It’s worth stating that perhaps the last thing anyone wanted to hear last year was Christmas music in the wake of an orange cat becoming president. Thanks to George Michael, I found myself listening to this song out of curiosity. Technically, he had already had a Christmas hit with “Last Christmas” back when he was with Wham!. “December Song” compared to “Last Christmas” is a true Christmas song – simple, somber and emotional.
This might be hard to grasp, but doing a Christmas song is really, really, difficult; unless you are of a certain age, the average cynical adult is more than likely willing to hurl at the notion of playing a Christmas song. Christmas is a season after all of mixed feelings; its a season of love and a season of loss at the same time. A musician able to convey those two feelings and not suck deserves a gold metal.
The only other artist who managed to pull this off was not even really a singer; Vince Guaraldi, the jazz musician better known for his soundtrack to “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, had to evoke feelings of joy, sadness and reflection without any actual words. Thou he has long since gone and the special associated with his music is a largely a staple of the holiday season, the soundtrack itself is timeless without ever having to drop a lyric about Christmas itself.
“December Song” to me is a lesson for anyone who is a fan of music: to never your limit curiosity to what is popular even when it comes to a particular artist. There are treasure troves of good songs that never make the hit parade. “December Song” is an example.
You can find me on Twitter at @matmilam7.