Thursday, December 24, 2020

Pandemic Holiday Songs: Why You've Been Gone So Long

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This is a year where Christmas is very much what you and you alone make of it.

Yeah, I managed to get the tree and lights up. I even managed a couple of wrapped gifts under it. No mean feat. We are under some serious restrictions over here: No one is allowed out all weekend. It's been this way all December and for New Years, the lockdown runs from Thursday through Monday morning. I'm also in the "over 65" category, which means that even Monday-Friday, I am only allowed out on the streets between 10AM and 1PM. Makes it hard to shop for gifts.

Add to that the fact that Christmas is not much of a thing in this Moslem majority country. So... Christmas music? Not much. Even in the best of years (which this has most certainly not been).

But that's fine. We've called the theme Pandemic Holiday Songs for a reason. And as I said, Christmas is what you make of it. That goes for my music choice here as well: a song that I find myself listening to again and again, kinda like I might have been doing with the Christmas favorites. Maybe I'll get to those on the day itself.

But for now: a pandemic holiday song (instead of the usual). It really has absolutely nothing to do with End of the Year Holiday - except in my current frame of mind (allowed under the "whatever fits this season"):

As you saw last week, I've been on a Clarence White binge. Digging around I found that session at the top that he recorded with Ry Cooder (and you know that Ry's my #1) It appears to have been one of the last recordings Clarence made (Summer, 1973), part of a solo album. It appears to be his brother Roland doing the backup vocals and although I'm sure I hear a pedal steel in addition to Ry's slide (could it be Sneaky Pete?)

And then I came across this "cover" of the song that - to me - equals the vibe of Clarence and Ry's version. They are more or less my neighbors!!

Christmas? Not really - unless you consider the lyrics: a time where we can't go home to our families (gone so long). And of course, there are lots of other versions of this song credited to Mickey Newbury: Tony Rice, Carl Perkins and more if you do a Youtube search for the title.

As I said, not Christmas, but hey ... it brings me some holiday cheer and hopefully to you, too.

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