Any Major Winter
Having recently returned from the wintry climes of the northern hemisphere, I felt inspired to create a mix of songs about winter, to complement the four summer mixes posted over the past year (Vol 1 Vol. 2 Vol. 3 Vol. 4)
The selection required ground rules. Firstly, the songs must be about actual winter, not just use the notion of winter as a metaphor. It is Winter in America even during the heatwaves of July, so Gil Scott-Heron is out. If the song has it snowing outside by way of establishing a metaphor for the bleakness of life, it qualifies. Just let it snow.
Which brings me to the second category for disqualification. If the meteorologically inspired song is used in the popular canon of Christmas songs, it’s out, no matter how frightful the weather outside is said to be. But there is one exception: Baby It’s Cold Outside. I do not understand by what asinine process a song about seduction has wormed itself onto Christmas compilations, but a song about trying to get laid adds little to the true meaning of Christmas, elusive as that concept is.
In order to keep this mix down to the customary CD-R length I had to sacrifice a couple of contenders, such as Joni Mitchell’s River (another questionable addition to the Christmas catalogue; in any case, Joni already features), Frank Zappa’s Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow, Windjammer’s Winter Love, Cliff Bruner’s Snow Flakes, Jens Lekman’s The Cold Swedish Winter or Bob Dylan’s Girl From The North Country.
Instead there are some of the most joyful songs about winter, led by Aztec Camera’s exuberant Walk Out To Winter, one of the happiest songs I know.
As always, the mix includes home-frozen covers (the beautiful front cover image is from butkovicdub at morguefile.com, the back pic is mine). PW in comments.
1. Aztec Camera – Walk Out To Winter (1983)
2. Blood, Sweat & Tears – Sometimes In Winter (1969)
3. Rolling Stones – Winter (1973)
4. Lee Moses – California Dreaming (1971)
5. Love Unlimited – It May Be Winter Outside (1973)
6. The Impressions – Long Long Winter (1964)
7. Ray Charles & Betty Carter – Baby It’s Cold Outside (1961)
8. Dean Martin – June In January (live, 1963)
9. Tommy Roe – It’s Now Winter’s Day (1967)
10. Don McLean – Winter Has Me In Its Grip (1974)
11. Ron Sexsmith – Snow Angel (2006)
12. Tracey Thorn – Snow In The Sun (2012)
13. Josh Rouse – Winter In The Hamptons (2005)
14. The Weepies – Hope Tomorrow (2010)
15. Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal (2008)
16. Steve Miller Band – Winter Time (1977)
17. Merle Haggard – If We Make It Through December (1973)
18. Jim Reeves – The Blizzard (1961)
19. Gordon Lightfoot – Song For A Winter’s Night (1967)
20. Joni Mitchell – Urge For Going (1968)
21. Simon & Garfunkel – A Hazy Shade Of Winter (1968)
22. The Doors – Wintertime Love (1968)
23. Donald Fagen – Snowbound (1993)