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Amidst all the debate over whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie, or this or that song should or should not be played over the holiday season, or even over whether Christmas started as a pagan holiday, I thought it important to bring some historical perspective to the matter. You see, most people are actually woefully historically ignorant of some of the most pernicious of pagan customs that have not only found their way into modern culture, but were deliberately planted there. And so I have here marked out just some of the more blatant examples.
Last Christmas, by Wham. This song’s origins as an Aztec sacrificial lament are encoded right there in the chorus for all to hear. Of course, the setting is more modern (Aztecs not having access to modern drum sets, or Boy George for that matter), but the lyrics and the melody are lifted right from ancient writing found on numerous Aztec temples throughout Meso-America. The holiday of “Christmas” was simply swapped out from the more ancient Aztec term for Winter Solstice, which is primarily why the new version needed a 4/4 drum beat, instead of the older Aztec 17/7 beat, which was ideally suited for the rhythmic plunging of obsidian blades. Thus in its original, the chorus reads:
Last Solstice I cut out my cousin’s heart
But the very next day you accidentally dropped it into a pond
This year, to save me from an agonizing death from plague
I’ll give it to a more attentive priest
Of course this version would never sell, no matter how enthusiastic the drum section, but Boy George, having recently returned from a vacation in Mexico (where, according to rumors, he was secretly initiated into a surviving Aztec sect), and wanting to do all he could to encourage holiday suicides, reworked the lyrics into something more palatable. That the song continues to be played is both a testament to the poor taste of radio DJs, and a sign of the pernicious effects of a multi-culturalism that is no longer able to condemn human sacrifice. The song clearly has no place as a Christmas song and should be banned.
Rocking Around The Christmas Tree, by Dianne Addante – This arboreal circle-dancing song is certainly upbeat and fun today (if horribly overplayed), but its origins as a Germanic agrarian Vernal Equinox song are often forgotten. This song was originally sung by villagers as they danced in concentric circles around the biggest spruce tree they could find (substituting white pine in more isolated hamlets, and if they were really desperate they’d use a larch tree instead). The song was originally intended to summon the great gods of fertility to come and bless the planting of crops. The line about smooching under the mistletoe is surprisingly an untouched (save for translation) original line. Also notable is how the original Germanic rockabilly beat has been preserved (the Germans always have better drummers than the Aztecs). Here is how the original lyrics ran:
Dancing around the Vernal Tree
for the blessing of the crops,
A mistletoe hung where you can see
Every couple tries to stop
Dancing around the evergreen Tree
Let the fertile spirits spring
Later we’ll roast some hogs on spits
and we’ll do some massacring
You will get a drunken feeling
When you hear, voices singing
“Let’s be feasting; Deck the woods with boughs of holly”
Baby, It’s Cold Outside – by Frank Loesser – This song is surprisingly modern, but not quite as modern as you’d think. You see, the original on which this was based was more of a Halloween romantic duet sung by Alistair Crowley and HP Lovecraft about summoning monstrous shades to take over the world. Still pagan, but a more modern pagan. There are no surviving recordings of the authors singing their number, as any time it was played live, the recording studio would spontaneously combust, beginning with the drummer (modern drummers being rather inexpensive, it took a while for recording studios to clue into the problem). Fortunately for Loesser, he was well outside the blast radius of the final attempt to record the number, and so only caught the tune, the lyrics being muffled by the sounds of an extradimensional portal snapping shut after consuming yet another drummer. And more fortunately for all of us, the last copy of the original lyrics went along with that studio.
In conclusion, we should all have a merry and watchful Christmas, and not play any of these songs lest that portal reopen, letting loose hordes of angry Vikings, Aztecs, and drummers (this goes double for Little Drummer Boy).Published in