A very nice GWS reader asked very sincerely why I was cracking on the horrendous song "The Christmas Shoes" (click at your own risk), so I gave him a very sincere answer. Some people wanted to hear what I wrote, so I thought I’d post it here. Since, y’know, I keep forgetting that I have a Tumblr. :)
The people who HATE this song are probably the same kind of people who are immune to things like pushy advertising and the over-dramatization of Fox News. If you’re prone to over-analyzing things rather than taking them at face value, you’ll probably hate Christmas Shoes.
Now, if you’d like to enjoy the song without my curmudgeon-y breakdown of it, feel free to skip the next two paragraphs! :)
The thing is, while I don’t know the singer of this song or his intentions, the whole thing reeks of “look at what an incredible person I am.” The most exciting part of this song (musically speaking) is the part where he humble-brags about how he helped the little boy out, and then he DARES to suggest that the little boy’s very real, heartbreaking plight was all laid out in front of him JUST to get him in the Christmas spirit, as if the narrator/singer were the most important person in the song. It’s a viewpoint that real people actually have; that everything around them was put there by God to help THEM. It’s a very self-centered concept.
Had he simply changed the words so that an unidentified man behind the little boy helped him pay for the shoes - instead of the very person singing it - and skipped the thoughtless, condescending part where he thinks the meaning of the whole sad situation was to put someone more fortunate in a good mood, then it would simply be a tear-jerker of a song (one that I still wouldn’t like, because it’s so overly-emotional, but at least it would have merit!).
So, on top of all that, from a personal standpoint I just don’t like many sad songs. I tend to make a “BLEAH”-face whenever a song comes on the radio that was obviously written in a way to make you feel sad and sorry for yourself.
That said, I’m sure there are a lot of songs I like that are meant to make me feel sad and sorry for myself, and I just let ‘em slide because for some reason or another I like them! So I’m not claiming superiority, just personal taste. :)
I hope that helps!