I am officially not in the holiday mood. Don’t get me wrong, any holiday devoted to chocolate can’t be all bad, but I just can’t stand the syrupy, touchy-feelyness that settles around the modern Christmas celebration like fake snow. So in honor of those of you, like me, who go all Grinch-y this time of year, I have prepared the following holiday playlist.
First, a little safety message from Johnny Cash. Stick to whiskey, boys, and let that cocaine be.
Next, Jerry Garcia talks about the importance of hobbies in this American version of an Irish song. The Irish version is entitled in “Whiskey in the Jar”. The American version is known as “Gilgarry Mountain” or “Gilgarra Mountain”.
“Some take delight in fishing and the bowling/Others take delight in carriage a-rolling/I take delight in the juice of the barley/Courting pretty women in the morning so early.”
At this point, you should be ready for “Whiskey River” to take your mind. And who better than Willie Nelson to do that?
By now, it’s time to get down on your knees and pray.
Of course, you should definitely take this bad boy down to the river so he can “Testify.”
I keep flashing on the outlaw character Russell played in “3:10 to Yuma” when I hear this song.
But the river can be a serious metaphor, too, as Billy Joel tells us.
This is the official music video for “River of Dreams” and I think it is quite simply one of the most beautiful music videos I’ve ever seen.
“That Old Man River, he must know something, but he don’t say nothing, he just keeps traveling on.”
This song is so strongly associated with Paul Robeson’s performance in “Steamboat” that it’s a surprise to hear a woman sing it. I think Judy Garland does a great job.
Finally, a song for the New Year that isn’t “Auld Lang Syne”. Russell Crowe started off as a singer/musician before he became an actor and he has a surprisingly good voice. I like the sentiment he and his band, The Ordinary Fear of God, express here in “One Good Year”. The New Year is traditionally a time to evaluate how we’ve done in the past one and usually we find we’ve fallen short.
“I’ve been chasing grace, but grace ain’t so easily found.” True dat. Incidentally, that’s Alan Doyle from the Newfoundland folk/rock band, “Great Big Sea”, sharing the vocals in the vid.
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