Back In 1984
I was a senior in high school; I was infatuated with Pheobe Cates and Susanna Hoffs; I drove a 1979 Pinto station wagon, and that Chrismas season the English pop duo Wham! released “Last Christmas.”
The year was 1984.
George Michael (the famous half of Wham!) wrote “Last Christmas,” and in the end donated all royalties toward the Ethiopian famine relief. However, it’s my belief that there was an alternative purpose for writing “Last Christmas.” Besides feeding the hungry, the idea was to create a song which every new and up-and-coming talentless pop star could record in lieu of composing something original.
It was December of 1984…the year the movie Dune came out. No wonder I hate this song.
It’s Now 2021
It is now December of 2021 and everyone from Ariana Grande to Ashley Tisdale have done a cover of “Last Christmas.” Just about every time I get in the car and turn on the radio, or walk into any store, restaurant, or torture chamber, “Last Christmas” can be heard degrading the airwaves.
You know, if mankind is supposed to be evolving, why doesn’t Gwen Stefani just do a cover of Handel’s “Messiah”? Oh, yeah, I forgot.
Why I Hate It
So what is my gripe about “Last Christmas”? I’m glad you asked.
It’s the chorus…the chorus that gets sung over, and over, and over, and over again.
“Last Christmas I gave you my heart / But the next day you gave it away /
This year / To save me from tears / I’ll give it to someone special.” – George Michael
- Was the person this song was written about not a special person when the singer’s heart was first given away?
- If this year you’re going to give your heart to “someone special,” what does that say about the person to whom the song is being sung? Was she nothing more than some floozy you met at the ski lodge? Did she wake you up before she went went?
- If you’re in the habit of flippantly giving your heart away to non-special people – people who think so little of your heart that they give it away the very next day – what makes you think this year’s “special” person won’t do the same on December 26th?
- I can see how a person would receive a heart, like during a transplant, but how does one “give it away” the very next day? Does one say to a new lover, “Hey, baby, let me give you this heart – some other guy gave it to me yesterday for Christmas”?
The other day my wife and I stopped by a charity to donate some items for resale. Before we unloaded the items we no longer needed, my wife asked, “Do you want to go inside and look around?” “Sure,” I replied. “Anything to make you happy.”
A few minutes into our exploring of used or discounted items, my wife saw this strange, yet interesting music box sitting on a shelf. She said, “Look…a music box…it’s different…I wonder how much they want for it?”
Valerie reached up and turned the music box up on its side, and then she asked me to look at what she saw. Immediately I was struck with the awkwardness of the message and realized there was a potential blog post waiting to be written.
Here was the answer to at least one of my questions to George Michael and all of his subsequent knock-offs. Obviously, George was giving his special and non-special Christmas relationships tacky music boxes…
And they gave them away.