Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Peace On Earth
And...here we go. 'Twas the night before Xmas....
Just a reminder that we'll be back the day after Christmas with the first of our "Big Rock Candy Mountain Favorite Records of 2013" and other assorted goodies. So, make sure to tune in!
And so, today's Holiday post. There are a couple of reasons we post the following two songs every year on Christmas Eve, besides the fact that they're our favorites. One is the obvious...every year folks still grab the tunes (if the download count is to be believed). Which means there's still folks who haven't heard the songs. To those folks: Enjoy!
The other reason "Fairy Tale of New York" and "Merry Christmas From the Family" get posted every year at this time is that they represent to us the very best part of the Holidays.
We've been doing this site a long time in "blogger" years. We used to post much more regularly. The Christmas posts have always been the "big traffic" items, outside of our infamous Top 100 Drinking Songs list. There's a good reason for that...these are the posts where the "giving" takes precedence. We don't generally go into our long-winded, over-the-top writing for these. We merely want to entertain you and perhaps give a little joy during a season that can be very tough and depressing for a lot of folks. We're not trying to sell you on anything. We get enough of selling in the Holiday season, on many different fronts.
The world's getting a lot nastier. We argue over the trivial, and we don't much listen to each other. Sadness is a disease and Joy is scoffed at. Rather than celebrate that which holds us all together, we revel in the petty and the cruel. Hope and Love are in short shrift these days. The bustle of daily life consumes and overwhelms, we lose ourselves and our humanity.
"Fairytale of New York" reminds us of that glimmer of hope that once drew us together. It could be anyone's story. It could be our story. It is beautiful and sad. Funny and distraught. A swelling Irish lilt against the backdrop of the impossible. The story of promise and the tale of desperation. And above all, it is about Love. And ultimately, it's not a Christmas song...it's a Christmas Eve song. An important distinction, because Christmas Eve is all about the possibility of what's to come. From Ireland's last great poet, Shane MacGowan, and featuring the very voice of the angels, Kirsty MacColl. "I built my dreams around you", indeed.
"Merry Christmas From the Family" is hilarious. And joyful. And at its heart, full of Love. Not content to mimic the "family values" of the media, it instead celebrates all the little things that make us who we are and revels in the humorous quirks that exists within all of us and those who we are connected with, whether by blood or by approximation. Utter perfection, and full of what the Holidays should be about. Sounding like a drunken shamble, the mighty Robert Earl Keen brings us the best Christmas day ever!
Be good to each other. And thanks for stopping by.
The Pogues: Fairytale of New York (mp3)
Robert Earl Keen: Merry Christmas From the Family (mp3)
Peace on Earth, Good Will to All.