Christmas Posts 2013 part 15


Yup, still here. Christmas is coming the goose is getting fat, but for this vegetarian it’s just plain busy.

Tonight’s choice -‘River’ by Joni Mitchell is perhaps more controversial, in that it has been debated whether or not it is actually a Christmas song. Some songs get associated with Christmas that could perhaps be appropriate to other times of year – East 17’s ‘Stay Another Day’ and ‘Altogether Now’ by The Farm, for example. Released around Christmas time when they first came out, they now get trotted out as part of the package. However, towards the end of the song, you can definitely hear an echo of ‘Jingle Bells’ played on the piano that you certainly don’t need to be a musicologist to pick up on.

My favourite Joni Mitchell record is Blue, and while ‘Carey’ is my favourite track on that album, and Mrs. 17 Seconds’ is ‘A Case Of You’ this is one of the standout tracks on an amazing album.

There have been a number of cover versions, including Tracey Thorn’s version, which appeared on last year’s Tinsel and Lights album. If you haven’t heard it, do so. It also features her dueting with Green Gartside on a cover of Low’s ‘Taking Down The Tree.’

Albums of the year to follow very, very shortly…

No, this is a Christmas song


I have just been reading a fascinating, well-argued piece about why ‘River’ by Joni Mitchell, from her album Blue is not a Christmas song. It can be found over here at Oliver di Place blog.

I’m impressed by the argument -but i think you can have Christmas songs where things are sad and people break up. And it should go without saying that this song is better than either ‘Lonely this Christmas’ by Mud or ‘A Winter’s Tale’ by David Essex.

Of course, there are songs associated with Christmas that aren’t really remotely Christmassy it’s just that they reference cold weather (which I appreciate, probably only makes sense in the northern hemisphere) or they have bells on them.

Mind you, I’ve been playing Blue quite a lot of late – ‘the colour of my room and my mood’ as another female singer once sang, so here it is.

Joni Mitchell -‘River.’ mp3