Songs of the season

In Music, Musings on December 24, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Seasons Greetings!

I never quite understood that term as a child.

Since I was one of those shut-brain dufuses who put what the ‘teacher’ at ‘school’ said above my own thoughts and ideas – ‘season’ meant Summer, Winter and Monsoon (“India has three seasons”) or Rabi and Kharif (“India has two growing seasons”) — and now that I think back, I feel insanely thankful that my childhood predates IPL (“Dhoni is the guy to watch out for this season”) and the Fashion weeks,  (“Cerulean is the colour this season daahling”) not to mention my obsession with watching food television (“we’ll season this with a dry jamaican jerk rub”)

In any case, even with the first of those interpretations of ‘season’, I was always a bit at sea…because December weather where I lived, was a hint of winter in the morning and night, blazing summer for the rest of the day, and if the rain-bearing clouds blowing over Chennai came farther than their intended destination,  a little bit of monsoon once in a while.

I actually understood the term ‘Holiday Season’ only a couple of years ago, when an (american) friend was explaining it to his 6 year old.

Kid: Dad, this is cool, we get Halloween, and then Thanksgiving, and then Christmas and New Year right after…

Dad: Yes son, thats why its called the *HOLIDAY* season…

Yes, yes…dufus, shut-brain…in my defense..I TOLD YOU SO!

But now that I get the point of it, I must say I truly appreciate the holiday season in the US and Europe. The bright lights, and shoppers milling about make what is the worst kind of weather, in the most depressing kind of climate, well…somewhat bearable. The nicer-smarter-and-in-almost-all-ways-better half jokes that we must thank Christ for being born in December, because we’d surely be worst off in the winter if it wasn’t for his birthday cheer.

Which brings me to the ‘birthday songs’ – Christmas carols… I hate hate hate them as an incessant soundtrack in shopping places…but once in a while, a rendition that seems heartfelt, playing at the right time, in the right moment, really warms the heart, and makes me feel all better. As we’ve discussed before, since the brain doesn’t work too well, something that stirs the heart to work a little better is always good.

The ‘why-should-I-care-for-the-coloniser’s-tradition’ part of me wants to look for ‘festival songs’ that cheer me up from back home…and with the exception of Holi, I cannot think of a festival that I associate music with – but that is another post!

For now, its time to share the feel-good songs of this season.

First up, and the most favorite is Ella Fitzgerald’s rendition of ‘Have yourself a Merry little Christmas’ that I first came across on the soundtrack of the 2006 chick-fest (chick-flick doesn’t begin to describe it!) “The Holiday

Its closing wish for being together with old friends is one we heartily endorse! So wherever you’re reading this, think seriously about visiting us in the coming year 🙂

The second is the ‘Carol of the Bells’. This version by Celtic Woman is as good as it gets. Particularly meaningful for us this year since all we hear all day and all night is the church bells chime, and tell the time (carol in the making already!) Thats what you get for renting a house 100 meters from a famous medieval church

Last up, is a song that is not even remotely related to the looming festivities ahead – but its possibly the best song we’ve heard recently. It celebrates the every-day in the most wonderful way! Its called “I’m pretty sure I can see molecules” by an awesome one-person band called The Heligoats.

I cannot find a version I can embed here…so I will link you to the awesome ‘tiny desk concert’ on NPR where you can hear it. Its the second song in the performance.

2010 has had a sucky sucky finish – we’re pissed off with the US Govt. – Wikileaks situation, the Radia tapes- all-of-indian-media situation, the Indian polity’s million thousand-crore-corruption-scams situation, the Arundhati-Roy-Binayak-Sen-being-accused-of-sedition situation, and every other thing that weighs on the heart in this cruel unfair difficult world. We’re glad for some respite, thanks to the music 🙂

We hope, as everyone hopes, that the New Year will be a time for positive changes. Have a great 2011!

  1. Ahh! How I wish that I had read this post before the verdict came out. There is no merriness anymore- wo intazaar thaa jis kaa, ye wo sahar to nahiin!

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