Fun Sappho fact: at the age of 12 I had taught myself every Beatles song released on guitar. I’ve always been a sucker and loved them for their pop mastery (I know it’s popular now to hate on the Beatles but I’ll take the path less travelled). Paul McCartney is the pop music maestro of the fab four in my opinion and that is also reflected in his body of work as a solo artist (and leader of Wings). So it makes perfect sense that he has etched out a piece of music real estate when it comes to Christmas songs. Flip over to your favorite station in December and you’ll most likely hear the distinctive synths (I am firmly convinced those synths had some lasting effect my musical psyche...I’m still all about them) , which “Wonderful Christmastime” is built upon, with what sounds like a delay effect, and this synth sound comes from the legendary Yamaha CS-80.
But what if that Christmas classic I’m so fond of blasting in the car is really a siren song for witchcraft? (Cue “DUN DUN DUUUUUN” sound effect). Last year, I started reading speculation on the internet as to if “Wonderful Christmastime” is in fact about Witchcraft. And here are the arguments which I think could be rather valid:
"The mood is right / The spirits up / We're here tonight / And that's enough
SIMPLY HAVING A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS TIME
SIMPLY HAVING A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS TIME “.
The part “and that’s enough” is where speculation as to that’s when the group of friends gets walked in on so they panic and start yelling Christmas songs so that way the person who walked in doesn’t suspect that they were doing anything suspicious.
People also analyzed the lyrics themselves and have even found more lyrics suggesting more clues of the song is about witchcraft. The more you read people’s analyses the more you start to wonder whether or not the theory is true or not. It’s eerie the more you go down this rabbit hole of theories and it makes sense in some ways.
“The word is out / About the town / To lift a glass / Ahhh don’t look down”
Could this be about rumors about possible practices of witchcraft going on so they held a town meeting to see who is responsible for teaching people witchcraft. To tell who is lying or telling the truth, each person lifts up their glass of, what I would like to assume is, wassail and have to look directly at each other. If they look down at their glass they are considered to be in cahoots with the witchcraft goings on. I mean it could be plausible, right? Regardless, it's always nice to turn a "classic" on it's head.
The more you listen to the song, the more you can’t unhear the possibility of this theory becoming true. Paul Mccartney has not commented on what this song is truly about. From the start of his career in The Beatles and his solo career, it is not uncommon for fans to analyze lyrics and make their own theories. No matter how many iconic Christmas songs there are out there, “Wonderful Christmastime” is truly one of the most amazing, well-written, and cryptic Christmas songs ever to be made.
Yeah, it is definitely my #2 fave holiday jam and just improves with age for me like a fine wine.