There’s an interesting conundrum in the fall, that gets people arguing every year. More than just Daylight Saving Time (which is silly and all this malarky with changing clocks makes no sense). More than just who’s going to sit where at Thanksgiving. More than the gamble of when you’re to change over from summer to winter tyres. The conundrum is this: when is it okay to start playing holiday music?
Morally, ethically, you should never stop playing the music you love. If “Little Drummer Boy” gets your libido up, then blast those rum pum pum pums to your heart’s content. The thing is, early seasonal music has been scientifically proven* to cause what’s called “music fatigue”, and has been linked to mild to moderate cases of eye-rolling, heavy sighs, and general grinchitude. If it’s the first time you’ve heard all the ohs in the “Angels We Have Heard on High”, you get that warm feeling in the pit of your belly. But by the tenth time, you just want to gouge out your eardrums with a set of car keys.
If we have to enter a commercial retail outlet between October and January, we run the risk of hearing “Good King Wassisname” thirty times before we escape. I play in a concert band. We start rehearsing our holiday music in September. I’m done with the ‘ohs’ sometime in November.
More concerning to me is the monoculture we’re all too comfortable with spending outrageous gobs of money on. I think that’s for another post, but surely to #Glob there are more than a dozen holiday carols/songs to choose from. Up with Boney M! Down with rum pum pum pums! Up with Danny Elfman holiday themes!
*If you define “scientific” as “I totally made this up”