Mariah Carey, The Christmas Music Juggernaut

It’s Christmas time, and I am somebody who writes about music on the occasion. There’s a song I have not yet touched on. In fact, I’ve never touched upon it in my writing. To double down on the “in fact” statements, I’ve never heard the song in its entirety that I know of. Maybe I have in a grocery store. If I did, it was flitting in and out of my ears. It’s the biggest hit Christmas song of the last 50 years of so probably. When you think Christmas music post, like “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and “Jingle Bell Rock,” it’s the song you think of. Well, other than “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” which is an entirely different kettle of fish. I’m talking about Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You.”

This song is, obviously, a smash hit. You know that. Somehow, this will end up being the thing Carey, an incredibly successful musician, will be most remembered for. She’s had so many hits, but nothing has had the legs of “All I Want for Christmas is You.” It’s a staple. It’s made her a legend of the yuletide. All glory goes to Carey, and she loves it. She loves her role in Christmas lore. Good for her. It’s quite the legacy to leave.

I am not a Carey fan per se. I’ve heard some of her songs, sure, but her flavor of pop music has never been my thing. None of her songs I’ve heard have been bad, but also not necessarily good either. They have been fine. Some of them are pretty good. She has an impressive voice. I don’t listen to popular music, or the radio, by and large, but I go shopping. I occasionally turn on a radio station that is playing Christmas music. I’ve heard parts of “All I Want for Christmas is You.” In total, I’ve probably heard it all. And…I kind of like it.

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It’s definitely a catchy song. Carey’s voice sounds good. It’s a bright pop song, and a love song, which makes it better than the traditional slogs like “Little Drummer Boy.” Give me pop music over that nonsense any day. It also feels like Christmas, which is crucial. You could hear an instrumental of this song, and you’d know it is a Christmas tune, and a toe tapper at that.

Will I ever just sit down and listen to “All I Want for Christmas is You?” Probably not. Every year, though, it pops up here and there. I will hear snippets of it. And I won’t mind. It’ll be a nice couple of seconds in the cereal aisle or whatever. So thank you, Mariah, for modernizing the Christmas song and giving us something relatively fresh, and pretty good, to enjoy.

About Chris Morgan

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