Saturday, December 24, 2011

"Fairytale of New York"

It’s Christmas Eve, friends, & I have a short post for you today, along with one of my favorite Christmans songs, one that never fails to bring a small tear to just one corner of my eye!  

The song is of course the Pogues' great "Fairytale of New York" from their If I Should Fall From Grace with God album.  The Pogues are without question one of my favorite bands ever, & the song seems so perfect for an aspect of the season: the dreams countered with disillusionment, all delivered with thrilling & heartbreaking voice by the great Shane MacGowan & the late, great Kristy McColl.  Of course, the accompanying music is superb—the Pogues could really play!

But here we are, Christmas Eve!  Whether or not a given Christmas season has seemed stressful to me due to obligations, financial worries, loneliness or any of the other myriad woes that can assail us this time of year, Christmas Eve has often seemed a peaceful & magical time.  While I lived in San Francisco, I went on epic walks on Christmas Eve to watch the lights & ride the streetcars—back then you could ride the streetcars with a monthly Muni pass!  In Idaho, I often performed music on Christmas Eve—usually in churches, which is odd I suppose, since I am a distinctly non-churchy fellow.  But these & other, earlier rituals have always proved a balm to me.

This year I’ll be dining & visiting with friends this afternoon & evening: very grateful for that!  People in Portland have been so generous in taking me in to their circles & helping me in so many ways as I've made a new life here in rather straitened circumstances.  But all of you have been wonderful, & all my friends are near to my heart today.

& with that, I leave you to your holiday, with all my best wishes for a true Christmas of peace & goodwill.   If you don’t celebrate Christmas, I wish you the happiest time in whatever festival you do celebrate to mark this season of passing from darkness to light.

Much merriness to you, friends!


  1. Great tune! It sounds like Shane was channeling Tom Waits in that intro section.

    Have a great Christmas, John. I'm glad to hear that your celebrations will be well populated.

  2. I really like this song too, John. I haven't heard it this year, until now and I'm grateful to have easy access to it here. Thanks!

    Is this the light-bulb store again? That is one fabulous display!

    Enjoy your Christmas Dinner! If you go for a walk, I hope you have a light dusting of snow to make it magical.


  3. Hi Roy & Kat!

    Roy: Yes, I see what you mean about Waits with the piano intro. Of course, Shane was pretty familiar wiuth that sort of persona all on his own from what I understand! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

    Kat: So glad you liked this! Yes, it's the light bulb store--this is one of the windows that fronts N Mississippi Ave. But no snow! I don't like snow! Fortunately, it really doesn't snow very much in Portland, OR--on an average a few inches in the entire winter season. Thanks so much for your kind wishes, my friend. Hope you have a lovely holiday!

  4. Have A Fine Christmas John.Best Wishes for the New Year.

  5. Happy Christmas! That song has always been a favourite.

  6. I hope you have a good enjoyable holiday.

    Thanks for sharing the song. I liked it (especially the change at 1:25).

    I like walking on days like these too. Two years ago I went on an amazing walk through NYC on New Year's Eve. There's something about the atmosphere - winter and possibility.

  7. Hi Tony, Von & HKatz

    Tony: A very Happy Christmas to you! Thanks!

    Von: It is a song that's both delightful & moving. Happy Christmas to you.

    HKatz: The idea of you walking in New York on New Year's Eve makes me happy--you are so observant of cityscapes. So glad you enjoyed the song!


Thanks for stopping by & sharing your thoughts. Please do note, however, that this blog no longer accepts anonymous comments. All comments are moderated. Thanks for your patience.