Paul McCartney Is Number One (Cue Backlash)

Poor Paul. If you’ve been around the blog for a while, you know my affection for the guy. It’s so easy to like John and George and Ringo. Paul? Everyone wants to take a stance on him, and by that I mean to take a stance against him and his music. Too sappy! Too sweet! Too smooth! Too happy!

That’s the criticism of “Wonderful Christmastime.” And you know what: I don’t care. I can take the heat. It was my favorite as a kid. Songs are like pizza: you prefer the ones you grew up with.

All that was easy when the song flew under the radar. It wasn’t played very much. Some years I wouldn’t hear it until late December, and I’d have to seek it out. It was number 18 on the list. A good spot: high enough to be heard, not so high you’d get tired of it.

But now, thanks to the Shins remix, “Wonderful” is the most listened-to Christmas song of the year, replacing Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Number one!

And I know what’s going to happen. If it’s played this much, people will rebel. Satires will be made. McCartney will take the blame. And it will be awful. He’s the worst punching bag. First, he never seems to see it coming. Second, the criticism bothers him. He gets a bit defensive in a sad way, he overreacts. Expect him to issue some kind of corrective to answer his critics, an overly serious Christmas song that doesn’t convince anyone.

Why do we do this to him? Why do we hate the things we love?

And how did they miss this superior version? If you’re going to go with a remake, why not the a capella version from Straight No Chaser?

We can’t take too much sugar, can we, America? We like it in so many other ways. We pump it into our drinks and call it “corn syrup” as if that’s healthier. And we clean  up all our ideas .We demand happy endings at the theater. We sanitize the news. We pretend that very bad things in the world are not happening, and if they are, they’re all the fault of foreigners. And then here comes happy Paul, whistling his way down the path of life, sharing a little joy for it…and we mock him and scorn him and roll our eyes and put our finger in our throats. We hate him.

We whisper, Well, John would have never…

So here’s my proposal. Let’s just dial it back. Let’s let the Shins version slowly recede to a nice spot. Maybe number 17. Let it live there with its twin, giving us a little spot of cheer in the middle of those other diva-and-crooner tour de forces. Let’s do that for Paul.

And instead, let’s move up one of the others. One that’s unassailable. One we’ll never grow tired of. I vote for the current number 10. Ella Fitzgerald’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Let’s just make this number 1. We need a champion. This is it.

Oooooooh. Soooooo good.

Go ahead, just try to take down Ella. You’ll get nowhere. All your mockery will only expose you for the grinch you are.

I know, I know, you’re not up for that fight. Because you’re a bully, you go for the easy target. And that’s Paul. Paul, with his irrepressible spirit. Paul, with his irrepressible synths. Paul with his irrepressible mullet.

Merry Christmas, Haters! Enjoy your hatefest!


2 thoughts on “Paul McCartney Is Number One (Cue Backlash)

  1. I love Paul…sweet and sappy or not, he was always a favorite. John was different and I liked him also. Why does it have to be one or the other? Why can’t we have cared tastes and like them both? People always find it necessary to draw lines in the sand. That’s unfortunate.


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