December 18, 2006

“Wonderful Christmastime”

"Wonderful Christmastime" was recorded during the making of the final Paul McCartney & Wings album, Back to the Egg (1978). The B-side of the single was "Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reggae." There are some who don't like it. For example, at the Wikipedia page for the song (it's been edited out in the twelve hours since I've posted this):

In Japan, there have been numerous attempts to ban the "Wonderful Christmastime" due to the song being directly attributed to 143 separate cases of suicide. In 1987, one Osaka radio station reportedly played the track back-to-back for three days straight, in the lead up to Christmas. Tokyo Police Department reported 57 fatalities during the 1986-87 period alone. A Japanese government spokesman was popularly quoted as saying that "the syncopated synthesizer appears to send people scrambling for the fish knife."

BUT...I've always loved it. McCartney must have a knack for writing Christmas songs. Witness the 1967 ("Christmas Time Is Here Again"), 1968 ("Happy Christmas, Happy New Year"), and 1969 ("This is to Wish You a Merry, Merry Christmas") Beatle fan club recordings for evidence. What struck me about the video for the song is how happy McCartney seems. Appearing also is the final incarnation of Wings. Good times.


7 comments:

Becca said...

Dude, just thinking about this song makes me want to drive to the store to buy a fish knife to take my own life.

Chris said...

LOL!

C'mon, it's not that bad.

Lisa said...

I agree with becca, I have a visceral dislike of this song.

It's also one of those songs that sounds like the opposite of what it's saying, like Lou Reed's "I'm So Free." It just comes across that way to me.

I think someone has gone and edited the info about suicide in Japan out of that Wikipedia page.

Chris said...

lisa-

Wow - visceral. I guess I'm a big enough McCartney fan to get past the things about it that rile people. I just don't hear those things...

You're right - someone took out the bit about the Japanese dislike of it. I thought that sounded like bullshit, anyway.

Lisa said...

No disrespect meant to Mr. McCartney. My Cheerful Christmas Music Intolerance Syndrome (CCMIS) is acting up -- I'm fine as long as I take my dried frog pills.

ScottyB said...

This song is just begging to be remixed in either a techno or hip-hop fashion.... if only I were a DJ.

Chris said...

lisa- Is that like restless leg syndrome??....I hear dried frog pills work just as well on that.

scottyb- It's practically techno already! I think that's one of the things I like about it - the bouncy synth part.