Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Holiday Juxtaposition

I'm listening to "Must Be Santa" a sample of Bob Dylan's "Christmas in the Heart" charity album. All proceeds go to Feeding America.

The record has been getting mixed reviews, mostly bad.

But I am listening to the cut, and trying to forget who's singing. I can't, because that voice is so distinctively raw. The music is a fast paced polka, and excuse me, jolly. The kind of song that would put me in a festive holiday mood. Or give me a push down nostalgia lane of good Christmases past. Not what Dylan is known for, and it is the weirdest juxtaposition. He sounds as though he is really having a good time in the studio.

And why not? Why can't I enjoy this aspect of the holiday as well? There is something kind of radical in this endeavor, and I can't put my finger on it. It's as if Dylan is saying Christmas is for everyone to enjoy and celebrate. He's invited himself to the party, thank you very much. And he wants us to stop hovering around the door and come in, too.

Dylan once said that all his songs are protest songs. And here, he isn't protesting against Santa, but against all us Scrooges. And against the feeling that since we are in economic bad times that we can't all have fun. This is what holidays like this are for. A little relief from the struggle, a break to relax and enjoy and to give to others a chance for a nice turkey dinner and bond over a full dinner table.

Wake up, America. We need music like this right now. And I love the fact that Dylan is doing it to help out, when food pantries and charities are finding the need overwhelming. I have a feeling he is meeting several issues head on at once. And these are just a few.

I'm buying my copy after Halloween. Here's a link to listen to "Must Be Santa".

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