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Tunes I can’t stand!

December 14, 2006

It’s a three-way tie!

1. The Little Drummer Boy

1. Pachelbel’s Canon

1. The traditional melody for Adon Olam (a popular closing hymn at many Jewish services)

Any of these could be a great piece of music with just a bit of ingenuity. Jazz versions help immensely. For example, a local group called the Beltway Brass Quintet does a highly palatable arrangement of that dang Drummer Boy, that had even me toe-tapping at the recent annual holiday concert by Coral Cantigas, a Latin American choral group in DC. But just a few days later, the overly sanitized mall-music version playing in Bed Bath & Beyond provoked me to plug up my ears until the dreadful repetition had passed. Grrrrrrr!

As for Pachelbel, it just puts me to sleep.

And Adon Olam has so many terrific new arrangements and variations (among them, Jon Simon on jazz piano, and a jazz vocal arrangement commissioned several years ago by a congregation somewhere in upstate NY), it’s frustrating to hear the same pedantic, marchlike tune over and over and over again.

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