J.B. is a simple tune, useful as a musical starting point because everyone knows it. Also it is "seasonal". It evokes winter: snow and cold and darkness and a sense of gloomy despair that these short days might never start getting longer again. It all adds up to a good reason for a big party. You build a fire, get drunk and beat on some drums. Before long, you're having a night of wild sex. Anything to stay warm.
J.B. also evokes Christmas. This is because anything which evokes cold and snow has been co-opted as a Christmas ornament. Houses are decorated with white lights meant to resemble icicles. Penguins, polar bears, reindeer, snow men, igloos and Santa Clauses are called out to serve the Capitalist Christian Solstice holiday.
Music is called on as well. As a non-Christian and a musician living in a mindlessly Christian society I have often found all the Christmas music unbearably oppressive. So I've made an effort to cope by hollowing out a little space for my own musical interests in the galaxy of Christmas music. It makes me feel a bit better. Your mileage may vary.
This years offering is called Jiggle Belts, if only because I'm running out of Jingle Bells puns. It's not so much an idyllic sleigh ride in a one horse open sleigh as it is a subversive unrelenting drag race between people with noisy powerful machines who need to shed a few pounds. Enjoy:
Click here to hear Jiggle Belts, © 2014 by David Ocker - 75 seconds
Other Christmas music references I have enjoyed.
The Little Drummer Boy Game - anyone can play this at Christmas time. (You lose the moment you hear any version of The Little Drummer Boy.) (So far, this year, I'm still a winner.)
Here's a poem by Charles Bukowski on the subject of classical music radio, Christmas and people:
Finally - a list of past Jingle Bells pieces from Mixed Meters and me. Merry Happiness everyone. The days will start getting longer soon - trust me.
Jungle Bells (2006 - 209 seconds)
Jingle Bulls (2006 - 231 seconds)
Jingle Bills (2007 - 30 seconds)
One Note Open Sleigh (2008 - 38 seconds)
A Combination of Jingle Bells and the Internationale (2009 - 327 seconds)
Solstice Lights (2010 - 640 seconds)
Jingle Bells - The Long Version (short version) (2011 - 212 seconds)
Jinglemonics (2012 - 247 seconds)
The William Bell Overture (Jingle Tells) (2013 - 390 seconds)
Jiggle Belts (2014 - 75 seconds)
All works © David Ocker