Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmastime: On Christmas Eve

John Hartford: On Christmas Eve


Master songsmith John Hartford was notorious for preferring life on the river to anything else, even music. So it's no surprise to find him lonesome and soul-searching on a full moon Christmas Eve, staring into the muddy Mississippi, wondering why he prefers the sound of the steam, the sight of the Pitman arm coming around again, the spanish moss and a bonfire on the moonlit banks to family.

To be fair, though, Hartford's simple, loving celebration of the lyrical elements of the Louisiana river setting is its own answer.

It's true that there are many lonely souls this time of year, yearning to be taken in by the company of friends. But for all those who prefer the company of the self at the holidays, this song offers an unparalleled template for comfort and joy.

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