What follows are the writings of the Artificial Intelligence program ChatGPT. As mentioned in the latest Sounds of Christmas podcast episode, I asked the chatbot to write a blog post about Christmas music in the style of Stephen King, and then in the style of Jerry Seinfeld.
I'm sharing them both here, as I thought the results were interesting. And a little scary.
First, here's the AI's attempt at a Christmas music blog post in the style of Stephen King...
There's something about Christmas music that's both comforting and unsettling at the same time. The familiar melodies and lyrics evoke memories of childhood and happy times spent with loved ones. But there's also a sense of darkness lurking beneath the surface, a feeling of unease that grows stronger as the holiday season approaches.
Perhaps it's the repetitiveness of the songs, the way they're played over and over again in stores and on the radio until they're practically etched into your brain. Or maybe it's the fact that many of the classic Christmas tunes were written decades ago, at a time when the world was a very different place. Whatever the reason, there's a certain eeriness to Christmas music that can't be ignored.
Take "Jingle Bells," for example. On the surface, it's a cheerful song about sleigh rides and snow. But if you listen closely, you can hear a hint of madness in the lyrics. "Laughing all the way"? Who's laughing, and why? Is it the riders on the sleigh, or something else entirely?
And what about "Santa Claus is Coming to Town"? Sure, it's a fun song about a jolly old man in a red suit. But when you really think about it, the idea of a stranger sneaking into your house in the middle of the night is pretty creepy. And the lyrics, "He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake" are downright chilling.
Then there's "The Little Drummer Boy," a song that's supposed to be about the joy of giving. But there's a sadness to the melody, a sense of loss that's hard to ignore. And when you consider that the song is about a poor boy who has nothing to give but the gift of his music, it becomes even more poignant.
But perhaps the most unsettling Christmas song of all is "Do You Hear What I Hear?" The lyrics tell the story of a shepherd boy who hears a voice in the night, telling him of a king who will bring peace to the world. It's a beautiful sentiment, but there's something ominous about the way the words are sung. The repeating refrain of "Listen to what I say" is almost hypnotic, and the line "A child, a child, shivers in the cold" is enough to send shivers down your own spine.
So as you listen to your favorite Christmas tunes this holiday season, remember that there's more to these songs than meets the ear. There's a darkness lurking in the shadows, waiting to be uncovered. And who knows what horrors it might reveal?
As a fan of Stephen King, this reads (at least to me) like someone who hasn't read any of Stephen King's books attempting to write something about Christmas the way they imagine someone like Stephen King might write it. And if you look at it that way, it works. I should also mention that ChatGPT wrote this entire post in seconds.
The next is a Christmas music blog post in the style of Jerry Seinfeld...
What's the deal with Christmas music? I mean, every year it's the same songs, the same lyrics, the same jingle-jangle-jingle. And don't even get me started on those sleigh bells. It's like the only way they know how to make a song sound "festive" is by adding a bunch of bells.
And why is it that every pop star feels the need to record their own version of "Jingle Bells" or "White Christmas"? Do we really need to hear Taylor Swift's take on "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"? I don't think so. And let's not forget those "modern" Christmas songs that are just terrible. I mean, have you heard "Santa Baby"? That song is just creepy.
And what's with all the religious Christmas songs? I mean, I get that Christmas has some religious roots, but do we really need to hear "Silent Night" or "O Holy Night" a thousand times a day? And don't even get me started on those kids' choirs singing "Away in a Manger." I mean, come on, give me a break!
But you know what, despite all my complaints, I have to admit that there's something about Christmas music that just puts me in the holiday spirit. Maybe it's the memories of sitting by the fire with my family, listening to the classics on the radio. Or maybe it's just the fact that I know I only have to listen to it for a few weeks out of the year.
So, I guess what I'm saying is, even though Christmas music can be a bit repetitive and overplayed, it's still a part of what makes the holiday season so special. Plus, it gives us all an excuse to belt out "Feliz Navidad" at the top of our lungs. And really, what's not to love about that?
This one almost reads like a bad SNL parody. The first sentence let's you know who it's supposed to be written by (the "what's the deal with" opening has been used for decades as a supposed hallmark of Seinfeld). And as with the previous post, this one was written in seconds by ChatGPT.
I tried several others (including Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman and Steve Martin), but none of those were really close to the writer it was trying to emulate.
For more on ChatGPT, check out the latest podcast HERE!