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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

This December it’s time to appreciate winter music—not Christmas music

Elle Manning
A screenshot of my wintertime playlist

It seems that winter holidays are held on a pedestal when compared to any other celebrations during the year. Specifically, in the United States, Christmas is brought to the forefront of the media even months before December 25th. Quintessential holiday movies crowd TV streaming platforms, stores advertise excessive gift-giving, and festive songs play in virtually every location leading up to the esteemed day. 

Although all aspects of the holidays can debatably become repetitive, with the same grouping of songs playing constantly, Christmas music can irritate some people. 

However, many songs sound like winter, are not specifically defined as Christmas music, and can be just as easily substituted for the occasionally overplayed tracks that overrun department stores and radio stations during December. 

Perhaps some of these songs only sound like snow and sweaters to me because of the nostalgia that they hold, but, regardless, numerous songs—that aren’t traditionally associated with the season—fit perfectly with wintertime.

“Graceland Too” – Phoebe Bridgers

Although I first began listening to “Graceland Too” by Phoebe Bridgers during the warmer spring months, the depressing anthem somehow still reminds me of the cold. 

The dispiriting track was released in 2020 on Bridger’s sophomore album—my favorite of hers—Punisher. It centers around the theme of loving someone who hates themselves and makes reference to Elvis Presley’s Memphis home. “Graceland Too” features vocals from Bridgers’ boygenius co-bandmates that accompany her on the harmony near the end of the track. 

Along with the fact that the song has a downcast mood, which generally reminds me of the colder times of the year, the instrumentals accompanying the contemplative lyrics make the song feel all the more wintery. A banjo leads the piece and makes it so the track feels like it could be categorized as a melancholy folk or country song. 

In the beginning, which is my favorite part, there is no singing for the first thirty seconds or so, setting the sorrowful ambiance for the rest of the track. Within the first few seconds, there are the noises of clomping that sound like horse hooves on a street. Although I do not know if the sound is supposed to be horse hooves or if that is just how I perceive it, the noise reminds me of Christmastime and horse-drawn carriages.

“When We Are Together” – The 1975

Perhaps, more so than the other songs in this article, “When We Are Together” by The 1975 can be classified as a Christmas song. Released on the band’s fifth album in 2022, the track begins with the lyrics, “Our first kiss was Christmas in the Walmart toy department.”

Although a seemingly niche line, the song is a tranquil love song that reflects on the past relationships of the main singer of The 1975, Matty Healy. 

The track has a cozy feeling to it that makes it perfect for listening to by a fireplace while drinking hot chocolate—or whatever it is that makes you feel comfortable and at home during the holiday season. To me, “When We Are Together” sounds like it would be playing as I watched a snowstorm passing outside of my bedroom window. 

The lyrics consist of seemingly random details about Healy’s past relationships, most notably the chorus lines, “You ask about the cows wearin’ my sweater / It’s somethin’ about the weather that makes them lie down.” Even though there are multiple ways to intercept these lyrics—either a cow literally wearing a sweater or the subject of the song wearing a sweater while inquiring about cows—regardless, the unusual situation constitutes the close connection that the two people shared. 

“Once Upon A Dream” and “Take Me Home, Country Roads” – Lana Del Rey

Disregarding the original versions of the classic songs “Once Upon A Dream” and “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” Lana Del Rey’s released renditions of the tracks that are fitting for December. 

‘Once Upon A Dream’ not only reminds me of my childhood, which makes me feel at home, but Del Rey’s polished vocals evoke feelings of living in a wintery and mystical fairytale world

The first, “Once Upon A Dream,” for those unfamiliar with paradigm Disney animations, is the theme song to the 1959 film, Sleeping Beauty. For the 2014 release of Maleficent, a movie about the antagonist in Sleeping Beauty, Del Rey released her own interpretation of the serene lullaby. 

“Once Upon A Dream” not only reminds me of my childhood, which makes me feel at home, but Del Rey’s polished vocals evoke feelings of living in a wintery and mystical fairytale world. 

More specific to Christmas and less of the cold season in general, a few weeks ago, Del Rey released her edition of the classic American anthem, “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” Obviously, her release is similar to John Denver’s 1971 original, but the two songs have enough differentiations to make them both easily appreciated. 

Even more so than the traditional version, Del Rey’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” maintains a feeling of the importance of spending time with family during the holiday season—including Thanksgiving in addition to just Christmas.

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About the Contributor
Elle Manning
Elle Manning, Staff Writer
Elle is a sophomore beginning her first year on The Central Trend. She loves to read novels, create extravagant Pinterest boards, and journal in her seemingly scarce free time. Her biggest passions include writing and fashion, and she hopes to one day be able to combine the two into a future career. She has been a cheerleader since fourth grade and continues to spend her time on the sidelines every football season. In the spring, she enjoys playing tennis, even though she is still learning. She is often found with Spotify open; she loves to listen to music from a variety of different genres and decades. Most recent musical fixation: Weyes Blood Dream school: Columbia University Favorite book: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt Favorite comfort films: All of The Twilight Saga (primarily the first two movies)

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