There’s exactly a week left to go for Christmas, y’all. This is the perfect time to put together a Christmas playlist! The ones here may not be your typical carols, but they’re certainly as spiritual and just as beautiful. Here we go:
The 1975: Antichrist
There’s no better way to start off a Christmas playlist than with a song that questions God’s existence, amirite. This is one of my favourite songs by this band. Matty Healy, the lead singer, manages to capture poignant questions in very few, very simple words. The tune is devastatingly beautiful. ‘Ya Hey’ by Vampire Weekend deals with the same subject and is also worth a listen.
‘How can I relate to somebody who doesn’t
Speak? I feel like I’m just treading water.
Is it the same for you?’
OHO: Alone in Kathmandu
I accidentally discovered OHO while scrolling through Youtube in the middle of the night some 3 years ago. Since then it has been a love affair for the books. This song is a personal favourite. For one, it’s partially in Hindi (do read the lyrics, because the accent can be a bit difficult to understand sometimes). For another, it samples a speech by Gandhi at the beginning. The song is like a jigsaw, except that there’s no fixed end result: you can put all the different elements together to come up with your own meaning. I think the song is about the impossibility of believing in God in an increasingly rational, secular world, and how lonely this situation makes the singer feel. What do you think?
ख्वाबों में तुम आते हो, दिल पे तुम छा जाते हो
मैंने क्या पाया हैं कैसे कहूँ तुमहे?
यादों में तुम हो – वादों में तुम हो – कभी धड़कन की कलियाँ, कभी यादों की गलियां।
रंग रैलियां जो मन में हैं
ऐसा एहसास कभी पहले ना जगा था
छा गया अजनबी सा नशा, जबसे मैंने देखा- प्रेम नागारीया॥
John & Yoko/ Plastic Ono Band: Happy Xmas (War is Over)
Here’s to some Lennon/Ono in our lives during these dystopian times. Notice the irony in the title: war is never over, and certainly not now. I chose this track with Aleppo in mind. It’s incredible, isn’t it, how the cycle of violence never ends? Lennon wrote about Vietnam. I dedicate this to the 65,000 citizens still trapped in Aleppo, facing almost certain death. Will Christmas come to them?
And so this is Xmas (war is over)
For weak and for strong (if you want it)
For rich and the poor ones (war is over)
The world is so wrong (if you want it)
And so happy Xmas (war is over)
For black and for white (if you want it)
For yellow and red ones (war is over)
Let’s stop all the fight (now).
Sleeping At Last: Saturn
Just in case you needed a reminder that to exist is a gift that we cannot take for granted. The two and half minute instrumental portion at the beginning is sublime. For a similar tone of awe and unity with the entire universe, turn to আকাশ ভরা সূর্য তারা by the Kobiguru himself.
You taught me the courage of stars before you left.
How light carries on endlessly, even after death.
With shortness of breath, you explained the infinite.
How rare and beautiful it is to even exist.
Dodie Clark: Here Comes Santa Claus (Cover)
Listen, Dodie Clarke aka doddleoddle is one of my favourite Youtubers of all time. She has an angelic voice and a beautiful heart and I’m in love with her and I can’t think of anyone/thing who could possibly finish this post on a happier and more hopeful note. ❤️
Well, here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus
Riding down Santa Claus laneHe’ll come around when the chimes ring out
It’s Christmas morn again
Peace on earth will come to all
If we just follow the light
Let’s give thanks to the Lord above
‘Cause Santa Claus comes tonight.
It’s almost Christmas.
And I’m not Christian. I believe in God, but not in the trappings of patriarchal hierarchy-loving organized religion. That automatically renders almost all religious festivals meaningless.
But then again, for me, religion is hardly ever the point of a festival. The magic lies in something else. It’s in the joy reverberating through the air, the glow of the sunshine, the celebrations at every corner and in every home. It’s about relaxing after a hard week, or month, or year. It’s about togetherness and homecoming and all the love that awaits us from whomever we love. It’s the most human of all experiences.
And even amongst these, Christmas is special.
It’s that time of the year when everything is yearning for rest. It’s a time for regeneration: the darkest part of winter designed to bring the most joy, the hope of birth, the promise of spring.
There’s nothing more human than that.
I’m taking part in Blogmas! 25 days of uninterrupted daily blogging. Hooray. This is Day 8.
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