You know those songs that always take you back, the ones that remind you of a simpler time, a good memory, or just how we can really let the complexities of life get the better of you?
If you’re planning to click away from this because I’ve thoroughly depressed you…keep reading. This is actually a nice post. Not at all depressing.
Music has this amazing way of transporting us back to a time when life was so much simpler. To me, there is nothing like a great song to remind you of all those hours I spent in the car with my parents as a kid, listening to Adult Contemporary and having the musical taste of a 40-year-old before I had my braces put on. I knew the trumpets of Chicago before I was old enough to know what a trumpet was. And I’m not ashamed of that.
Still the greatest concert I’ve ever been to.
Christmas music works in the same way, except for a very limited time. Not everyone likes the sentimental nature of Christmas music, but for those of us who do, it’s a journey back to when the holidays didn’t feel like an over-commercialized sugar rush of excitement, stress, confusion, and the eventual sugar low/depression that results.
(I’m trying not to take this in a depressing direction, folks).
It was about giving, holiday specials, and spending time with family and friends. No stress, no meltdowns, and no crazy person waiting in the parking lot to run you over so they can steal that last (insert big ticket product of the year) that you managed to buy right before they could get to it.
It’s never happened to you? Consider yourself BLESSED
When I was six years old, my dad bought home a cassette tape of Christmas music, a gift for getting gas at an Exxon station.
OMG, yes. This cover even has all the feels – and teddy bears – one could ever want in a holiday album.
And someone wants $12 for it on Amazon.
Contained on this cassette tape were songs from Nat King Cole, Julie Andrews, the Beach Boys, Anne Murray, Alabama, Ronnie Milsap, Brenda Lee, Henry Mancini, and many, many more. It’s where I discovered that one version of “Winter Wonderland” that Anne Murray so lovingly covered, where I first heard Nat King Cole croon “The Christmas Song”…and where I first heard a little bit of Christmas obscuria wrapped in a Judy Collins song.
There was this one song on the album, “Merry Christmas, Wherever You Are,” that for one reason or another, has always made me sentimental to think of it. I could always hear it in my head, but for the life of me, managed to be not found in my internet searches. When iTunes, You Tube, and Google failed me, I figured maybe it was some lost Christmas song, some figment of the recesses of my mind, a song lost to me for about fifteen years.
Until now, until this past Friday, when I finally found it during a You Tube search.
Apparently, it had been there since 2013, but at the time, I hadn’t been actively searching for it. In fact, I gave up on finding it in 2012 – I figured it wasn’t worth searching for a song I couldn’t find. Consider this the one time I actually gave up on trying to find something nostalgic and nice.
And folks, it’s exactly the way I remember it – gorgeous, heartfelt, moving, reminiscent of what we’ve lost (and found), and the knowing that no matter what, the ones we love are close to us. It’s not depressing at all, it’s gorgeous, and I just love this song. The very meaning of it became all the more special with me as I’ve grown up, but what matters is that it reminds me of that time, when I was six years old, that I felt so profoundly moved by a song.
Listen, if you will, to a Christmas song that will forever be synonymous with my childhood, and a cassette tape I wish I still had.
For real. $12 for a tape you got when you filled up your gas tank.