December 29, 2007

What's Past is Prologue

Gifts, indeed! The images and sensations that this album evokes for me are purely commercial. Instead of sugarplums, I start visioning malls, chain stores, poorly planned parking lots, bags of goodies in my back seat, stacks of receipts….And that’s ok. You see, I don’t really buy into the True Meaning of Christmas as the birth of baby Jesus. I’m not dissing baby Jesus; I just think that folks forget that an earlier version of this winter holiday was all about the presents. The celebration of the Roman feast Saturnalia was "marked by the making and giving of small presents (saturnalia et sigillaricia) and a special market (sigillaria)". Phil Spector has provided a perfect soundtrack not for Christmas, as many claim, but for Saturnalia.

To celebrate here is my free association between each song and the special market or activity that it calls to mind:

  • Darlene Love's "White Christmas" = Bath and Body Works
  • The Ronettes' "Frosty the Snowman" = Target
  • Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans’ The Bells of St. Mary = Navigating someplace stuffy that I never wanted to be. Boscovs?
  • The Crystals' "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" = Bed Bath and Beyond
  • The Ronettes' "Sleigh Ride" = CostCo
  • Darlene Love's "Marshmallow World" = Wegman's
  • The Ronettes' "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" = Circuit City
  • The Crystals' "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" = Best Buy
  • Darlene Love's "Winter Wonderland" = Victoria’s Secret
  • The Crystals' "Parade of the Wooden Soldiers" = Picking up last minute wrapping supplies at the Dollar Store
  • Darlene Love's "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" =Sitting in a suburban parking lot trying to decide which route to take back to my apartment.
  • Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans' "Here Comes Santa Claus" = Borders
  • Phil Spector and Artists' "Silent Night" = I’ve never heard this before in my life.


venerableseed said...

In other Saturnalia news:

polchic said...

I do love me some Greg Dulli....