If the holidays are over, then so is our respite from the day-to-day of work and school. No longer does the cold and snow bring hopes of friends and good cheer; instead, it drives us inwards: to our minds and our houses, the detritus still lingering after the burning of the old year.
We were going to see my father in Boston today, but the snow is coming: as much as a foot, out where he is. Here in the rural middle of the state we’re on the edge of the storm, looking at a shut-in day by the pellet stove, writing lesson plans and playing charades with the family while the blizzard whirls outside the window.
A day by the fire, then. And appropriately so, for it’s the time of year where we hunker down, huddling against the cold.
We’ve shared several relevant coversets over the years: on snow itself, and on the nondenominational seasonal songs so easily showcased among the holiday, thanks to a resonance with the hopeful spirit of the season.
But there are also wintersongs that are quiet, still, notes and voices resonating hollow against the shimmery white world, their voices soaring into empty, grey skies. In which each new day adds but a minute of daylight, not fast enough to slow the pace of deep introspection. In which Spring is present at a distance: a dubious promise, made muffled by the snow.
Themes of withdrawal and stillness typify the songs of this, the second season of winter. The longing for light we hear in these sounds is less golden, less joyful; more wistful, more weary. There is comfort, here, of a sorts, knowing that such states are temporary. But it is one that we must bring, ourselves, to complete the emotive loop.
Wintersongs: A Cover Lay Down Mix [zip!]
- Sailyk: Winter (orig. Noah Gundersen) 
- Reid Jamieson: Winter (orig. Tori Amos) 
- Emily Jane Furlong: Winter Song (orig. Sara Barielles) 
- Marissa Nadler: Winter Lady (orig. Leonard Cohen) 
- Grey Season: Faded From The Winter (orig. Iron & Wine) 
- Wintery Songs: In The Cold Cold Night (orig. White Stripes) 
- Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield: Angel In The Snow (orig. Elliott Smith) 
- Darol Anger w/ John Gorka and Dar Williams: While Roving On A Winter’s Night (trad.) 
- Thea Gilmore: Listen The Snow Is Falling (orig. Yoko Ono & John Lennon) 
- The Good Lovelies: Song For A Winter’s Night (orig. Gordon Lightfoot) 
- Smoke Fairies: Steal Softly Through Snow (orig. Captain Beefheart) 
- Dustin Kensrue: Cold As It Gets (orig. Patty Griffin) 
- Catherine MacLellan: Snowbird (orig. Anne Murray) 
- יותם בקר: Eskimo Snow (orig. Why?) 
- Til Willis: Winterlude (orig. Bob Dylan) 
- Bobby Kendall: Landslide (orig. Stevie Nicks) 
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