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The Real War on Christmas: Netflix Changed Their Yule Log Music and Now It Sucks


log burning in a fireplace

In many ways, I’m a traditionalist. I love the holidays and everything cozy and cottagecore. I love the decorations. I love the music (which my local station has already started playing!) And I love a good yule log. You know, those videos of a fireplace that you can play instead of having an actual fire. So today, because I am clinging to the promise of Christmastime like a liferaft in an uncertain sea of dread, I turned on Fireplace for your Home on Netflix. And then … tragedy struck.

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Now first, you need to know that there are multiple yule log options on Netflix. There’s the classic version which is just an hour of a nice crackling fire. It’s very soothing. There’s the sexier “Birchwood edition” which is fine but a bit wild for my more traditional tastes. My favorite is the one which also includes holiday music along with the popping logs and glowing flames.

It’s not fancy music, but it’s generally nice, instrumental holiday music … or at least it was until they CHANGED THE MUSIC!

The new Fireplace for Your Home music is, in a word, terrible. It’s like something you would hear in an orthodontist’s office waiting room. It’s weird and most of it isn’t even recognizable as holiday music! Why?! I want some gentle carols, not elevator jazz!

This is probably a music rights issue, sadly. When Netflix buys a show, part of that money goes to buying the right to use the music in that show, and sometimes the initial contracts that show signed with the artist either expire or don’t cover the music used. This is the reason that shows like Charmed and Dawson’s Creek don’t have the right theme song music on Netflix. And while I understand the legal reasoning … it’s very annoying that it’s probably keeping me from enjoying my nice yule log.

I will continue to monitor this situation as it develops. It’s possible that maybe I jumped the gun on this and Netflix will switch in some good or decent tunes with their Yule log before the holidays really get started. But as it stands, this feels like another thing 2020 has taken away.

(image: Pexels)

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Jessica Mason
Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.

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