been in Europe so long that I don't know what gets airtime in the U.S. today, so maybe those have tapered off to leave us with Christmas with the Baby Boomers…
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby Badly Shaved Monkey » Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:08 am UTC

NotAllThere wrote:In Europe, we mainly hear songs from the 70s and 80s.

There's probably some deep cultural significance to this, but it's too early in the morning to work it out.


I completely agree. Slade's and Wizzard's Christmas songs define popular Christmas music for Brits.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merry_Xmas_Everybody

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Wish_It_Could_Be_Christmas_Everyday

Every other Christmas song was either an early attempt to achieve their perfection or a latter day effort to recover it.
Last edited by Badly Shaved Monkey on Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:09 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Stanistani
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby Stanistani » Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:09 am UTC

When we boomers all die off, The United States will be a wasteland of empty houses, abandoned cars, and the Yule will be celebrated with Festivus poles and the screechy refrain of Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.

It will be a glorious era.

TravDogg
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby TravDogg » Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:22 am UTC

Found Randall's source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_songs#Most-performed_Christmas_songs_.28USA.29

If Randall had done the top 25 songs, the next 5 became popular in the 40's, 30's (I think), 80's, 50's, and 50's, respectively.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby Kanonfutter » Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:33 am UTC

I can agree on Europe hearing songs of the 70-80'ies quite a bit. I think the worst is being forced to hear "Last Christmas". "Do they know its Christmas time" being a close contender.

On a related note, a national rap icon made a song about the commercialism of Christmas in '88. It became massively popular, and in a interview a couple of years ago the musician heard it played at Christmas time in the exact department store that was the target of ridicule. He knew by then he had lost.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby stianhat » Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:45 am UTC

I feel like I am at the other side of a cultural schism than the rest of the world

My favourite christmas songs are: *drumroll*

Fairytale of New York -- the Pogues -- It is funny for different reasons than the other, but the tune is nice and christmasy.
This is The Life -- Amy MacDonald -- This might be because it is (and has been for many years) used in a christmas-related commercial.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby tastelikecoke » Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:53 am UTC

Quite worse is the thousand remixes that root from these songs. I heard once in a department store a remix of Lady Gaga's Poker Face except they inserted bits of "Santa Claus in coming to Town". It's jarring especially if you don't like christmas songs.

JonCz
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby JonCz » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:04 am UTC

The problem is that they've got (some of) us brainwashed. When I want to hear Christmas music, I want exactly these pieces of schmaltzy baby boomer music, because that's what I listened to as a child.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby pbnjstowell » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:06 am UTC

I got kinda burned out on Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer.

I wish the local Christmas station would play I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas and Christmas in Killarney and Mele Kalikimaka. Those were some of the baby-boomer-ish era favorites my parents exposed me to as a kid.

Oh, and The Chimney Song. But that's from the 80s, I think.

I think the best 'new' Christmas song I've heard in a while is the Puppini Sisters' remake of Elton John's Step into Christmas.
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby Deletraz » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:12 am UTC

My local radio station here in South Karelia insists on playing Last Christmas by Wham! at least three times a day.

I guarantee my urge to defenestrate my set is greater than yours.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby choginga » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:16 am UTC

What is worse is that it is summer in New Zealand yet we still get the winter themed songs and decorations. Now THAT is the over commercialization and sterilization of an old ritual. You Americans have nothing on us when it comes to shitting up Christmas.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby Al-pocalypse » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:20 am UTC

As with a few others who have posted here, I would love to see the UK version of this list; though I am sure it would look something like:

Pogues - Fairytale of New York
Jona Lewis - Stop the Cavalry
Slade - Merry Christmas Everybody


And so on.
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby Plasma Mongoose » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:21 am UTC

When I think of Xmas songs, I automatically think Kevin 'Bloody' Wilson's "Hey Santa Claus"

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby TheCorrine » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:32 am UTC

On behalf of everyone in England, I'd just like to say...

WHERE ARE ALL THE GOOD SONGS?

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby Hawknc » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:36 am UTC

I imagine the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers probably doesn't keep reliable records on which Christmas songs people like in the UK.
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby carolineee » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:38 am UTC

Over here, Last Christmas by Wham! is by far the most annoying Christmas song on the radio. I remember a 2h drive on dec 25th and having to switch radio stations every five minutes, because Last Christmas was being announced again.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby HiFranc » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:41 am UTC

Al-pocalypse wrote:As with a few others who have posted here, I would love to see the UK version of this list; though I am sure it would look something like:

Pogues - Fairytale of New York
Jona Lewis - Stop the Cavalry
Slade - Merry Christmas Everybody


And so on.



I would say:

Definitely in Top 20:

Slade - Merry Christmas Everybody
Wizzard - I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day
Band Aid (original) - Feed the World

Might be in Top 20:

Pogues - Fairytale of New York
Jona Lewis - Stop the Cavalry
Wham - Last Christmas
Cliff Richard - Mistletoe and Wine
Mariah Carey - All I Want for Christmas is You

{edit} I'll also put:
Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, White Christmas, Jingle Bell Rock and I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus
in the "might be" category.

{edit 2}Also in the might be category:
Jingle Bells
Frosty the Snowman
Walking in the Air (from the animation The Snowman)
Last edited by HiFranc on Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:49 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby kongstad » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:43 am UTC

In Denmark the top 10 in 2009 was:

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town , JACKSON 5
White Christmas , BING CROSBY
Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow , DEAN MARTIN
Have Yourself A Merry Little Chrsitmas , CLIFF RICHARD
Driving Home For Christmas , CHRIS REA
Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree , BRENDA LEE
Happy X-Mas (War Is Over) , JOHN LENNON
Blue Christmas , ELVIS PRESLEY
Last Christmas , WHAM
Når Sneen Falder , THOMAS HELMIG OG SØS FENGER

(as played on Danmarks Radio - The Danish Broadcasting Corporation)
http://www.koda.dk/nyheder/article/de-mest-spillede-julehits/

I was surprised that Last Christmas was so low in the chart, it seems it is everywhere each christmas.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby The Chuck » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:43 am UTC

TravDogg wrote:Found Randall's source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_songs#Most-performed_Christmas_songs_.28USA.29

If Randall had done the top 25 songs, the next 5 became popular in the 40's, 30's (I think), 80's, 50's, and 50's, respectively.

http://www.ascap.com/press/2009/1123_holidays_songs.aspx That's the 2000-2009 list. The source list also includes the artist for the most popular version today. Quite a few of those are the originals, but I notice a lot of covers by 80's artists too, so it's the Gen-X interpretation of Boomer music. I'll admit that all of these are on my iPod, it's the music my parents have played every Christmas, so it's the music I associate with Christmas.
Randall has "Winter Wonderland" in the wrong decade, the list notes that it reached number 2 on the Billboard charts in 1934.
A possible flaw with the list (if it is his source) is it is the top songs written by ASCAP members, which automatically excludes all of the more traditional Christmas songs. I certainly hear plenty of songs like "Silent Night" and "The Twelve Days of Christmas" on the radio, though it is possible they don't make the top 20.


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