Music Box: The 12 Days Of (Jeffrey)Christ-mas

Another year, another Christmas.  My feeling about the holidays always border on mercurial. Mostly, I bask in the beauty of the spirit, but there are those moments in time when I could feel the soul of Ebenezer creep in. Such is human nature, I surmise, but more often than not, I love the spirit that  ’tis the season and find myself bathed in  its emotional pull.

Okay, I’ll admit it.  When it comes to the holiday and holiday music, I’m a big fat sap.

Which, as a logician, and thus a non-believer, puts me in an odd situation.  Some decry or belittle my passion for Christmas and its seasonal tunes – I’m often accused of hypocrisy; “How? You’re an atheist – a non believer!! Blah blah blah!!!” Fair enough (those same town criers say the same because of my love of gospel), but as I alluded earlier, it’s the spirit (yes) but also the ideal of the holiday, and what it should bring out in mankind. It often fails, apparently, but there’s no harm in the yearning. So, I love religious carols too, despite the doctrine. Oh well, it is what it is.

Which brings me here. Because of my unabashed joy of the season, I decided to bring to you these next 2 weeks the 12 Days of (Jeffrey)Christ-mas…a fête, if you will, of some of my favorite carols and canticles, religious and secular, holly and jolly, happy and bittersweet.  Now, these selections are not always sung by the most obvious of artists, and not necessarily performed by household names, and a few might or might not be standards, while others have been played to death.

But all hold a special place in my soul – and that is the common denominator.

As a footnote, I will say this – I could easily have written the 20 Days of (Jeffrey)Christ-mas, or even the 30 Days of (Jeffrey)Christ-mas.  There are literally hundreds of other songs I could have posted and the aesthete would have been the same.

Happy holidays to you all, believers and non-believers alike.

****

On the First Day of Christmas, Jeffrey gave to you…Darlene Love singing “Christmas Baby (Please Come Home)” live from last year’s David Letterman appearance.  It’s been a tradition for many years – Letterman invites Love on his show to perform this seminal seasonal classic from what is arguably (or inarguably, if you ask me) the greatest Christmas CD of them all,  A CHRISTMAS GIFT TO YOU FROM PHIL SPECTOR.  Forget U2s smarmy version (Bono? Smarmy? Noooo!!), the Love original – or any live performance thereof – are the only readings of this song you’ll ever need to hear.

Her canon is rich with some of the most indelible Rock and Roll classics, and her voice has held up better than most women half her age – the most amazing thing about Love is that year after year she never loses her innate joy in her recitals and you realize that the thrill isn’t only in our listening.  Like the song, Love remains eternal…

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