Due to this principle, ears for whom Christmas is a holiday worldwide associate many such songs with memories of the depressingly uplifting. “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” is the crumbling veneer on an overstretched budget. “Jingle Bells” suggests the solution for pent up shopping frustration might be homicide, and “Frosty the Snowman” double homicide.
For these reasons it’s rare that listeners take the time to listen to the lyrics of the lo-fi songs they hear. And who can blame them? Many Christmas songs are deplorably inane. For example:
Here comes Santa Claus
Here comes Santa Claus
Right down Santa Claus Lane
Every one knows Santa flies. There is no Santa Claus Lane. And:
Prospero Ano y Felicidad.
But one song in particular is alarmingly revealing as to its sinister underlying purpose. It beguiles listeners with saccharine lyrics and bewitching stanzas. It is the musical equivalent to a paedophiliac old man taking candy from a baby.
But “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” fails the hand that wrote it. Its clever rhymes cannot but belie its intentions.
He's making a list,
He's checking it twice,
He's gonna find out
who's naughty or nice.
Santa’s brown nosing into the deeds and misdeeds of children is worrisome by itself, and his obsessive compulsive list-making does nothing to allay fears. The casual listener might ponder what could be the purpose of such devoted organization. The same listener may be placated by the assurance that Santa simply wants to deliver toys to the good children.
But hark! What’s this?
He sees you when you're sleeping,
He knows when you're awake.
The listener should at once be alarmed at the overtones of espionage, which carry not the slightest hint of embarrassment. Are these just the harmless advances of a lonely stranger beckoning children thither through the school gates? The next line however only exacerbates the listener’s unease:
He knows when you've been bad or good
Who does that sound like? The obsession of Old Saint Nick with the morality of children too young to understand the word absolutely reeks of God’s constant interventions. Jehovah, the original condescending paternalist, co-opts what appears to be an honest folk myth by reaching his desiccated hand down Santa’s shirt to wield him as a puppet. Christians must have realized that Yahweh betrayed Himself in the Old Testament with His appalling displays of brutal malice. What child would trust and befriend Thanatos incarnate? Santa then is His stooge, His agent of deceit. Santa's disarming, cheery appearance is wholesome enough for Coca Cola, but the red of his suit should be the flag of distress to all children who meet him.
So be good for goodness sake!
It is this last line that dispels all doubt, if any remained. The lyrics implore the juvenile listener with an asenine alliteration, but bludgeon him with a hammer of circular reasoning. It should by now be obvious that the Mayor of the North Pole is none other than a mythical Dr. Mengele, torturing dreams on the rack of cynical dogma.
The tried and tested tool of Christianity has always been the hammer, not the carrot. While wordsmiths may have created a façade of jovial bonhomie with portly Father Christmas, inducing children to behave with promises of presents, it is the explicit threat of denied joy for misbehaviour that again resonates most strongly. Having failed before to win people over, Christianity falls short again when it betrays Santa as the wretched wrecker of childish innocence.