Coming home from work this evening, I was listening to my 2nd favorite radio station that is playing Christmas music 24/7 until after the holidays. That’s a good thing I guess. I can switch over to that station when I’m in the “ho ho ho” mood. And since they are playing non-stop Christmas music, they have to include the old stuff. You know, Bing Crosby and all that. Well, I have a few songs that are my favorite Christmas songs from way back then. But it’s not the music per say that I like, but the memories that are associated with the “time” that I was listening to those songs. I thought I’d talk about a couple of them. You tell me if you think of music this way.
Taking Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” . for example first. Yeah, I like the song. I really liked the movie that it came from. I was a big fan of Danny Kaye. I thought he was really funny, and a good dancer too. But each year (before TCM and the other movie channels ruined it for us) I’d look forward to seeing that movie in the line up in the TV Guide that Mom bought each Friday at the grocery store. You only got to watch it once, maybe twice if you were lucky each season. So the family would make a “plan” to be in front of the t.v. with the bowls of
half burnt, cause my Dad used oil and loose corn, and he never watched it or shook the pan enough popcorn. And if we were also lucky, a Pepsi in the bottle with a straw. You know the old paper kind that would get wet and collapse before you were a third of the way through with the bottle, so you had to keep biting off the straw to get to a place that wasn’t wilted? Yeah….those.
Same went for The Wizard of Oz and Gone With The Wind….. once a year……but that’s another blog.
Then there’s the version of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” by Judy Garland. That’s not my favorite version of that song, but when I hear it I think of her, and her overdose. And how cute and sweet she was in Oz. But mostly, when I hear her voice, I think of all my gay friends. And all the drag shows that I’ve been to or hosted at my bar. The most successful drag queens ALL try to “do” Judy. She was such a friend to the gay community. A total icon of class, and camp and tragedy. I think that’s why they all loved and still love her. Look at all the female impersonators that try to look and sound like her.
Now one of MY personal favorite Christmas songs is “Merry Christmas Darling” by The Carpenters. Karen’s voice was so clear and pure. My Dad adored her. And so, of course when she died of her eating disorder, he was crushed. And I think about her and about my Dad whenever I hear this song.
I know Christmas is supposed to be such a happy time. But I just can’t seem to get into the spirit. Maybe it’s because my best little buddy of 13 years (my Jack/Rat) Casey, is so ill. He probably won’t make it to Christmas and I get so sad when I think about that. He’s like my last link to my “old” life. Back when I was younger, and single and lived in Cincinnati, and my folks were alive, and my son was little. All the happy times. I hope I snap out of it and get in the spirit of the season. If I don’t, there’s always next year.