In a rare double-header, two Christmas songs come in to represent #6. Neither are good songs, but the final nail in their collective coffin is the ear-shattering aspect. These two songs make me want to shove my fingers in my ears, which is dangerous because I listen to radio Christmas music when I’m driving. But here they are:
#6 The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late) -and- I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas (by Gayla Peevey)
Ear protection is advised…
Now first let me fully disclose that I was an Alvin and the Chipmunks fan as a youth. Not the current Alvin with his weird computer-generated body and hip-hop songs, but the original. I thought the song was funny. The constant “Me, I want a hula hoop” was giggle worthy. Now I’m like GIVE THE KID A DAMNED HULA HOOP! HOW MUCH CAN THEY POSSIBLY BE? LIKE $20 AT WAL-MART???
Now much in the same way that the Singing Dogs changed recording history, so did the chipmunks. In fact, the chipmunks won three grammy awards in 1958: Best Comedy Performance (remember, they were probably still recovering from the Singing Dogs), Best Children’s Recording, which definitively showed how valued children’s recordings were in 1958. And also a Best Engineered Record, which I think is one of those awards you give away the day before so you don’t gum up the telecast with boring thank-yous and such, or at least make an attempt.
Anyway, unlike the Singing Dog, it did not have an actual renaissance. It has simply been a stowaway on other more legitimate Christmas albums and then then those get played, the Chipmunks come too. And the amount of effort it would take to remove this song from our collective lexicon is not greater than the inertia of the people with the power to do it. And so we are stuck with a plane that loops the loop.
AND THE STUPID HULA HOOP!
And to fully disclose, I have to admit that I have a son named Theodore, and an internet friend of mine has a son named Simon, and if we ever find an Alvin there will be cause to meet up in joyous celebration. But we will still not be playing that song.
And as for the hippopotamuses…
People often fondly look back on the 50s era as a time of wonderful music. What they don’t realize is that the same time era was producing the Singing Dogs, the Chipmunks, and something found in the Jungle Cruise.
This is sad.
I really don’t have a lot to say about Hippopotamus other than that the ear-screeching quality makes me wonder if I tilt my head, will blood come running out of my ear? The song does get better in the middle, if you still have any kind of hearing quality left, but the screeching starts up at the end. There are few songs that make me immediately shut the radio off, and this is one of them.
However, if you have a sardonic, quirky sense of humor like I do, you might want to review the plight of the animatronic hippos of Disneyland.