I was on the elevator at my department store – “Griffith’s” – the other day and was pleased to hear the Christmas music I had chosen. On my frequent excursions to rival department stores (to scope out the competition and spike their perfumes with an extract of Amorphophallus Titanium that I acquired in Sumatra) I realised that many people are yet to come around to the gentleman’s Christmas music.
You see, the gentleman did not invent Christmas carols, as you might have thought. In fact, gentleman can not stand Christmas carols. I can hear what you’re saying: “You’re mad, Griffith! Some of history’s finest gentlemen have lent their voices to Christmas carols!”. This is true, but you have missed the whole point of the gentleman’s foray into caroling. Gentlemen in the 1920s were tired of being ostracized by their dislike of popular Christmas songs of the time. It pained them because gentlemen enjoy the festive season as much as the next man. So what else to do but bring a touch of gentlemanly class to the genre?
So high-ranking and well-known gentlemen from all over were recruited to serenade to the masses. They included Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Dean Martin. This may tempt you to think that Michael Buble or Elton John are amongst these fine gentlemen just because they have released Christmas albums. I cannot stress how incorrect this is. As your punishment, you must now listen to their albums in entirety. Also, please reread the Gentleman Impostor post.
Christmas songs were, of course, designed by monks or some such person many years ago. And the gentleman has since revolutionized the carol to be pleasing to the gentleman’s ear. While most of these songs could be transformed by the solo genius of Sinatra et al., for some carols the bland melody and trite words had to be performed by more than one gentleman to make it pleasing to other gentleman’s ears. You see, when many gentlemen come together as one, the sheer force of their scotch and cigary odour will overcome the tackiness of many Christmas songs.
So thanks to previous gentleman’s efforts, we now have gentleman-friendly music to enjoy and get into the spirit of Christmas with. What better way to enjoy a festive evening than with your pipe, your Chesterfield, a warm fire place (for those of us in the Old World), a refreshing Scotch and some gentleman crooning a carol on your gramophone.
And don’t forget, the gentleman’s expedition into Christmas music did not stop in the 1950s. The Beatles released no fewer than (in fact, exactly) seven Christmas albums. Unfortunately since then the genre has since slipped from the gentleman’s monopoly.
Until next time,