Friday, December 9, 2011

In the meadow, we can build a snowman.

Maybe you've been listening to too much Christmas music when you start to analyze the lyrics.

"To face unafraid, the plans that we've made..."

Isn't that a bit foreshadowing? I mean, "Winter Wonderland" is such a cheerful, whimsical song, until you get to this line. What plans have they made that could be so full of uncertainty? What troubles are they facing, that may be heading their way after New Year's? Here they are, roaming the frigid countryside, steeling themselves for what's to come.

I've been thinking about this. No really, I have! I think it could be in reference to the fact that they want to get married. "In the meadow we can build a snowman. And pretend that he is Parson Brown. He'll say, 'Are you married?' We'll say, 'No, man, but you can do the job when you're in town."

Here's this young couple, hiding on the outskirts of town. They've resorted to roaming through a snow-covered meadow, for the chance to be alone. Who knows, maybe they're being pursued. They build a snowman to act out their own wedding, because maybe it falls outside of the plans their parents have for them. Forbidden love? Oh, I think so.

This song is clearly fraught with suspense, fear, and uncertainty. Even the title "Winter Wonderland" is this couple's attempt at irony. Here they are, in their own icy prison, kept from being together by societal pressures and expectations. "A beautiful sight, we're happy tonight"--but in the morning we go home to the awful fate that awaits us. Chilling.

Your thoughts? I really think there is a lot to work with here. And don't even get me STARTED on the implications of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town". ("He sees you when you're sleeping..."). And "I'll Be Home For Christmas" is one of the more tragic songs of our era.
Aaaaannnd, I think I've just found a thesis topic.

Merry Christmas, everybody! Be of good cheer!


  1. Well, dang, Amy. I think I need a drink.

  2. Amy, you are so hilarious! Does your creativity know any bounds? I NEVER have thought of those songs like that. And I'll never hear them again without laughing. Santa watching while we sleep. That is more than a little creepy. And seriously, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas is very wistful and sad. You crack me up. Keep 'em coming!

  3. I think these shadows are an unacknowledged theme running through Christmas music. How about "Merry Christmas, Darling?" Every year I wonder: why are they apart (it's true)? Is the other person away just temporarily, or FOR GOOD? This unanswered question, combined with the tragic subtext of Karen Carpenter's life, make listening to this song a yearly festival of cheer!

  4. Too funny... I don't think I'll ever hear that song in the same way again!

  5. Suddenly, I am DY-ING to listen to that one station that plays Christmas music 24-7 when I get in the car.