A New Meaning Behind Christmas Music


Thalia Gonzalez, Junior Editor

As Christmas approaches, all I can hear are Christmas classics: but now, these songs seem to be changing. Not because people are making new versions, but because people seem to be changing the meanings.

So, let’s talk about one of my favorites, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” You probably think this song is just a carol you hear at children’s Christmas concerts or on a kids movie. But, it has recently been involved in a new uproar of how this song is completely inappropriate for young children’s ears.

Most everyone knows that in this song Rudolph is being bullied for his deformity, his bright red nose. Then on December 24, Christmas Eve, Santa “came to say” that he needed Rudolph and his nose to help guide the sleigh through the fog. This excites Rudolph and he helps Santa and the other reindeer, and in the end the other reindeer love Rudolph.

When you really look into this song it seems to be recreating a harsh vision of society: If you want to be accepted, you have to prove your economic utility. No one really cared about Rudolph until they needed to use him. In the end of the song they sing about how Rudolph will “go down in history,” and how they absolutely love him. But, in reality, they just want to be able to say that they knew him, because when you think of reindeer you probably automatically think of Rudolph and then all of the others and sometimes you don’t even remember their names.

Tabi Stanec, a junior, mentions how “The music was made in the past, the world is more sensitive now and you can’t compare the standards from then to the ones now. Little kids listen to songs like this and they don’t automatically think about bullying.”

I never really thought this song promoted bullying, but as I take a deeper look I can see what the uproar is about. There are also many other controversial Christmas songs that have people upset. Even “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is getting some controversy. This song is now being seen as sexist, manipulative and even goes so far as to say that it eludes to rape and date rape drugs. Radios all over the country have even stopped letting it play on their stations because it has started such a controversy.

Christmas is one of the biggest and happiest holidays out of the whole year, so the music we listen to has a big impact. But, these songs were produced in the 1940s, so it seems a little unfair to be saying that these songs are completely horrible because they were made in a different time when things were thought of different.