Monday, December 25, 2006

This Christmas is different...

This Christmas is going to be different...

Christmas 1983 was stormy and wet. One storm would blow out and another would be on its heels. The occasional shaft of sunlight poking through the clouds seemed like a miraculous reassurance.

It was wet and I was soggy most of the time. In those days I had to use a cane because of complications subsequent to a very nasty motorcycle wreck. Walking, even standing, was often painful, especially in the rain -- but I was in school and working on a handful of school and realworld recording projects for other people. And I was young and determined to make the most of my forced time outside the 9-to-5 grind. (I don't mean to make that sound heroic in the slightest... except that I look back on that era and think, Damn, where's that guy now that I need him?)

I was between entanglements... uh, I mean I wasn't involved in a deep interpersonal relationship that Christmas. And Christmas wasn't my best time of year in the best of years.

So, I was bracing myself, with this song, for some proper yuletide melancholy and writing myself a pseudo-ritualized gameplan for dealing with the day. Like the lonely spinster secretary with her carefully planned holiday dinners for one, I knew avoiding unexpected decisions, second thoughts, or anything but carefully channeled contemplation was a risk not worth taking.

Now... in one of my few nods to preparation or research for my AYoS posts, I looked at last year's post that accompanied the then-new acoustic version of this song. And -- while I know it will only add to snowballing ambiguity regarding my credibility and the literal truthfulness of my scriblings -- I have to say that I do not now remember Christmas 1983 as I described it. I was drinking brandy in my coffee and I did put the Pistols' "God Save the Queen" on my stereo (as well as Brian Eno). I think I simply wasn't prepared, last year, to admit that I would purposefully -- if lightheartedly -- live out the scenario I'd just written.

Ah, but that was then. I'm so much younger than that now.
Merry Christmas!
This is my new kitty, Sophie. She's not mad; her ears just do that.

Happy holidays to you all!

This Christmas
(original Avant-Garage Holiday Songwriting Festival version, 1983)

Special note: you may need to use your tone/EQ controls on your media player to tame some high frequency nastiness in this nearly quarter century old 4 track recording.

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Internet Archive page for this recording
December 20, 2005 version

This Christmas (Is Going to Be Different)

by TK Major

There's rain in the streets, rain in the gutters of this city
Seems like it always rains at Christmastime here
There's rain in my heart, rain in my shoes and in my soul of souls
and if they have rain in heaven you can bet its raining up there

Now Santa Klaus is all around just like big brother
His twinkling eyes follow you wherever you go
People spending money buying fancy toys for themselves
Then give them to the kids and wonder why they feel so old

Ah, but this Christmas is going to be different
I'm going to have a happy holiday
This Christmas is going to be different
Cause I don't think I can take another blue Christmas day

Christmastime Nineteen Hundred 81
Driving up the coast with the wife in our beat up SAAB
It was raining all the way, we fought all the time, it was our last chance
we headed for 'Frisco, we made it to Reno, it was that kind of trip

The earth drifts from the sun, the days get cold, it's Christmas
if you're with someone you're warm, but alone is alone, on Christmas
The nights are long, more time for dreaming on Christmas
But when you wake up you find its all just a dream on Christmas

Ah, but this Christmas is going to be different ...

Sitting round the fire, watching the rain on Christmas
i got some brandy in my coffee, trying to crank up some cheer
I got the Pistols on the box, god save the queen, je suis l'anarchie
Well I'm trying real hard to make it turn out okay this year.

Ah, but this Christmas is going to be different
I'm going to have a happy holiday
This Christmas is going to be different
Cause I don't think I can take another blue Christmas day

(C)1984,TK Major

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