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Pickle Me This

December 19, 2007

Nation sweeping

Though I spoke disparagingly of trivia etc. in a review yesterday, I wish to contradict myself today. (I try to contradict myself at least daily, in order that I never actually form such a dangerous thing as an “opinion”). I do find Wikipedia infinitely valuable in my day-to-day life, mainly whenever I am in search of pop-music miscellany (i.e. what is a hoople or whatever happened to Kris Kross). Triviality and pop-music do seem to suit one another, which is not to say that pop-music is trivial, but isn’t that sort of its very point?

Anyway, the moral of all this is that I love Britain. And what I love most about Britain is the way in which it can be swept. See, I’m from Canada, whose area is more than 9 million square kilometres, and nothing ever sweeps our nation. It’s hard to sweep six time zones, after all. So then to contemplate Britain whose national grid experiences power surges after pivotal episodes of Corrie or EastEnders, as everybody and his auntie puts the kettle on for a cup of tea. I don’t know; the UK can claim disunity, but all nationalism aside, its citizens are more together than they ever give themselves credit for (and someone Welsh will probably slug me for saying that, but…). 17.9 million people tuning in to find out who killed Phil? 17.9 million cups of tea? Though we’ve got at least 17.9 million people in Canada, I really doubt that all of them have ever even been awake at the same time.

But I digress. This time of year Britain is being swept by Christmas Number One fever. (People will tell you that they don’t care, and they won’t want to care, but fact is they do). The front runner is thought to be a terrible cover by the winner of a pop-idol type show whose winners have captured the Number One for the last two years, though competition is coming on strong by a grassroots effort called “We’re All Going to Die“, or a song by something called “Shaun the Sheep”, and (now that downloads count) old favourites “Fairy Tale of New York” and “All I Want For Christmas Is You“. I’m rooting for anyone but Souljah Boy. Complete list of UK Christmas Number Ones conveniently compiled here.

The fever rose today, however, as the nation became incensed about BBC Radio 1’s decision to censor the lyrics to The Pogues’ wonderful Fairy Tale of New York. The BBC received so many complaints about this, the decision was reversed early this evening. Rightly so, I think (and particularly if that ghastly Souljah Boy fellow gets to sing about doing repulsive things to “ho’s” in his gratingly forgettable track). And this little bit of publicity could well help “Fairy Tale of New York” get to number one– wouldn’t that be grand? Particularly, of course, as it only got to Number Two at Christmas 1987, when it was beat out by the Pet Shop Boys’ “Always On My Mind”.

One thought on “Nation sweeping”

  1. Panic says:

    I’m sad to say my favorite Christmas song, Wham!’s “Last Christmas” was not a Christmas number one. And I’m confused about the year 2000.

    (The possessive of Wham! is such odd looking punctuation, but I believe the exclamation mark is essential in the name…)

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