Songs and Holidays


One of the unusual things in life is Christmas songs: for a couple of months, everyone songs and listens to different songs. There are even two distinct groups of the songs (Christian and secular), so there must be some reason.

In contrast, no other holidays have their own music (at least that I know of). We apparently just had Valentine's Day (I don't have a girlfriend/wife, so I don't know about it on my own). However, we didn't have any special songs. We don't have special songs for Good Friday/Easter, Thanksgiving, or Halloween, so the religiousness of the holiday isn't important. I do know of one for New Year's (Auld Lang Syne), but it seems to be an exception.

For the Christian songs, there is a sort of reason. The birth of Jesus is not, for a Christian theology perspective, actually that important. People like it, however, so we think about it for a bit of the year and ignore it for the rest. In contrast, the themes of Good Friday and Easter (Jesus's death and resurrection, the forgiveness of sins, eternity) are important, so they show up in songs all year (even Christmas songs).

Things don't make so much sense for secular songs. The religion-free form of Christmas is about Platonic (i.e. non-romantic) love, generosity, taking pleasure in simple things. These are not any less relevant to day-to-day life than romantic love (Valentine's Day), our country (Canada Day), worker's rights (the original significance of Labour Day), or the fact we have enough food to avoid starving to death in the winter (Thanksgiving). Yet only Christmas has songs.

Any thoughts on why this is?


It turns out there are songs for other holidays. Some examples: In hindsight, I also realize that we have songs about romantic love all year; I just avoid them.

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