Vancouver pop choir's new pandemic parody video gives Mariah Carey some Christmas competition
VANCOUVER -- Mariah Carey glammed it up with countless costume changes, a Rockette-like pyramid of peppermint-wielding backup dancers, and plenty of children with Christmas twinkles in their eyes.
But now, last season’s glittery music video revamp for her 1994 Christmas hit “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” has some competition from a Vancouver pop choir.
Of course, given it’s 2020, that means the performance, or rather, the 70+ performances are all virtual.
“With COVID everything changed,” said Rebecca Lam, the co-founder and creative director of Vancouver-based Chorus Studio. “Singing is now a dangerous activity."
So for the last two months, the members of YVR Pop Choir, which has gone virtual during the pandemic, have written, recorded, and pieced together a clever, parody version of “All I Want…” with the signature chorus line transformed to “I will social distance from you.”
“Our message is wear a mask. Socially distance. And spread joy this Christmas, not the coronavirus,” Lam said.
And the group has managed to walk a fine line between that serious message, and its other goal: sparking joy.
For example, they’ve re-written most of lyrics:
“I don't need to hang my stocking - There upon the fireplace - Santa Claus won't make me happy - With a toy on Christmas Day.”
The verse has now become decidedly PG-13, bleeping and asterisks included:
“I won't even hang my stocking - I've boarded up my fireplace – Santa you're a super-spreader - Get the f*** out of my face.”
And the song’s iconic bridge, which used to be “All the lights are shining so brightly everywhere,” now reads:
“All of 2020 has been a steaming dump,” with toilets and poop emoji included.
Bathroom humor aside, including some scenes of running out of toilet paper, and championing lazing in front of the TV with no pants, the singers who make up YVR Pop Choir say their message is sincere.
“I just want to bend the curve, for the people that I “lurve,” said member Nastassja Dortich, referencing one of the lines. “We love each other and we love our community, and we want to keep people safe,” Dortich said.
Samantha Wyer said she finds singing helps burn stress no matter what kind of day (or year) she’s had, and she wanted the song “to rejuvenate people or give people hope.”
And Cynara Geissler, who features prominently throughout the video, said the message was about putting people, including those you don’t know, first.
Physical distancing aside, the members of YVR Pop Choir, which include nurses, doctors, and even a firefighter, mostly between the ages of 25-45, said making the video has brought them closer.
“It was hilarious just to have this creative project that we all got to do individually and collectively, said Dorotich.
Chandra Chisholm added: “It’s such a tiring and sad and scary time. I think people just want little moments of joy.”
And in that spirit, CTV News asked Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, what she wanted for Christmas.
Henry laughed, then said “for this to be over,” before turning to a more serious request for everybody to stay home, “so that we can get through to the next year.”
“Thank you for not asking me to sing,” Henry said, when told about the virtual choir, “because it would be horrific. It’s not one of my skills!” she quipped.