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Celebrate holiday season with politically correct carols

December 22, 2010|By TIM ROWLAND | timr@herald-mail.com
  • Tim Rowland
Tim Rowland

Christmas carols are fine with me; they're festive, and they are only around for a couple of weeks, so you never really get sick of them. I would further add that I am a traditionalist, which might be why I was nonplused to hear a version of "Winter Wonderland" in which the term "Parson Brown" was changed to "Circus Clown."

Look, if you are independently wealthy and have nothing better to do than fight the words "In God We Trust" on U.S. money, or "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, knock yourself out. I can at least see where you're coming from in an intellectual sense, even if I think it's a big waste of everyone's time.

But taking religious references out of a religious holiday? That strikes me as odd, to say the least. But if that's the trend, and since I myself have nothing to do, maybe I can help all you poor slobs who can't enjoy a good holiday without being a spoilsport. So let's see, where to start:

  • It's the Most Life Affirming Time of the Year.
  • Hark the Anaheim Angels Sing.
  • Oh Come all Ye Skeptics.
  • We Three Gender Neutral Benevolent Dictators of Orient Are.

That probably is enough to get my point across, but now I'm kind of locked into the concept for the long haul. Good columnists know how to avoid this kind of trap, but it's getting to be too late for me to change course.

  • The Holly and the Ivy League.
  • Away in the Rear-Facing Car Seat.
  • O Little Town of Gomorrah.

See, the problem with a column like this is that once you're into it there's no way out. You can't just up and start writing about Kate Middleton's wedding or something, because people will see through it and know that you got yourself into a mess from which you cannot escape.

  • I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus, Not That There's Anything Wrong With That.
  • Rudolph the Nostrilly Challenged Reindeer.

See, the first song title or two might have seemed truly hilarious — and while that's great as far as it goes, you have effectively forced yourself into thinking up another 20 titles or so, which will almost assuredly become less and less amusing.

  • It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Solstice.
  • Deck the Yurt.

Theoretically, I could go off on another Christmas-related angle, such as the Actual Story that was recently related to me by a friend in his 50s who had less than an ideal childhood. We were standing around talking about the season and he was smoking a cigarette when he casually mentioned that:

"We never really had all that many traditions, but mom shot dad just about every Christmas."

"Shot him?"

"Yeah, see she knew that Christmas would be about the only time of the year that he'd try to see us, so she'd get a bottle of Black Velvet and a gun and sit up on the hill and wait for him. I remember seeing Daddy one time about two months after Christmas and he was still picking pellets out of his arm. He said, 'D--- boy, can't you get her to stop doing that?' I tried, but it was my little brother who finally got to her. He started crying and said,'Please, Mommy, don't shoot Daddy this year.'"

But even this tactic isn't entirely satisfactory, especially since the reader has been led to believe he's getting fake song titles and ends up with a tragically dysfunctional Christmas story. So what do I do? What can I do, except to thank the Lord and/or the circus clown that I am out of space. Merry Christmas.



Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 6997, or via e-mail at timr@herald-mail.com. Tune in to the Rowland Rant video under opinion@herald-mail.com, on antpod.com or on Antietam Cable's WCL-TV Channel 30 at 6:30 p.m. New episodes are released every Wednesday.

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