I have to admit, I don’t usually celebrate St. Patrick’s like most people. I figure I get the joy and pleasure of being Irish all year long, the least I can do is give everyone else this one day. So go, enjoy, but please be safe and smart about it.
Now, to celebrate in a proper way, an Irish way, here’s some music! This first song is one I imagine being played over the opening credits of the movie of The Stolen.
This is a song that still moves me when I listen to the lyrics, though I’ve heard it a thousand times. I liked it so much, I even mentioned it in The Stolen. When you’re in your cups, celebrating with friends and enjoying life, lift a glass in memory of all those that didn’t boarded a ship with nothing but hope and hunger, and never saw the shores of North America.
“on a coffin shape, I came here, but never made never even got so far that they could change my name.”
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
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’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.
What says Christmas like Ska music? Okay, maybe a lot of things, but this song is still pretty cool. Oi To The World was originally by The Vandals, but this cover by No Doubt is just fun.
For the punk fans, here’s the original version.
This is another classic from my youth, back when MTV showed music videos. Yes, the video is corny, but so much fun. When Christmas in Hollis plays at Christmas parties, everyone old enough to know the song sings along. Run DMC were so cool, they were able to impart that cool to everyone who heard this song. Or so we all thought. Hey, I won’t say anything if you don’t.
I’ve become a big fan of The Doubleclicks. Their songs are fun and geeky, which I love, and you should really check them out. This song however is remarkably poignant. I know I can relate, and maybe you can too. Perhaps like me, you’ll find some comfort in knowing you aren’t/weren’t the only person to feel this way.
Thanks to Angela and Aubrey for putting it, and yourselves, out there.
Sometimes a song is so perfect, it needs no explanation. Share in the joy!