Today’s post is short and sweet. If you know me, my song choice for Christmas day is no surprise. Fairy Tale of New York by The Pogues has been voted one of the best Christmas songs of all time. It’s sad, but still filled with it’s own kind of hope and love. I’m of the belief that without Kirsty MacColl’s contrast to Shane MacGowan’s this song wouldn’t be nearly as magical. Even when things are dark, there is light and hope in the most unlikely places. There is gold in the darkness if you look for it.
Got on a lucky one
Came in eighteen to one
I’ve got a feeling
This year’s for me and you
So happy Christmas
I love you baby
I can see a better time
When all our dreams come true
I hope everyone reading this is having a wonderful time with family and friends, that your cares are few and your troubles forgotten, even if only for a few days. If you’ve followed this blog, you know I like me some Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and since it’s Christmas-eve (and I couldn’t choose just one song) here are a few selections that I challenge you not to dance to!
Today you get a two-fer! First a reminder I’ll be at the Barnes & Noble in Santee CA from 12pm to 2pm. You can get a copy of The Stolen signed, or I’ll sign someone else’s book if that’s your thing. I’ll have some neat stuff to give away, and if you get there early, I’ll even have cookies! Come and say hi.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled Advent Blog. Today I’m going traditional. I’m not overtly religious, but there some carols I think are truly beautiful. Carol of the Bells is one of those songs. This version even comes with a rather spectacular light show!
O Holy Night is another song that I find almost haunting, especially when sung by a children’s choir.
Today’s song could be called sad, but whenever I listen to it, I think of hope and happiness. Christmas Day by Dido tells a beautiful story, but one that’s unfinished. True, she does say “The last words I ever heard him say” but the hopeless sap in me can’t help but believe the story isn’t finished.
In keeping with yesterday’s selection, today’s has a bittersweet edge to it as well. Christmas, by Blues Traveler is a mellow song with just a tinge of sadness to it. It was on the A Very Special Christmas 3 album and I think it might be one of their better songs. Of course you’re welcome to disagree.
Lots of musicians and bands do Christmas albums, or just singles. If you’ve read The Stolen, you know I’m a fan of the bittersweet. Coldplay knocks it out of the park with Christmas Lights in the bittersweet department.
I will admit that Jimmy Buffet’s version of Mele Kalikimaka is better than Bing Crosby’s, though it’s hard to take anything away from Bing. It’s just a fun song, and really, who hasn’t dreamed at one time or another of Christmas celebrated on a warm, white sand beach? And let it be known, I’m not to proud to admit I first heard this song in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
I’m a big Sarah McLachlan fan, have been for a long time. She’s not only a gifted musician, but she does a lot of good. True, Happy XMas (War is Over) was originally by John Lennon, but I think Sarah brings a her usual magic to the song, and the children’s choir is the perfect touch.
But because it’s the season of giving, here’s John & Yoko’s version as well.
Not all Christmas songs are light and happy, some have a message to them. Father Christmas by The Kinks is reminder that not every tree has presents under it, and not every table is laden with more food than can be eaten. As the song says “Remember the kids who have nothing, when you’re drinking down your wine.”
A good way to remember those kids is to donate toys. Toys for Tots is a great place, and their donation boxes are everywhere. Many local police departments also accept donations that they take to battered women’s shelters, or you can contact a shelter in your area to see if they accept toys directly. Children’s hospitals and churches are also great places. The fact is, a lot of kids won’t get much this year, if anything. If you can, there’s no feeling like donating a toy you know will make a kid smile.