Opinion Columns & Blogs - INACTIVE

Mark Washburn: Offensive, insulting holiday song lyrics must be revised

Dear Richard Smith,

We have received the demo of your holiday song. We think it might be commercially successful with some revisions.

Sleigh bells ring,

Are you listening?

This is highly insensitive to the hearing impaired and could be considered taunting. We recommend you alter the line to, “Are you cognizant?”

In the lane

Snow is glistening,

As you are no doubt aware, black ice is responsible for a concerning number of accidents. Anyone who has operated a motor vehicle and gone into a spin may harbor negative associations. Please insert a “trigger warning” before this line.

A beautiful sight

Millions suffer from diminished vision. Perhaps “a pleasing environment that could be experienced through a variety of senses.”

We’re happy tonight

This is inconsiderate of the tens of thousands who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. Our producers suggest the line become, “Our feelings are appropriate.”

Walking in a winter wonderland

But what of the immobile?

Gone away is the bluebird

Here to stay is the new bird

He sings a love song

Why exclude females, which comprise about 51 percent of songbird flocks? Also, the troubling reference to the missing bird seems to be a subtle thematic bridge to the topic of climate change. Please curb your micro-aggressions.

Walking in a winter wonderland

See above.

In the meadow we can build a snowman

“Snow person,” or, “render an upright hominid likeness of indeterminate gender and race.”

Then pretend he is Parson Brown

This excludes Jews, Baha’i, Catholics, Hindus and Muslims. Change to “Officiant.”

He’ll say: Are you married?

We’ll say: No, man

But we can do the job

When you’re in town

Why must Officiant Brown be male? “No m’am” fits the iambic pentameter. And after the suggestion of vows, you should add, “regardless of respective gender identities.”

Later on

We’ll conspire

Suggests criminality. Perhaps, “Agree mutually after respectful debate and thoughtful consideration.”

As we dream by the fire

Open burning adds tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and may – note that we stress may – have implications for climate change. Our legal department insists the line be recast as follows: “An environmentally responsible, well-vented, Underwriter Laboratories-certified heating device.”

To face unafraid

The plans that we’ve made

It seems clearer just to say, “We will courageously but nonviolently confront challenges before us, respecting in a nonjudgmental way that certain individuals may choose a different but relevantly conscientious course after careful personal reflection in a safe, healing space.”

Walking in a winter wonderland

See above.

Mark Washburn writes for the Charlotte Observer. Write to him at mwashburn@charlotteobserver.com, or on Twitter, @WashburnChObs.

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