There’s a certain artificiality that comes with much Christmas music, due in large part to the over-commercialization of the holiday. After hearing the umpteenth muzak rendition of “Jingle Bells” while shopping for rum to spike your eggnog with, the supposed joviality of the holiday is bound to fade into background noise. For that reason, songs like “Ho Ho, Ho Hum” by the Seattle-based singer/songwriter James Apollo are all the more refreshing. The song’s lounge mood and barroom piano evoke the cigarette smoke and loneliness of a film noir, a feeling that Apollo no doubt intended, given the song’s music video is shot in a melancholy black and white. “Ho Ho, Ho Hum” isn’t the song to play when trying to liven up a holiday party, but it does genuinely capture a feeling that many people experience during the holiday season.
Apollo elaborates on this feeling to PopMatters: “So much of Christmas is pressing your nose up to the frosty glass, trying to get a glimpse into some cheer. I wanted something for the outsiders. The losers. The shivering dreamers. ‘Ho Ho, Ho Hum’ isn’t trying to say you’re not alone; it’s saying we all are, and we may as well get used to it.”
This song was released as one half of the “Trim Another Tree / Ho Ho, Ho Hum” digital 45, which can be downloaded via iTunes.