A little light music...

I return to blogging with a gift, Loyal Reader. Strangely Christmas-centric, but hey, that’s what you get. Fifteen tracks, zipped into one shiny musical package. Complete with explanatory blognotes, and just in time for that long trip back to wherever you began.

Hosted at sendspace.

Copying the tracks seems to have messed up their arrangement; below you’ll find my preferred order for listening to this set. 65mb, 160k quality.

The contents:

“Fairytale of New York,” The Pogues

it was Christmas Eve, babe,
in the drunk tank.

This is, without question, my favorite Christmas song. I try not to think too hard about what that says about me. Still, at least it ends happily. Sort of.

“Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” U2

they’re singing deck the halls
but it’s not like Christmas at all

This is my only favorite song that survived a college stint working in the mall. Any song (and I do mean *any* song) becomes hated and evil if you hear it nine times a day for 36 days straight, while attempting to encourage the buying habits of middle-aged housewives seeking to spice up their marriages. The passage of time has mellowed me enough to enjoy it again. In small doses.

“Elf’s Lament,” BNL

you look at yourself you’re an elf
and the shelf is just filled with disappointing memories

Illegal doping, unionized elves, blackmail, and existential angst. All the best bits of the holidays, really.

“My Christmas List,” Simple Plan

I want a dvd, a big screen tv
just bring me things that I don’t need

What would happen if I gave in to my inner child? Something very much like this, I suspect. Plus, it’s catchy and has great harmonies. Don’t sing it while shopping, no matter how upbeat and fun. People will look at you funny.

“The Christmas Song,” Weezer

you told me you would be here by my side
warming my heart on this cold winter’s night
here I sit waiting beside the tree all by myself

Okay, yes, the pattern here demonstrates that I hate the holidays. That’s not true. I like the holidays, mostly. But I also love songs that admit that, sometimes, December sucks. They tend to have fewer jingling bells, a sound which I despise wholeheartedly. I had a bad experience with “Sleigh Ride.”

“Silent Night,” The Primitives

silent night, holy night
all is calm, all is bright

This was my favorite carol as a child. I don’t think we ever sang it this fast, but maybe we should have.

“2000 Miles,” The Pretenders

in these frozen and silent nights
sometimes in a dream you appear

Infinitely preferable to the Coldplay version, this is one Christmas song that I play all year. (The other is Fairytale of New York). That singing in the store thing? Even weirder in July.

“Just to Be with You,” Mighty Blue Kings

I’ll take Christmas in the spring and do without the cold
spend Christmas in a desert where it ain’t gonna snow

Look, we all know “White Christmas.” This is what would happen if the narrator in that were a little more enterprising and proactive. The nifty trumpet solo gets me every time. It’s got everything a jazzy party soundtrack needs.

“O Holy Night,” Tracy Chapman

the thrill of hope
the weary world rejoices

See? I enjoy carols as much as the next girl. Maybe more. Again, fantastic harmonies, and this is the version I listen to if I need to step back and take a deep breath. It’s kept me from choking to death many an annoying cousin or drunken coworker.

“Peace on Earth (Little Drummer Boy),” Bing Crosby and David Bowie

peace on earth, can it be
years from now perhaps we’ll see

I’ve never met anyone who didn’t love this song. It’s the musical equivalent of the little black dress.

“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” Frank Sinatra

and wild and sweet the words repeat
of peace on earth, goodwill to men

Who doesn’t want to listen to songs about peace and goodwill? Bad people, that’s who. And okay, maybe I take a little extra enjoyment out of the smackdown of Nietzsche. I'm entitled, because I'm a grad student.

“Christmas Day,” Jim White

where in the world did you come from my dear
did some mysterious voice tell you I’d still be here

So, if the narrator in “White Christmas” (remember him?) was a depressed emo singer with a dulcimer and a bus ticket? You’d get this. It’s good, though. I promise. Even the gradual collapse of the melody at the end works. This is the first of three tracks that came originally from other people. If I find the url for them, I'll add source info later.

“Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis,” Neko Case

I stopped taking dope and quit drinking whiskey
my old man plays trombone and works out at the track

Rosy cheeked shiny children don’t have a monopoly on hope and cheer at Christmas. If anything, happiness is clearer surrounded by heartache. Unfortunately, (and this is your warning) it all ends rather badly.

“Snow is Silver,” Lowlights

watched you naked danced around like a flame
was embarrassed for I could never act that way

This song is greater than the sum of its parts. I have a hard time explaining why I love it so much, but I do. The combination of regret and hope and fear and comfort pushes all my buttons.

“Ave Maria,” Harry Connick, Jr.

It’s in Italian. If you need the words, go look it up. This is like Tracy Chapman’s “O Holy Night” for me: a favorite rendition of something I’ve always loved.

“O Holy Night,” Studio 60 Soundtrack

This is instrumental, and the arrangement is fantastic. They cheated, because the French Horn you can hear in the harmony wasn’t in the shot, but I love it anyway. Melancholy + caroling + harmony = WIN.


At 12/19/2006 8:07 PM, Blogger Priya said...

So, I made myself really popular (or perhaps not) by using this playlist as my music-of-choice during last day of LS exams.

Frazzled potential lawyers being blasted away by the Pogues. It'll make them stronger, right?

At 12/19/2006 9:03 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

Well, it didn't kill them, right? Be good for them to hear some depressing holiday music for a while.

And really, it's good for *everyone* to listen to "Snow Is Silver." Repeatedly. Ad nauseum, which is latin and a phrase they need to know.


Post a Comment

<< Home