🎅Advent Calendar – Christmas Eve🎄

My Advent Calendar reaches Christmas Eve, and it’s starting to look a bit like Christmas. A lockdown, Tier 4, shout and wave at your daughters from a distance kind of Christmas. It’s weird, but hopefully next year will be better. Maybe that’s why there is an air of sentimentality about today’s songs?

My first song is one that I have shared every year on this day since I started doing this (this is year 6 of these). Am I a creature of habit, or just plain old boring? You be the judge – or maybe not! You’ll soon spot why I couldn’t share this one on any other day:

Mindy Smith may well be new for you. She has been making records since 2003, although her most recent release was as far back as 2013: the EP Snowed In, from which this track comes. She has made some occasional appearances since then, and I’m hoping that she will be releasing some new music soon: the signs have been there on her social media pages. In her main period she released five albums between 2004 and 2012, all of which reached the Billboard Heat chart, and one of them – Stupid Love – actually topped that chart. But mainstream success has so far eluded her. To me, that’s a shame, as she writes and performs lovely songs: this one expresses what so many parents have experienced on Christmas Eve as they try to calm the excitable little ones. Mindy played an online show a few days ago. I missed it, as it was in the middle of the night UK time, but I’ve seen a photo of her set list and this one was on it. Maybe one day it will be on YouTube!

It probably doesn’t do my street cred much good to admit that I’ve always been a fan of Def Leppard, but I’ve said it now! Amongst the heavier rocking stuff they have always been good at rock ballads, and they released this one as a single in 2018:

I said I was getting a little sentimental, didn’t I, but if a bunch of gnarly old rockers can come up with a video like that, then why not? That one hasn’t been on any of the band’s albums, though it did feature as a bonus vinyl disc for their Record Day promo in 2019. It’s a simple song, but it really gets to the heart of the season, and is perhaps needed now more than ever:

“So here’s to you, and all you do
Let’s raise a glass to all that’s past, and to the future long may it last
Ohh let it last
And may the light shine on you, and trust your hopes to see it through
Forever after let it be true, for me and you”

I was going to leave it there for today, but a new animated video was released yesterday by a couple of the greatest country artists of my time, so I just had to add to today’s sentimentality overload by sharing it with you:

That is a Willie Nelson song, written in 1963 and originally a hit for Roy Orbison that year, though it has since been recorded by many others. This duet version with Willie is from Dolly Parton’s recently released album, A Holly Dolly Christmas, which has so far peaked at #16 in both the UK and US album charts.  I think we all need a hankie after that, and today’s other songs!

In case I haven’t already given you enough reminders, today is Christmas Eve when, in normal times, Fred would be starting his Christmas shopping:

And for those getting impatient for the big day, this one’s for you:

I’ll be here tomorrow with a bumper final Advent Calendar window. Hope to see you then 🎅🦌