LATEST MIX FOR DECEMBER 2023
Mark's New Mix for 2023 Includes a Record Number of Classic Song-Poems
I'm especially pleased to be posting my 19th and latest annual holiday mix — simply titled Christmas Cheer — and to be doing so a full week ahead of my ordinary schedule! In fact, this year's mix was completed way back in September, but for the addition of a last-minute new discovery I happened to run across just 10 days ago: "Happy Holidays," by the late great Robbie Robertson, one of my two favorite artists we lost in 2023. The other is the legendary David Crosby, who died in January whilst still at the top of his game. (The only holiday track of Crosby's I know of is from the 2015 National Tree Lighting Ceremony, when Crosby, Stills & Nash played together for the final time, and it's undoubtedly their worst performance ever.)
I think you'll find the rest of this year's mix includes the typical grab-bag of styles and, as always, features tracks of wildly varying levels of quality. If there's one distinguishing characteristic relative to my other mixes it's that this one features a record number of song-poems — 10 of them. What exactly are song-poems? Well, if you have to ask, you don't want to know. Song-poems are actually songs with lyrics by usually non-professional writers that have been set to music by commercial companies for a fee. I've used them on many of my previous mixes, but never so many of them! Some might argue that this colors the overall sound of the mix. Good God, how could it not?!
The title track, in particular, is one you'll not easily forget:
Christmas is a glad time,
Christmas is a sad time,
It’s a time of joy,
For every girl and boy.
But how about the lost souls,
The ones whose lives never unfold,
Does anyone ever think of those
whose life compares to a dead rose?
They’re living, too.
And every day gets duller and duller in every way.
Who is going to bring them cheer?
Isn’t that why you and I are here?
Think of them at Christmas time,
As you go bustling in your prime,
And when somebody says, “Brother, can you spare a dime?”
That this could happen to you sometime.
Christmas Cheer also includes two different holiday reggae numbers; a spirited plea for peace by veteran rocker and noted consiglieri Steve Van Zandt, whom CBS' 60 Minutes called "the ultimate wing man"; and a touching holiday reading by Ronald Reagan as dusted off recently by the courageous Liz Cheney.
*NOTE: You may download any or all of the 37 individual tracks on this year's mix as individual .mp3 files by way of the button above, which includes a link to my box.com site. You may then upload these tracks to iTunes or some similar app where, if ordered by title or track number from 1-37, they should play without interruption or breaks. This will allow you to skip ahead to the next track more easily.
This year's mix opens and closes with tunes from the classic Sonny & Cher holiday franchise, which is no doubt remembered fondly by anyone who lived through the 1970s. Additional information about the tracks on this year's mix will be posted throughout the holidays on my holiday music blog, HERE.
I hope you enjoy Christmas Cheer, which you can explore by way of the links to the right. This is one of those years when we all need a little Christmas.
My best wishes to all for a happy holidays and a wonderful 2024!