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"So This Is Christmas" by John Lennon. Anyone?

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Dec 16, 2023·edited Dec 17, 2023Liked by Jadrian Wooten

Thank you for this post! I am a singer, performing mostly live, and therefore I have to expand my repertoire constantly.

Your post confirms my choice of songs, based on a few of my observations:

People do ask for very well known, timeless tunes like Silent Night or Ave Maria, more often than for newer hits.

Even us, singers and musicians can't get bored with performing Christmas songs all the time in one season - IF those tunes are really good. One reason for me to be looking forward to this holiday season year after year, is having occasions to sing a few songs that are amongst my all-time favorites.

I believe that those very old songs could survive centuries because singing them is indeed a great joy. Their melodies are so excellently done that regardless of the religious lyrics (that don't mean much for me, to be honest), it is really a spiritual experience to sing them. And when a crowd sings them (say, hundreds in a church), it creates a wonderful, strong and uplifting energy. The wavelength of aesthetics is a highly powerful one.

The French Noël Nouvelet is one such carol, or others that I love are Czech, some of them from maybe the 13th century (certainly not later than the 15th) - and still everybody knows and sings them.

This powerful, spiritual energy cannot be found in today's pop, hip-hop and other popular genres (please correct me, if I am wrong), so I think it's not that easy to write a Christmas hit that people still would want to sing and listen to in a few decades, let alone centuries.

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It blows my mind that Christmas music is already 1% of US streams at the start of November. Is that its level all year round? Are there really tens of thousands of people streaming Christmas music in July?

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Dec 17, 2023Liked by Jadrian Wooten

"SANTA SHIMMY SONG" is my very first song I ever wrote, sang & released. Just weeks ago.. And I'm 64!

While I might be too late for most 2023 playlists, I understand popularity is something that grows over the long run.

I hope SANTA SHIMMY SONG's playful, joyful but not saccharine nature will please many more hearts & ears.

How often do you hear a family-friendly, rockin' Christmas song that happily unites Baby Jesus, Santa Claus and the Christmas spirit of helping others?

Even if you believe in "Bah, humbug for the holidays" you might enjoy this fresh new take on timeless hopes.

Please do check out SANTA SHIMMY SONG today & share some love! Thank you & may you be happy.

-Scott Ufford

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"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas", written in 1942, right in the middle of WW2, struck a chord with troops abroad and their loved ones at home, similar to the nostalgia of the "White cliffs of Dover".

I remember "From a distance" by Bette Midler resonated with me during the Kuwait war.

Powerful are these works from war periods.

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Dec 16, 2023Liked by Jadrian Wooten

This is a great read! I personally love to hear each of my favorite artists' versions of public domain Christmas music.

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Even as a musician myself, it’s hard not to acknowledge that musical copyright protection is absurdly and almost unjustifiably long

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Dec 18, 2023Liked by Jadrian Wooten

We did the Economics of Holiday Music Create a Playlist activity in class this morning! The students really enjoyed it. They enjoyed this article, too.

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I've been meaning to write about this for a while - not the Christmas effect but the inevitable superstar economics which happen in a market where there are returns-to-returns. Here's my thinking: at a certain saturation in a market, the product which saturates it is better to stock/promote/use. Journalists will write about the thing that's popular, concert halls will book what's popular.

Sure everyone is trying to find something new, but really they're trying to find what's popular next. The newness isn't actually the goal - otherwise we would hear much more weird-arse classical music than pop!

This is exactly the IP-driven incentive structure we have. Which begs the question: do we (the audience) really want what the market is structured to give us, or have we just become pavlovian to the market's structure?

Really nice post. Merry Christmas and enjoy the music!

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Dec 18, 2023Liked by Jadrian Wooten

In Japan, wistful music that evokes memories and goodbyes becomes popular every year during the graduation season.The power of nostalgia is powerful.

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What about The Waitresses' "Christmas Wrapping"?

Or MR. HANKY'S CHRISTMAS CLASSICS' "Merry F**king Christmas!" and "Christmastime in Hell"?

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I don't mind listening to xmas music in July (which is a good thing because my husband whistles it all year long) but I am getting tired of listening to the same ole crap while getting groceries in December. Hell, right now you can't even go to Home Depot without being inundated by Jingle Bells and chestnuts roasting at an open fire! I am enjoying the New Music Holiday playlist you shared, though. Some of the songs are a bit weird but at least they're DIFFERENT. I'm not one for tradition anyway, whether it's music, holidays, food, clothes--- I'm determined to be different & colorful in my old age. :) I just think that Christmas got way too commercialized -- especially here in the US. You start seeing fake xmas trees next to Halloween decorations in the stores. Like - WTF? We live in a "melting pot" and the "Christian Holidays" shouldn't be forced down everybody's gullet. I used to love the Christmas Markets in Germany, the smells for fennel Candy and Glühwein and Lebkuchen, but somehow it lost its "specialness" for me. I don't watch xmas movies either -- unless my husband bribes me with an Eggnog & Rum -- preferably in July. :)

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Some wandering contemplations on the topic - in the form of an essay I wrote a while ago - looking at Christmas Carols, Christmas music, Christmas, Christ, spirituality, and the collision of science and religion. https://garyrsimonds.com/2021/11/28/christmas-carols/

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Curious why you choose to use the word “economist” when what you write about is ‘capitalism’ and ‘capitalists’. America’s economy is a capitalist economy, isn’t it?

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From my perspective, "Fairytale of New York" is the most authentic and earnest Christmas song of all time. It touches on several of the themes you noted, especially home and nostalgia. What I am perhaps drawn to most about the tune, is that it's the antithesis of the "most wonderful time of the year" cliche. It is a wonderfully sorrowful and gut-wrenching archetype of the hardships and strife that accompany the holiday season, as much (if not more) as the joyous moments. And as for staying power, 362,750,532 Spotify streams ain't to shabby!

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If artists have copyright protection to their music why is big tech and streaming corps allowed to rip them off along with public who don’t want to pay for music?

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