I’m not a fan of Christmas. I don’t like the cold, the snow or the rampant consumerism. I find it extremely ironic that a holiday intended to celebrate the birth of Christ has become cause for the biggest celebration of greed on the calendar. And I don’t care much for the never ending refrain of Christmas music coming from the radio.
But it’s that time of year. I wanted to review some Christmas music and I thought Bad Religion’s Christmas Songs would be a good choice. I expected some biting social commentary dealing with everything that I personally hate about the Yuletide season. But wait… what’s this? Their covering traditional religious songs?!
Of course they do a great job rocking out to these traditional tunes. I’m not a huge fan of the vocal opening on “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” but once it finds it’s rhythm it rocks. My favorite track is “Angels We Have Heard on High” which reminds me of Patty Smith with it’s chorus of ‘Gloria, In Excelsius Deo.’
But what disturbs me is a band that have always been secular to the point of adopting a ‘no parking for religion’ sign as their logo playing religious tunes. I feel like its a statement. I think they’re trying to say something here. I’m not entirely sure what they’re saying, but it’s something. And the fact that they include a version of “American Jesus” to close out the album only confirms that suspicion.
Maybe in their own way their proclaiming the death of Christmas as a religious holiday and its full assimilation into secular culture.
Or maybe they just wanted the revenue from a Christmas album.