Well the countdown to the festive season is well and truly underway and we seem to be marking it here Down Under with a steady stream of seriously humid days, flash flooding and an evergrowing plague of locusts. Merry fucking Christmas.
I think the best rendition though is by Van Morrison, and it appears on his 1991 album Hymns To The Silence. It’s a traditional piano led version and it’s simply gorgeous. I’d like to provide the mp3 for you here but I’ve gotten into trouble for posting Van tracks before, so unfortunately you’ll need to do the legwork yourself. It’s definitely worth hunting down though.
So the big day is finally here. Since I’m writing this on the eve of Christmas Eve, I can’t honestly say exactly what I’ve done today but if the past few years are anything to go by, I’ve received my gifts by now and I’m busy helping my mum and my sisters make good food in the kitchen. Every now and then I’ll nick outside to field a ball or two during our neverending game of backyard cricket while the fellas hover around the barbeque checking the lamb and putting together various toys/bikes/swingsets.
I make mixtapes for my sisters each Christmas. Here’s one of the mixes that Elspeth will be receiving. Make sure you grab the links while you can – I have a major cleanup planned after all this Christmas hoopla is behind us!
Girl In The War – Josh Ritter
Castaways – Shearwater (download here)
Madame Shocking – The Silent Years (download here)
Northern Lights – Bowerbirds (download here)
The Colour That Your Eyes Changed With The Colour Of Your Hair – Carissa’s Wierd (download here)
Oslo Novelist – Grand Archives (download here)
East – The Weather Station (download here)
Alter Ego – Jean-Louis Aubert Bad Diary Days – Pedro The Lion
Now You Are Pregnant – The Wave Pictures
Charlie Darwin – The Low Anthem
Wax and Wire – Loch Lomond (download here) Familiar Light – Asobi Seksu
In Excelsis Deo – There Will Be Fireworks (download here)
Black Ice – Ohbijou
Folding Chair – Regina Spektor
With This Ship – The Basics
When You Walk In The Room – Fyfe Dangerfield (download here)
Here’s hoping you’ve had a safe and happy Christmas!
I totally missed the Pedro The Lion boat and it’s only now, three years since they sang their last and went their separate ways, that I find myself eagerly sampling every track that I can get my hands on.
It was ‘Bad Diary Days’ that especially caught my interest, from the 1995 release It’s Hard To Find A Friend. The first few times I heard it I didn’t pay too much attention to the lyrics and just enjoyed the melody, but I think the lines that finally made me sit up and take notice were these ones:
a pair of ticket stubs in her desk
a movie I’ve never seen
I probably shouldn’t ask, it sounds so accusing
and on further listens
she just has a funny way of loving me
Insecurity, infedelity, a relationship unravelling at the seams… the best songs are always about pain and heartache and suffering, are they not?