‘Tis the Season, at least by my personal calendar. I refuse to look at anything related to the December holidays until, well, December. As a child, things still happened in accordance to the constraints of the seasons. Yes, there may have been bananas and oranges in the markets year round, but not cranberries nor asparagus. It was well on a week from Thanksgiving that I noticed the snowflakes and mistletoe replacing the burnt sienna, ocher, and crimson leaves and bunches of Indian corn. Because it only lasted 2-3 weeks, I was thrilled when I heard the AM radio stations (the ONLY music available in cars) change from their regular format to holiday tunes. No matter what they played year round, they all switched to the jiggling bells and caroling choirs for that brief period of unity. Charlie Brown’s Christmas became a staple as I was older, but as early as I can remember the Abominable Snowman needed a dental check up. All of America watched it together on the same channel at the same time. It’s a Wonderful Life, at least that is how it felt even as the cities were erupting with tension and the war in Viet Nam was teaching us words like Napalm and defoliant.
In truth, life is never as simple as we remember…nor as stark. Life is both simple and complex simultaneously. And so is my relationship with both holiday music and holiday traditions. My solution is to diversify. And I think today’s playlist is a reflection of that. I went with Tony Bennett over Perry Como as an homage to Christmas Specials Past. For the remainder of December I will be seeking out the more uncommon songs, including some World music variations.
This past weekend I had the privilege of riding in the WDBX float. It is the first parade I’ve been in since I was a Girl Scout. Rather than watching the parade of colorful lighted confections pass me by from a curbside spot, I was bundled in the flatbead with Grandma “Jazzy” Jean, Big Muddy Greg, Schwa of Carolyn, Jazzy Sarah, Delaney aka RoseMarie, Daddy G, Momma C, Bongo, Jason and a passel of future DJs. That was my true inspiration for playing some holiday tunes this morning. I saw people literally dancing in the street as our float came by. Carolyn and Cathy had some marvelous picks on the sound system.
This week, I will be baking cookies. Not as with my girls when they were little to gift to friends and neighbors, but a large batch of one variety of cookie to donate to the annual Cookie Walk at Carbondale First Christian Church. From 9-Noon this coming Saturday, I will don the food handler’s glove and pick out an assortment of cookies to be purchased by the pound. It think that my baking will have to be interrupted for a Thursday morning performance by the Carbondale Morning Etude Club. Carbondale is certainly not lacking in community spirit which makes this season such a wonderful time to be home.
What are your favorite songs, traditions, foods, etc for the holidays? Don’t be afraid to drop me a line or better yet make a comment below. Let me know if I can share them on the air.
Holiday Medley Jimi Hendrix
All the Seeds Lizz Wright
Because the Night Patti Smith
Christmas Medley Tony Bennett
Cripple Creek Ferry Neil Young
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Heart Nick Lowe
An Iron Fist In A Velvet Glove Japhlet Bire Attias
I Bought You a Plastic Star for Your Aluminum Christmas Tree Michael Franks, Kirk Whalum & Larry Goldings
Joy To The World Cynthia Cathcart
Juanito Ricardo Marlow
Celebrate Me Home Al Jarreau
Kona Kai ‘Opua Moses Kahumoku
Let It Snow Boney James
Really Been Good This Year Sapphire: The Uppity Blues Women
Lo and Behold! Bob Dylan & The Band
Stay a Little Longer, Santa Shemekia Copeland
Norwegian Wood The Beatles
Oya Lizz Wright
Roll Um Easy Little Feat
Merry Christmas, Baby BB King
Christmas Fais Do Do Marcia Ball
Stranger Into Starman Aimee Mann
Till the Morning Comes Neil Young
Trouble Little Feat
Have You Heard the News? Koko Taylor
The Wind Cat Stevens
Written In Reverse Spoon
You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away Eddie Vedder