Only one week until Christmas Day. Are you ready, people?
O by golly.
Several days ago I wrote about my affinity for sad Christmas songs, but happy Christmas songs are much more common. They are also awesome.
I'm not sure there are many happier than this one. Burl Ives is telling you to have a holly jolly Christmas -- not happy, not merry -- but holly jolly.
I'm not even sure very many of us have holly jolly in us most of the time. You can be quietly happy or merry, but my impression of jolly has always been that you're so mega-happy that it wells up from your toes, gets you almost shaking and then comes shooting out of your lungs before you can even contain it:
HO! HO! HO!
And as for holly as an adjective, I don't even fully know what that means. Songwriter Johnny Marks wanted to described a kind of joy that the English language didn't even contain at that point.
Speaking of Johnny Marks, let's take a moment to appreciate the man's contribution to Christmas music as we understand it today. He also brought us "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree", "Silver and Gold", "Run, Rudolph, Run".
Not exactly a lightweight. Sweet lord, this guy was the Cole Porter of Christmas.
So in honor of Burl Ives and Johnny Marks, everybody, please, have a holly jolly Christmas this year.
On the docket tomorrow: "The Christmas Song"
The 24 days of Christmas (songs)
Dec. 1: 'Sleigh Ride' -- The Ronettes
Dec. 2: 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing' -- Marty Robbins
Dec. 3: 'O Tannenbaum' -- Vince Guaraldi Trio
Dec. 4: 'Blue Christmas' -- Elvis
Dec. 5: 'Santa Baby' -- Madonna
Dec. 6: 'It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas' -- Perry Como and the Fontane Sisters
Dec. 7: 'Here Comes Santa Claus' -- Alvin and the Chipmunks
Dec. 8: 'Angels We Have Heard on High' -- Brian Setzer Orchestra
Dec. 9: 'White Christmas' -- The Drifters
Dec. 10: 'Do You Hear What I Hear?' -- Bing Crosby
Dec. 11: 'Carol of the Bells' -- Celtic Woman
Dec. 12: 'Jingle Bells' -- Frank Sinatra
Dec. 13: 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' -- Judy Garland
Dec. 14: 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' -- Tennessee Ernie Ford and Straight No Chaser
Dec. 15: 'What Child Is This?' -- Johnny Mathis
Dec. 16: 'My Favorite Things' -- John Coltrane
Dec. 17: 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings' -- Barenaked Ladies/Sarah McLachlan