I'm Dreaming of A Bearable Christmas
I hate Christmas. I've worked in retail so no one can deny me this right. When I think of Christmas, all I can imagine are cars with big bows on them waiting for some white suburbanite to discover in his garage, diamond necklaces being put on wealthy women in front of elaborate fireplaces, and overly attractive office executives having the time of their lives to the point of near-orgy at the annual company gathering.
Christmas is a time for dreams to die, and emotional honesty to meet its ugly fate in the name of "season's greetings". Case in point: Christmas songs. All the good ones are depressing as hell. Why? Because they're emotionally honest. The winter is cold, the end of the year is depressing, the expectations for the New Year are too exhausting; sometimes your loved ones are away when it seems like the whole world is snuggling up to a collective blanket of love comprised of family, friends and lovers.
You know what the best holidays songs are about? They're not about decorating a chopped up tree or roasting chestnuts or sleighriding to grandmother's house, that's for goddamn sure. They're about getting AIDS and being doped up on smack.
To wit: the best Christmas song ever, according to myself and backed by a BBC online readers' poll, is The Pogues' "Fairy Tale of New York", which lyrics include:
You're a bum
You're a punk
You're an old slut on junk
Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed
You scumbag, you maggot
You cheap lousy faggot
Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God its our last
The video is absolutely gorgeous, and I believe that's Matt Dillon in the beginning. This would be the Pogues' only real hit, and guest vocalist Kristy MacColl's only known work before she died, ironically, on Christmas vacation in Mexico:
The following is my own top 10 list of Christmas and winter-related, holiday-ish tunes to have a listen to over a few bottles of whiskey and some ludes. Enjoy!
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