Once upon a time, many years ago, my band had a show on December 30th. We wanted to play something to celebrate the time of year, but it soon became apparent that Auld Lang Syne made up the entire catalog of songs available for the occasion. So I wrote a song called New Year’s Eve Eve (please feel free to call me for an explanation) and there was much rejoicing.
New Year’s Eve is definitely the red-headed stepstool of holiday songs, but if you look hard enough there are tunes to be found.
While the sentiment is not specifically filled with the holiday spirit, U2 has provided one of the better known January holiday songs, titled simply New Year’s Day.
All is quiet on New Year’s Day
A world in white gets underway
I want to be with you
Be with you, night and day
Nothing changes on New Year’s Day
Hanson provides fun old-time rock and roll, complete with silly lyrics in ‘Til New Year’s Night.
Once we get Santa on his sleigh, on his sleigh
We play rock’n’roll from Christmas ‘til New Year’s Day
One week a year we do it right, do it right
We play rock’n’roll from Christmas ‘til New Year’s Night
Or perhaps you’d prefer the jazzy, laid-back stylings of the Velvet Fog, Mel Tormé singing Let’s Start the New Year Right.
When they dim the light, let’s begin
Kissing the old year out
Singing the new year in
Let’s watch the old year die with a fond goodbye
The Breeders deliver gut-pinching rock and mildly surreal lyrics with New Year.
We have come for light
Wholly, we have come for light
It’s true, I am the sun
I am the new year, I am the rain
The old-timey blues of Lightnin’ Hopkins combine with actual holiday-ish lyrics to provide perhaps the best New Year’s anthem yet, Happy New Year.
This is Happy New Year ain’ gon’ worry me to death
Don’t think about Christmas ’cause Christmas just now left
Or, if you’re more in the mood for a contemplative respite, you could do worse than the jazz balladry of Diana Krall on What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?
Wonder whose arms will hold you good and tight
When it’s exactly twelve o’clock that night
Welcoming in the New Year
New Year’s eve
Partial to the psychedelia? Then try This Will Be Our Year by the Zombies.
The warmth of your love
Is like the warmth of the sun
And this will be our year
Took a long time to come
And finally, perhaps the most meaningful yet least specific lyrics are found in Nina Simone’s Feeling Good, a gorgeous jazz/blues number.
It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life for me, ooh
And I’m feeling good
So when you’re out and about this New Year’s wanting to imbibe in a steaming hot tankard of wassail and to sing songs of the holiday, partake of some gems from your local Everett Public Library. And as always, please remember to bring a towel and to tether your yak safely away from the main thoroughfare.