Song #17 // S. Carey “Glass/Film” [Range of Light]

 

S. CareyI keep few traditions around New Years. I’m not a huge fan of NYE, but I nonetheless feel compelled to go out. I can’t stand the mind-numbing TV countdown shows, but I still like having them on. The first hangover of the year makes you want to forget your final regret of last year. And being a Notre Dame football fan, well, kinda opens up my viewing options on a day of bowl games. None of these are traditions, though; they’re annual recurrences. And, yes, there’s a difference.

But for as long as I can remember, I’ve played or hummed the words to Crash Test Dummies’ “Winter Song” on New Years Day. Say what you will about them (although I’m guessing people, at most, have a vague recollection of “Mmm Mmm Mmm”), their first album was a raucous mix of quasi-Celtic and Americana with some incredibly witty, existential songwriting (who else can get away with a song titled “At My Funeral” that makes you both laugh and think at the same time?)

It’s, to me, the perfect song to welcome in a new year. Against the backdrop of a wintry setting, hinted at with family history, local legend, and personal longing, you get what I consider one of the best lines in any 1990s pop song: “But I cannot rewrite my old diaries/ I can only recall all the things that came and went.” Simple? Of course. But it’s a shaved down fact; unadorned with sentimentality. And in the early days of Janus, it’s looking forward while seemingly only giving a quick look over the shoulder. There’s no loss over looking back here.

And so on this first day of 2015, after looking out at the low-rising sun over the windswept snowy fields of the northern Midwest, I greeted the new year with the closest thing I have to an annual tradition on this day, and as I put my daughter down for a nap I sang her this little song:

I can’t say that I miss my old dog much
And I’ve never looked back since I left home long ago
But I hoped a trip into the country
Would help remind me all the things I used to know

That’s what I came for
That’s what I hoped for

There once was good blood in the breeze here
We rode across the lake each new year
What have I remembered
What did this used to be

The ice, it used to shine upon our river
It was a mirror that the cold dark water ran way deep beneath
And here were many years of winter drownings
I kept track of these things as they were told to me

And that’s what I came for
That’s what I hoped for

There once was good blood in the breeze here
We rode across the lake each new year
What have I remembered
What did this used to be

The changes of the year were once a blessing
Well this year they’re the seasons of my discontent
But I cannot rewrite my old diaries
I can only recall all the things that came and went

And that’s what I came for
That’s what I hoped for

There once was good blood in the breeze here
We rode across the lake each new year
What have I remembered
What did this used to be

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page