Sunday, December 18, 2011

"...Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! On, Cupid, On, John, Paul, George and Ringo..."

Amidst the bargain jargon and super sale slang flying around like snow in a New England sky this time of year, there is a word, instantly evocative of the season, that tends to get lost in the shuffle.

At least, until the last lock on the last door of the last open store is finally clicked somewhere along the way Christmas Eve.


As in " the world..."

I was reminded of that today in a place doing something you don't often associate with epiphanous holiday moments.

Walking the treadmill.

Listening to The Beatles.

One song, amidst a variety of songs by a variety of singers on the IPod, put there for their groove, feel, mood, etc, ostensibly to keep me feeling upbeat as I work out, tone up and slim down but which, in fact, simply, and thankfully, do me the service of distracting me long enough to exercise for thirty minutes without wanting to load the treadmill into the trunk and drop it off in some unwatched dumpster on my way to the nearest DQ.

Go for the burn, my ass.

Winter is all about blizzards, baby.

The kind that come with chunks of Oreo.

And, this time of year, candy canes.

So, as I kept up a nice 3.2 MPH pace to the dancing and dining sounds of Michael Jackson, Nickelback, The Kinks, Shawn Colvin, Adam Lambert and Tammy Wynette, among others (hey, I wasn't born buff, but nobody can say I wasn't born eclectic), along came John, Paul, George and Ringo.

And a song that invariably, even after almost fifty years, evokes a smile and a little lightening of the load.

In the strangest way, as well, it also triggered that little previously mentioned holiday epiphany.

Because it caused me to be reminded of something that's missing, in large measure, from both the holiday season...and the current popular music culture.


Sure, many folks find happiness and warmth and good cheer and a few of its cousins showing up at Christmas time, but how much pure, untainted, child like joy is there to be found anymore?

And I'll spare you the diatribe about Black Friday madness and Christmas crazies and mall mental cases and let you reflect, yourself, on how buried or not, in all that sugar coated sludge, real laugh out loud joy there is in your holiday season.

Meanwhile, I realized, somewhere along the 26th minute of the 3.2 MPH as the Fab Four sang, that the same thing could be asked about pop music.

Sure, many people find happiness and warmth and good cheer and a few of its cousins in pop music, but how much pure, untainted, child like joy is there to be found anymore amidst the thump and the beat and the groove and the lyrics that either send a wave of angst washing over us like that big ass ocean wave that turned George Clooney and the gang upside down a few years back or so often imply, or simply offer upfront, the concept that we should "fuck like rabbits...and then maybe get to know each other"?

And just so the youngers don't leap to the tired old argument that my line of thinking is simply tired and old, understand this.

I'm not talking about morality.

Or hip quotient.

Or even cultural relatability.

I'm just talkin' about joy.

A feeling of delight and/or exuberance that comes without the baggage of angst or sexuality or social relevance or cultural connection?

And just makes you feel good...before, during and after.

With no buyer's remorse coated in a thin varnish of fear that you're going straight to Hell for drinking it, shaking it, making it and/or faking it.

And, truth be told, even The Beatles evolved fairly soon after into that next, more angst filled, phase.

But, while it lasted, this particular phase of artistic creation radiated pure joy.

And was a joy to hear.

The song has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas.

But given the spirit that it evokes, I'm ready to make a pretty good case that it belongs right there on the Muzak with Rudolph, Frosty and the Holly Jolly of your own choosing.

Joy to the world...

...and I feel fine.

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