Thursday, December 6, 2007

You Must Be Joking, Son; Where Did You Get Those Shoes?

The other day I mentioned a Christmas song getting a fair amount of airplay called "The Christmas Shoes," by Bob Carlisle, the Kenny G of country music, who had earlier supplied the world with "Butterfly Kisses." "The Christmas Shoes" is the worst Christmas song ever written, and I don't care how many times you've heard "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer"; "The Christmas Shoes" is worse.

In case you haven't heard the song (and bully for you if you haven't), the synopsis is that the narrator is in a store Christmas shopping when he sees an unkempt little boy trying to buy a pair of shoes; the boy is apparently short of fundage but tells the clerk that he wants them for his ailing mother, who is potentially going to "meet [] Jesus" that night. Seriously. The narrator, of course, shells out the extra bux to pay for the shoes, then ruminates over how "God had sent that little boy to remind me/What Christmas is all about."


First of all, if God would like to show me the real meaning of Christmas, I'd rather He not do it by killing off the mother of a small child, thank You very much. Not that I'm trying to be any sort of hero, but if that's what it would take, I'd rather not know the meaning of Christmas. Second of all, at the end of the day, this kid's going to have a mother who's properly shod, but she's still going to be dead. Not exactly a sentiment to invoke the spirit of Jolly Old St. Nick, is it?

Even if you take the song at face value, it makes no sense. If this kid's mother is in danger of having Christmas in heaven, she's probably bedridden by now, right? So what good is a pair of shoes gonna do her? Have you ever tried to lie in bed, under the covers, with shoes on? It's not all that comfortable. Not to mention the fact that it's really risky to buy shoes without ever having tried them on.

If Bob Carlisle wanted to do something nice for the boy's mom, he should have told him to buy a tiara. Let's be proactive here, Bob: The kid needs guidance.

But there is a bright side to all this. If the boy's mother really does "meet Jesus" on Christmas Eve, she'll be able to wish Him a happy birthday.


Anonymous said...

So she's going to meet Jesus. Who said anything about dying?

Anonymous said...

And it could be so much worse. Could be called "The Christmas Thong."

T. Nawrocki said...

Well, there's also a reference to Mama being sick, so I think they're afraid that if she meets Jesus, she might end up getting Him sick, too.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's a podiatric condition. So new shoes would be a thoughtful touch.

Rob said...

thanks for this post, Tom. I heard this song for the first time a couple nights ago, in a cab, and I was chewing up my tongue trying not to laugh and hi-five the cabbie and scream "This is the Citizen Kane of deathbed-shoe-Jesus Christmas songs!"

it figures it's the same guy who sang "Butterfly Kisses." But I feel like he wussed out not having a final verse where he has a dream that night where he sees Jesus wearing the shoes.

T. Nawrocki said...

I can't really see Jesus wearing a women's shoe, unless it was some kind of Birkenstock, which doesn't exactly seem to be Bob Carlisle's speed.

Although, maybe they're doing a special Christmas cross-dressing pageant in heaven this year. Who knows?