You may have noticed that I'm in the "lean times" of trying to keep up the thrill and excitement of Christmas music. We barely have a winter here in Charleston and as May comes upon us it is growing warmer and warmer. Soon it will be almost unbearably hot.
Nighttime or early AM are the best times to indulge in some Christmas listening but there has to be some sort of substitute to fill the spaces in between. Typically, I turn to songs that mention Christmas or winter offhandedly or albums that offer an evocation of Winter or Fall. Again, the Resistance is strong but I soldier on.
One of those songs that I was thinking about this morning was "The First Song" by Band of Horses. In addition to it's inconceivably gorgeous opening chord structure, singer Ben Bridwell takes a slow, delicate path that unfolds lyrics only partially and after repeat listens. For the most part, it was (and still is) difficult for me to understand the arc of the song. (There are dozens of lyric "translations" online that are clearly incorrect and laughable.) At the core, it's just a few activities that take precedence: there are people to see, overcoats to put on, and glasses of wine to drink.
"It's Christmastime, I'm coming over" always stuck out as a phrase that captured the essence of "The First Song." It's a celebration, this song. It's a cold evening that's just right for some kind of fire; companions are needed for the celebration and hand-wrapped gifts will be offered soon. Whatever else happens inbetween doesn't really matter because we can go anywhere, as long as we've got an overcoat.