I confess to utter bafflement when it comes to the emergence of Joni Mitchell’s wonderfully depressing song “River” as a Christmas standard. So I enjoyed reading this article in TNR about how it all came about.
Of course, I am probably not one to talk. A few weeks ago, my older son asked me to sing “Winter Wonderland” to him before bed. I couldn’t remember the lyrics. He asked for another seasonal song. I am embarrassed to report I suffered absolute brain lock and the only tune that came to mind was Leonard Cohen’s “Famous Blue Raincoat.”
It’s four in the morning, the end of December, I’m writing you now just to see if you’re better
New York is cold but I like where I’m living, there’s music on Clinton Street all through the evening …
Here’ s why mothers love their sons: Jake listened, rapt. When it was all over, he only had one question. “Mom,” he asked, “what was that song about?”
Next time, I’m remembering to sing “Jingle Bells.”
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