New Year. A celebration to bring in the new, by drinking enough to forget the old. A poor second to Christmas when it comes to being a muse to the talented. I guess all musicians are too busy partying to settle down to do some serious writing on the subject. There are a few songs that make the effort, though be warned they tend to be on the gloomier side of the fence. So here is a top ten of New Year tunes, avoiding the usual staples of Prince ‘1999’, U2 ‘New Year’s Day’ and Abba ‘Happy New Year’.
Top Ten Songs About New Year (listed in real time)
1) American Music Club – This Year
Ok, not the most upbeat of starts. Man looks back on what has been a most horrendous year and ponders the implications. Great and necessary song, but not one for your party list.
2) Counting Crows – A Long December
Another song pondering the bad year that has been, but this time with a more positive view that the new year will be different. Group hug everyone.
3) First Aid Kit – New Year’s Eve
Swedish folk duo have a go at perking up proceedings, but still end up in self reflective mood. At least they come up with a plan of how to recover from their grump [with lovely harmonies!].
4) Tom Waits – New Year’s Eve
Ah, now this is more like it. Like your favourite drunk uncle, you know the one with the gravelly voice, sat by the fire singing his favourite ditties. Even breaks into a chorus of Auld Lang Syne. Hic!
5) Trembling Bells & Bonnie Prince Billy – New Year’s Eve The Loneliest Night Of The Year
Collaborative process combines to give best opening gambit in New Year shenanigans. “It’s the 31st of December, about midnight I suppose. I’ve been drinking since September and the time just kinda goes”. Has more a feel of a Christmas carol, until the chorus. Reflective but with a nice line in humour.
6) Zuno Men – Stay In With Me
BEST SONG ABOUT NEW YEAR EVER! No really! Written to coincide with the millenium, an upbeat homage to not going out. How this never made the charts at the end of 1999 is a travesty. Go forth and spread the word people.
7) Otis Redding & Carla Thomas – New Year’s Resolution
So what did the New Year sound like circa 1968/69 I hear you suspiciously not ask? Well here is your answer. Quite frankly I would make any number of New Year’s resolutions if they all resulted in this song. Otis and Carla in fine form.
8) Van Morrison – Celtic New Year
Van the man warbles wonderfully to the lady of his ardor. Looking forward to seeing her in the Celtic New Year or Samhein as it is known. I guess that was a bit more difficult to progress with lyrically.
9) Beach House – New Year
Change of pace to the American dream pop duo of Beach House. A track from one of two albums released this year . They didn’t make my personal best of the year list but still well worth checking out if this oscillates your ossicles.
10) Ben Glover – New Year’s Day
A quiet reflective song to finish. Well, it is New Year’s Day itself, you are probably hung over. Soothing water and birdsong in the background of this one to soothe your aching head. The Irish troubadour rejoices making it through another year with his loved one. Hallelujah indeed!