Friday, December 18, 2015

The Scariest Song in the World

Among the  host of insipid holiday songs that are played on an endless loop in every public square until the listener slowly goes insane is a chipper little ditty called "Santa Claus is Coming to Town", whose lyrics go something like this:

You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town

He's making a list
And checking it twice
Gonna find out Who's naughty and nice
Santa Claus is coming to town

He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!

O! You better watch out!
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town
 
Laying aside the soul-strangling tune that is no doubt bouncing around in your skull ( I apologize), lets just take a look at the words themselves. When we do, it becomes readily apparently that something hinky is going on at the North Pole.
  The very song itself begins with a warning as we are told "You'd better watch out, you'd better not cry". The listener is admonished to alter their behavior and alter it quickly. No matter what the  reason, no matter what the justification, a blanket clarion call against crying or pouting rings out!  The reason given is yet another grim warning ; "Santa Claus is coming to town".
  But why should the appearance of this ripe jolly old elf be of such concern for us? Why does the songwriter feel the need to  call out to us to straighten up our act?  The clue is laid in the very next verse; "He's making a list, and checking it twice." Old Chris Kringle apparently is intensely interested in the behavior of the citizens of the world to the point that he documents their behavior and  back-checks it for errors.  The next line is equally chilling ;"Gonna find out Who's naughty and nice"The  CEO of the North Pole doesn't appear to already know  who is 'naughty or nice', and therefore has to "find out". It's more than a little disturbing that, while the  song hints at the existence of some sort of vast intelligence-gathering apparatus deployed by Old Saint Nick, we aren't given any insight as to the parameters of what makes somebody naughty or what makes somebody nice.  Much like the NSA, Santa monitors and documents, but holds the means and methods close to his vest.
 


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