I’ve got a playlist for everything. Golfing by yourself at a par 3 course on a sunny morning in early spring? I’ve got a playlist for that.
The “holiday season” ends in my house at the close of business, January 1st. This means that our Christmas decorations stay up until then; we start taking them down on one of the saddest days of the year, January 2nd. Originally, we had planned to do like Elvis Presley would do – keep everything up until his birthday on January 8th. But, let’s face it, your emotional connection with all your favourite ornaments is basically over when you wake up on Boxing Day.
And what of the music? My regular readers know that I love Christmas music and, since the music is a big part of the “season”, I continue to listen to it until bedtime on the 1st. But the warmest, most Christmasy songs from Der Bingle and Co. also fall sort of flat once Christmas Day has come and gone. But then there are the other songs on your Christmas albums, the ones that don’t specifically deal with Christmas itself. These are the songs that are great to listen to during the last week of the year.
And I have a playlist that I call “The Last Week of the Year”. The Kingston Trio’s interesting “holiday” album, The Last Month of the Year, does not make me feel terribly Christmasy so you could argue that you could listen to it at any time of year. But I’m not going to do that so it is a good one to explore at this time. Same goes for June Christy’s somber This Time of Year. And Bing has wonderful songs like “Looks Like a Cold, Cold Winter” and “Little Jack Frost Get Lost” which are about winter. But because they are on “Christmas” CD’s, they are put away from January until late November.
On January 1st, the last day of the “holiday season”, I like to load up on the wintery songs that are found on my Christmas albums and wonderful Christmas songs that may not explicitly reference Christmas itself. Instrumentals are actually perfect. They conjure up warm Christmasy/wintery feelings without someone actually verbalizing about Christmas. June Christy’s “Sorry to See You Go” is the official song of the closing ceremonies of the Christmas season in this house. The lyrics speak of the journey through the year, the highs and lows and what was learned. And to hear the saxophone blow as she sings “and I’m sorry, really sorry, to see you go. Sorry to see you go…” is the perfect end to the proceedings. Depressing but perfect. The husband and wife songwriting team of Connie Pearce and Arnold Miller wrote all the songs on This Time of Year.
“Midnight will sound and we’ll all gather ’round the new little year of the day. But dear old year before you go there’s something you ought to know. Though your back is bent and your beard is gray, you’re a year well spent and I’d like to say you put on a first class show and I’m sorry to see you go. You brought trouble taught me to handle it. Thanks for the lesson. You brought romance oh what a scandal it caused when it all fell through. You brought worry taught me to laugh at it. Now I’m confessin’ that my whole approach is new after a year like you. So we’ll share a toast from the loving cup. Here’s to you grown old and to me grown up. There’s nothing left up your sleeve but I’m sorry to see you leave. So retire into a memory. You’ve earned a good rest. It’s been great and though I’ll pretend to be part of this midnight show. Just between old you and me and that kid with his year to grow, I’m sorry, really sorry to see you go. Sorry to see you go.”
Here’s your playlist for the first day of the year; the last day of the “holiday season”. Tomorrow morning, put those CD’s and records back up on the shelf in the closet in the study. And try not to bust out crying.
“Let’s Start the New Year Right” – Bing Crosby
“Holiday on Skis” – Al Caiola/Riz Ortolani
“Skater’s Waltz” – by Lawrence Welk and by Andy Williams
“By the Fireside” – by Jo Stafford and by Jackie Gleason
“Winter Romance” – Dean Martin
“Winter Wonderland” – Chet Baker
“Jingle Bells/Jingle Bell Rock” – the Hollyridge Strings
“Blue Winter” – Connie Francis
“I’ll Be Home for Christmas” – Lori Mechem
“Oh, Lonely Winter” – the Four Freshmen
“Christmas Trumpets/We Wish You a Merry Christmas” – Ray Anthony
“Winter Weather” – Benny Goodman
“Winter Symphony” – the Beach Boys
“Cold, Cold Winter” – the Pixies Three
“Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town/White Christmas” – Jimmy McGriff
“Let it Snow” – Oscar Peterson
“I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” – Dean Martin
“Snowfall/Snowfall Cha Cha” – George Shearing/Billy May
“Skating” – the Vince Guaraldi Trio
“When Winter Comes a-Callin'” – the Ray Charles Singers
“Jingle Bells” – Vinnie Zummo
“I’m Gonna Be Warm This Winter” – Connie Francis
“Looks like a Cold, Cold Winter” – Bing Crosby
“Sorry to See You Go” – June Christy
You need to be checking out Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians / Twas the Night Before Christmas. I grew up with that one and it’s one of my all-time favorite Christmas albums.
Funny you should mention. I only recently heard this song for the first time as a bonus track on their “Sounds of Christmas” album. That LP is different from what I grew up with but I have heard people rave about it and express their fondness for it and how they grew up with it. Thanks for your comment.