Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Truth = Beauty with a Little Ugly Mixed In

I once heard or read something about how the best art shows beauty with a little ugly mixed in, so you know it's real.

That's how I feel about Christmas songs. I like the ones with a little ugly ... or sad ... mixed in, so you know they're real.

"Hard Candy Christmas" is one favorite. Christmas comes 'round each year, whether we're in the mood for it or not. Even if you've lost your job, had a death in the family, got health issues, a divorce ... as it says in The Grinch, "..it came just the same."

I love the original version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," from Meet Me in St. Louis, and get cranky when I hear a prettied-up version, where they exchange the line, "hang a shining star from the highest bough" for the original, "until then, we'll have to muddle through somehow."

Original:
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Make the yuletide gay
Next year all our troubles will be miles away
Once again as in olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who were dear to us
Will be near to us once more
Someday soon we all will be together
If the fates allow.
Until then, we'll have to muddle through somehow
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now.
Not as somber, but definitely real is Robert Earl Keen's "Merry Christmas from the Family." If you are not familiar with this 'un, run, don't walk, and download it.

How can you not love a Christmas song that mentions tampons and fake snow?

Carve the Turkey
Turn the ball game on
Mix margaritas when the eggnog's gone
Send somebody to the Quickpak Store
We need some ice and an extension chord
A can of bean dip and some Diet Rites
A box of tampons, Marlboro Lights
Haleluja everybody say Cheese
Merry Christmas from the family

2 comments:

Karen said...

LE, I have always felt the same way about "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"! I always want to explain to everyone that in the movie, Judy Garland was saying ... "Have a merry Christmas now, because everything else in our lives is really sucky."

Anne said...

I love that REK song! I can belt the whole thing. Thanks for reminding me about it. Must find that CD.