It's July! And only last weekend my lovely dad helped me get my Christmas tree off my deck! Let's have some Christmas music.
These are all songs that I cling to fiercely around the holidays as the Santa Claus' and Rudolph's and Joy-to-the-World's get blasted from every speaker and station. Don't get me wrong: I love hokey, traditional, even cheerful Christmas songs. But that time of year can be difficult, for many reasons, so it's nice to have Christmas songs that you can 'feel sad to.' And since I like to feel sad to music every month of the year, these stick around, no matter the season.
5) "Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head" by George Winston
It's easy to have all of George Winston's December in my year-round playlists. It's so peaceful and calming, in every month of the year. Similar to the Vince Guaraldi trio in that way.
4) "Fairytale of New York" by The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl
It took me a while to even remember this is a Christmas song, I listen to it so frequently. "So Happy Christmas, I love you, baby." Actually my favorite part of the song is when Shane sings, "I could have been someone" and Kirsty responds with such bitterness and remorse (at least to my ears), "Well, so could anyone. You took my dreams from me when I first found you." I have a lifelong dream to karaoke this someday.
3) "Christmas for Cowboys" by John Denver
I think I discovered this song at the John Denver Holiday tribute I went with my mom to back in 2009. It made me cry, and still does. I have this on repeat through the holidays, but then when it comes up on shuffle or a CD in my car any other time of year, I don't skip it. It's extremely melancholic and pretty, and to me speaks to the loneliness and separation you can feel at the holidays.
2) "This Was the Worst Christmas Ever" by Sufjan Stevens
If you take away the lyrics and song title, I would never have thought this was a Christmas song. It just sounds like Sufjan. "Silent night, nothing feels right." Oooooh the feelings in this song. Listened to it quite a bit after we moved from my childhood home.
And as for #1, I bet some of you can guess...
1) "White Wine in the Sun" by Tim Minchin
I can't get enough of this song. It's one that reveals more to me the more I hear it, which is why I could never sequester it to just one or two months of listening. I cry thinking about having a family like the one he sings about. I cry thinking about not having a family like the one he sings about. I cry for other people and their families. This song contains within it all my conflicted feelings about Christmas, and I thank God for it. (Which would make Tim smile.)
and you won't understand
but you will learn someday
that wherever you are
and whatever you face
these are the people you make you feel safe in this world
my sweet blue-eyed girl