^
Keep Houston Press Free
4

Xmas Smackdown: "Born To Die" Vs. "Christmas Shoes"

Christians love death at Christmas time. These two Christmas songs deal in the kind of mortality that is only hinted at in "Frosty The Snowman." He dies when the snow melts, but ominously proclaims that "he will be back someday." He doesn't even say when, and that's messed up.

You never hear about Santa dying in his sleep next to his Mrs. Claus and waking up in a cold embrace or a reindeer falling to their deaths in mid-air after an elf doesn't properly secure the reins in other secular songs, but Christians will make you remember death.

There's nothing like basking in the miracle of the birth of the Christ Child, our savior, to a virgin mother, and having a guy come up behind you and say "Yeah, well he's gonna get the shit beat out of him in like 33 years so you can have an affair with your secretary and not go to hell."

Mmmm, gingerbread cookies!

"Born to Die"

That's the premise of "Born To Die," a morosely slick number from Christian duo Shane & Shane and Bebo Norman. Imagine if Elliott Smith went to Bible college and sang about salvation and forgiveness instead of heartless bitches. We can't hate on S&S; the song is catchy and well-produced. It's the message that freaks people out. It make you start thinking about dead babies, and that's no fun.

Also, Bjorn To Die would be a cool zombie ABBA cover band. Ed. Note: Or an ABBA/Zombies cover band.

Then on the other hand, you have Newsong's "Christmas Shoes", which is sort of the unofficial Christmas jam for the godless, irony-laden masses. "Pssh, Christmas songs. Gimme the Bright Eyes Christmas album, thank you very much," they will say rubbing their beards next the French press. You know that French press is better, right?

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

"Christmas Shoes"

The thing that throws "Christmas Shoes" over the wall of irony and into Tear Land is obviously the child trying to buy a pair of shoes for his mother to wear in her casket when she dies and gets buried. A dead mom during the holidays is awful. A kid who doesn't know that corpses are buried without shoes is worse.

So who wins out of the two? If we are going for John Mayer-style emoting, which we almost always are, then we go with "Born To Die. But if we want to remember that our parents are mortal, then it's "Christmas Shoes."

In the end, we want to hear some sort of modicum of history, so it's "Born To Die," plus it's also the title of a mad decent Grand Funk Railroad album and title track.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.