Classical or Modern? Harrisites reflect on favorite holiday music

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With the arrival of the holiday break and break from the stressful confines of school, listening to holiday music has become a popular pastime. In light of this time, Harrisites reflected on which type of holiday music they prefer: classical or modern. While some students focused on the lyrics and meaning of different holiday songs, others focused on the memories associated with the different styles of holiday music.

“There are really great songs from the classical side of holiday as well as modern,” said sophomore Shamira Guan. “Classical songs like ‘Let it Snow’ by Dean Martin and ‘Santa Baby’ by Eartha Kitt sound so magical. It feels like looking out the big window in my parents’ room and watching the white, snow-covered cars slowly trudge through the blizzard. It’s really warm and inviting.”

Others agreed that classical holiday music allowed them to reflect on holiday memories. “One song I have a memory attached to is ‘Let it Snow’ by Frank Sinatra. I performed it in elementary school and my music teacher… [would] spray fake snow on us. However, the machine was not aligned with where we were standing so the snow fell in front of us. Still a great memory, I just laugh at it because he tried so hard to make it perfect,” said junior Aissatou Lam.

“Everyone knows the lyrics to classics so it gives you more of a feeling of being together and enjoying the holidays with each other,” said sophomore Kaia Lain.

Meanwhile, others favored modern holiday music written by pop artists. 

“I prefer modern music because that’s what I mostly grew up listening to,” said freshman Lelaina Madrazo. 

“One of my favorite holiday songs is ‘Santa Tell Me’ by Ariana Grande… I remember when it first came out, my sister and I listened to it every single day before school ended for the holidays. No matter how stressed I am lately, listening to this song makes me feel a little better,” said sophomore Chloe Mau.

Following the rising South Korean pop influence in the United States, some students also enjoy listening to international holiday songs. Sophomore Premavaashine Premathayalan said, “I like listening to “Christmas EveL” by South Korean boy band Stray Kids because it gets me excited for the holidays… it gives off a somewhat different vibe than other jolly Christmas music because it has a lot of rap and is very hype.” 

Moreover, some holiday songs have been written recently to reflect the holiday experience during a pandemic. “The song ‘Stuck With U’ by pop artists Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande reflected a quarantine holiday experience, which I loved…although it wasn’t directly written for the holidays, it helps my family and friends get into the holiday feeling,” Chloe said. 

Similarly, Shamira also enjoyed listening to this pandemic holiday mood. “Twenty One Pilots made a song called ‘Christmas Saves The Year’ and it’s about having the holidays during pandemic times. Basically, that seasonal depression. It really hit the spot when I first listened to it and it’s an experience I won’t forget,” said Shamira.

Although this year’s holiday culture may differ from past years, the comfort that classical and modern holiday music brings students remains the same. No matter how Harrisites are spending this holiday season, listening to holiday music will remain a tradition celebrated by all.