Sunday, December 1, 2013

Track of the Week: Ernest Tubb, "Blue Christmas"

This month my tracks of the week will have a seasonal orientation.  In recent years I have embraced the holiday season anew in ways that I haven't since childhood.  Having a family of my own makes it more fun, and it alsoprovides a welcome festive break from the awfulness of winter's long cold nights.  That being said, I can't stand most Christmas music.  It's sappy, lowest common denominator crap and by the time December is over I will have heard the same damn twenty songs about a million times.

For that reason, I'll be highlighting songs that speak to the darker side of the holiday season.  One pitfall of the holidays has to do with their heightened meaning and emotions.  The first holiday season after a breakup is usually tough, since reminders of one's singlehood abound.  That's the theme of "Blue Christmas," Elvis' most famous holiday tune, although I prefer the Ernest Tubb version.  Country music is much more suited to such a lament, especially with a weeping steel guitar for accompaniment.

Of course, I have no breakup to lament this holiday season, but it will be a blue one nonetheless because of death's cold hand.  Since last Christmas I've lost my grandmother and one of the best friends I've ever had.  I will inevitably think back to the times we had together, and how the memories are all that remain.

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