When blue snowflakes start fallin’… I was driving home for Christmas when I heard it on the car radio, you know the form: baltic, lonely, missing someone all set to the dulcet tones of Elvis.
We hear all the sad songs on the radio at this time of year just to reinforce that it’s a time when loved ones gather together and to make you feel even more alone, especially if you’re not at that party.
It’s enough to make you wish you were alone just to play your favourite music. But, I mean, what’s wrong with a bit of Dearg Doom instead of the doom and gloom sentimentality?
That opening primal riff must surely get the blood rising, enough to banish the blues for a while, at least or even Put’Em Under Pressure, the title of the ROI national football FIFA World Cup campaign tune, which I believe copied the Horslips riff. The original was based on O’Neill’s March, which references Hugh O’Neill and his part in the Nine Years War.
I’m sidetracking, but I hear there has been much debate around a new anthem for the NI football team, and I’m wondering how a Gary Moore riff might just tip the scales in favour of a change.
But then, I’m a girl, and what would girls know about football, eh? Oops, better get off this thin ice and tune back in…
You could blast the blues out the window just by a change of rhythm, a little more volume, enough so that your bones vibrate. Sing along, by yourself, in the shower, in your car, then roll that window down and smile at the road jockeys on the starting line at the traffic lights. Bet they rev it up a bit too, even if only for a moment, and they’re sure to smile back. An exchange of presents, the natural gift of making someone smile. You don’t need to be in their company to do it, and it costs nothing.
We are taught to give what we can, and it doesn’t need to be material things, but we seem to have moved some distance from that principle, and we’re often left wondering, do they know it’s Christmas. So let’s be honest; we all just want to say Merry Christmas everybody, and remind ourselves that despite that much talked about video, you know the one, that War is Over. If only we could have peace on earth, or is that just a fairytale too?
We can cast our minds back to last Christmas but do you really want to, or are you the nostalgic type, dreaming of a winter wonderland, maybe even rewriting history to reinforce that everything was better then. I have vivid childhood recollections of Val Doonican, Andy Stewart and the Alexander Brothers entertaining us over Christmas in the New Year in the one heated room – maybe that’s the key to getting the family together from far off bedroom corners!
Even in WW1, hostilities were halted for Christmas; peace and goodwill seem endemic at this time of year, and if it could be harnessed into a rhythm and beat, irrespective of season, then that’s one I’d march to, me and my drum. Pa rum pum pum pum.
Karen Mooney lives in Moira and after a long career in local government, she switched from writing memos to scribbling poems and lyrics. You can follow her on Twitter. Penned In, a pamphlet of poetry co-written during the pandemic with Gaynor Kane, was published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press with sales supporting Action Cancer.