The Winter Solstice is a time to put brass instruments between your lips and push air through tubes out into the endless void of night. Who hasn’t wandered out into the woods covered in the blood of a fawn to wail on a dented and ancient trombone? If work is too hectic and you don’t get time off to wander around a mall breathing despair into a stolen trumpet, don’t you feel a little bit...off?
The Winter Solstice is musical as much as it’s whatever else it is. The songs are the bones and we are the pocked skin stretched thin over those angular bones. Together we merrily lurch from the shadows grasping for pigeons and other prey to shove into our hungry mouths. Without music, the Winter Solstice is a time of fire and demons and Christmas. It’s the music that silences their haunting mewls!
So what are your favorite tunes for when the dark and the inevitability of cold start to win out over the fragile, flickering light? I do not care about your answer, so here are my favorite tunes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :(
1. Yuled 2 Deth
Originally written by Norwegian Ice-Grind band, Bloodfjord, Yuled 2 Deth is best sung after drinking a sheep’s bladder filled with Hjermjanglangaar, which is distilled sheep’s bladder. Go blind before the final refrain and you will have to eat the last of the goat’s eyes!
2. 1 Log, 2 Log, 3 Log, Bankruptcy!
Grab the largest person in your family and give them the branch of responsibility. Sing this song until he or she returns with enough root vegetables and pheasant to last you until spring arrives, if it ever really does.
3. A House Filled With Snow
Remember when you were a child and all of the doors of your home would suddenly burst open and the home would fill with snow until you thought the house would either burst at the seems or you would suffocate? We all do. There is nothing more cozy in the run-up to solstice than having your house fill to bursting with snow. Don’t panic! It’s much harder on your pets to find pockets of air and survive winter’s hug!
4. Mortimer, the Evangelical Woodsman
Some of the best wintertime songs aren’t just joyous celebrations and incantations of happiness long dead. Songs like Mortimer are warnings, stern, intense warnings issued by hardscrabble fundamentalist Christians who make their living by hacking timber from the North Woods and selling trinkets to tourists. My favorite line? Easy. “You will certainly burn in hell for your immoral wanderings in this hellish world. You have contributed to the downfall of society and I anxiously await God’s wrath to cleanse the universe of the filth you continually choose to spill forth from your pores.”
5. Dog Got Loose
Sing along with me!
“Dog got loose. Dog got loose. The GODDAMNED dog got loose. Oh, the dog got loose and it’s Christmas morning. This is how we lost Tippy. Dog got loose! Jesus fucking Christ why did you leave the door open. OHHHHHHH. The dog got loose. Where are the kids? Get the goddamn presents ready. I’ll find the stupid fucking dog. It was YOUR idea to get this fucking dog anyway. Maybe a car will save me a day of walking through frozen shit looking for a dog that doesn’t even come when I call his fucking name. Alright. I’m going to find this goddamn dog. Merry fucking Christmas. Dog got loose.”
6. Buy Your Love (don’t cry, mom)
Mom is crying because winter is beautiful. Probably!
7. 180 Days of Bird Gifts
Birds don’t feel the cold like you do. In fact, they sense your body heat and they are gathering on the window sills to make it their own. They will weave your warm essence into their cruel wooden nests. It will rot under the blind eye of the distant winter sun!
8. Begging For Food
“Walking door to door,
Asking for some food,
Here we come again,
Begging loudly for food.
We are tired and hungry,
Please just give us food.
I bet you could get away with
Giving us some food.
Oh, give us food
Please give us food
We are hungry and cold.”
9. Lemons, Oh Lemons, This Is No Time For Lemons
Citrus fruits do not thrive in cold winter climates. Be sure that your stores of vitamin c are plentiful or your skeleton will leap from your body by February! A cautionary tale told perfectly and with style!
10. I Am Holding A Bad Snow Shovel And Staring Into The Endless Sky
When you have forgotten how the sun used to warm your skin, sing this timeless classic as the calls of the wolves get closer.