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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Breaking Out Those Holiday Classics...




Lately I’ve been trying to snatch, to retrieve and to retain this thing in me; this lost and sleeping spirit of Christmas. Sometimes, it waxes, wanes and tickles my brain with a sweet memory from the past. Often it comes and goes, and lasts as long as a snowflake on a red-hot griddle.


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Last night and early this morning, it snowed. Actually... it was officially just a “dusting”. Kinda wimpy really. Maybe I needed the snow to remind me of those long ago Christmases. Y’know: kid voices singing carols, people smiling and being kinder, the smell of pine trees shining with tinsel. But mostly, it’s the SOUND of gospel and holiday hymns sung by REAL singers. Maaaaaaan, I loved those Christmas songs. Something about them made me feel a part of the world, so warm and necessary. Thus, I’ve been trying to reconnect with those cursory things that bring forth the angels of memory. Yes, the lights across the street beckon and remind me that tis IS the Season to Be Jolly, but I’m running a bit deficient of those fa-la-lala-las.



One of my first poems ever published appeared in Essence Magazine, and it was called “Cobwebs on my Revolution Poster. “ It was metaphor for a time of promise and expectatation that somehow faded away. Well, lately I’m beginning to realize that there are cobwebs on my childhood.


My upstairs neighbors have been blasting Hip-Hop and R & B classics. To counteract their sonic assault, I broke out one of MY classic gems: my Merry Christmas From Motown album. Yup, it still plays, even though it skips, pops and scratches from a spinning disc of vinyl.

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This was the music from my kidhood. See? For me to reconnect with those good feelings, the emotions, the wonder and promise of the season, I desperately needs me some Ave Maria, some O Holy Night.


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I can seriously O.D. on some original Temptations crooning Silent Night....


....And some Jackson 5 way back when li'l Michael was a soulful brown-skin child who wore a ‘fro and was so vibrantly ALIVE!

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Calling on Smokey Robinson… come in Smokey… ‘cause lawd knows we could all could use some Miracles!


Stevie… Mr. Wonder, could you please summon that Little Drummer Boy to come out and play for me?


Damn it! Drats! I mean, Good Grief! I somehow missed this year’s showing of A Charlie Brown Christmas! The l’il keeid in me was never very big on animation or hyped on pretend, but he still relates to this one & only cartoon from way back when.

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Who even realized back then how seriously COOL and quasi-intellectual that music was when The Peanuts gang got down? The man in me still grooves to that classic soundtrack of fluently jazz-inspired tunes.


Music seems to bring the joy of Christmas back to me… even more than snow or lights or shiny presents under a tree. Music alone can take me over that river and through the woods of materialism and deliver a few of My Favorite Things.


So, I’m trying to reclaim that rightful spirit… the spirit that’s been stolen, kidnapped from me by those vicious gods of greed and avarice. I’m trying to keep it simple... when the world keeps getting so damned complicated around me. It’s a chore and a war of the heart, but I aim to score and win that small, yet important victory.


After all, it’s my duty and my solemn right to snatch myself a little Holiday

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One.

10 comments:

WynnSong said...

Keep Snatching Mr. Poetry Man.....and I will too.....

Mizrepresent said...

Love it! I do the same, in fact to conjure up Christmas, i start off with some Luther, add some Temptations, a slew of the Whispers, a slice of Stevie and then the old classics, that with a nice drink an i'm off. Childhood memories of Christmas are the best! We didn't have much, never expected much and yet the holiday delivered! Enjoy Lin!

Bama Boi said...

Nice post. My ultimate Christmas song is Nat King Cole crooning The Christmas Song. . .I love it sooooo much!

Mizrepresent said...

Heyyyyy, Charlie Brown Christmas is on! Enjoy!

BigmacInPittsburgh said...

Of course this post hit a home run with me,all my sentiments wrapped up in this excellent post!

Chet said...

Pleased to hear that you are finding the Christmas/Holiday spirit. There is no better way to capture that holiday spirit than listening to some Motown Holiday Music.

Just yesterday I was listening to Donny Hathaway, his song "This Christmas" always helps to me to get in the holiday spirit.

Daij said...

i liked this post.

my favorite christmas song is Prince's song "Another Lonely Christmas."

Lovebabz said...

I start with Stevie Wonder...That's What Christmas Means To Me. We kill it on the bose. That signals Christmas! Who better than the Temps singing Silent Night! anything Donny Hathaway sings is heavenly.

Listen Charlie Brown was WAY AHEAD of its time introducing kids to JAZZ! That still reigns as my all time FAV!

I gotta add KURTIS BLOW...Christmas RAP! (Ok don't thow any shoes at me) That signals Chrostmas tome...that was part of my coming of age music! and that cut still JAMS!

Merry Christmas My friend! Happiest of Happy New Year's! ((HUGS))

nachalooman said...

Hi Brotha E! Nice post on that "most wonderful time of the year"!

This year I'm only feeling Christmas hymns. I'm doing my best to avoid listening to the radio as they play their canned songs, like Granma got run over by a reindeer and other garbage,and in the same queue that they played them last year and the year before.

But listening to Steve perks up my nostalgic ears and seeing that copy of the Jackson 5 album made me remember how I loved Marlon when I was a kid! For some reason I have no Christmas albums or CDs of the Christmas soul classics like Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder. I need to purchase a good compilation.

I may pull up my Pandora online and listen after all!

Keith said...

Love this...We are definitely on the same page...I'm pulling out my CD's as we speak....(A few cassettes too!,don't tell anyone!-lol!)