Okay, Five Songs poses a dilemma this week. Namely, I’m having a hard time with Christmas this year.
Sure doesn’t feel like it. I mean, I see the trappings — how the hell can you not? — but things, like Charlie-in-the-Box’s name, are all wrong. It hit me this week as friends and relatives were posting about watching “Rudolph” and “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.”
That, unto itself, was fine, and being back in the working world is surely a good thing. But I was reminded that, unlike the last two years, when I managed to get home to Connecticut, I’m out here, in my rented room in a joyless place that doesn’t celebrate Christmas. And for the third Christmas, my trees and all the fun things are in storage. My Christmas tree this year will be a Charlie Brown tree, complete with bent branch, ornament and music box, from Walgreens.
So yeah, I’m working on coming around to some semblance of joy. And next year, Iwill be in a better place, physically and emotionally. And be able to put up my trees and have a party that will be the social event of the season — just like the ones I used to know …
Meanwhile, here’s this year’s first Christmas installment of Five Songs. With one notable surprise. Was looking for The Sonics’ 1965 classic “Don’t Believe in Christmas” and also found Pearl Jam, who apparently recorded it for their 2002 Christmas single. And what, on paper, seemed like pure blasphemy is actually pretty good. Not bad at all for a band that didn’t know how not to suck its first 15 years. So have fun and go trim those trees.
O Tannenbaum (From A Charlie Brown Christmas) — The Vince Guaraldi Trio
X-Mas Time (Sure Don’t Feel Like It) — The Dogmatics
A Five Pound Box of Money — Pearl Bailey
Christmas Spirit? — The Wailers
Don’t Believe in Christmas — Pearl Jam