Winter: The Soundtrack of New Beginnings

By Bob Scarborough

Another year is underway. Resolutions made are being put to the test. January is typically a time of re-orientation for many, shaking off the past year and looking to a possibly brighter new year, or for some, more of the same.

Music plays a key role in moods. We turn the radio on, or pop in a CD, or click play on our favorite music folder, pop in the ear buds or headphones, and we’re off to the land that our favorite songs create. As we turn the calendar page, our experiences of the past bounce around the edges of the soundtrack playing while we go about our daily affairs.

What songs are on your all-time favorite list? Which ones instantly take you back to a time in your life that keeps you moving forward?

Let’s look at some songs about winter, since it is … winter. Now not all songs about winter make you instantly think cold. Paul Simon wrote a lot of songs about the seasons and winter is no exception. I Am A Rock reflects the retreat to safety in solitude. Winter is like that. It is a time when we can hibernate and recharge.

Sometimes in Winter, by Blood, Sweat and Tears is a melodic departure from David Clayton Thomas’ passionate songs about life and love.

Then there’s the blues – songs that you look forward to with reserved anticipation. Like a bitter pill, the blues are hard going down but you know it’s going to make you feel better, because somewhere in there is just how you feel. Muddy Waters’ 1964 acoustic Cold Weather Blues (featuring a young Buddy Guy) is the quintessential winter lament requiring a set of headphones and a darkened room.

Songs about winter are not all introspective or solitary. Seasonal songs like Sleigh Ride and Chestnuts Roasting on An Open Fire are but two of many that evoke a sense of joy and anticipation of the Christmas holiday. This writer’s favorite rendition of Sleigh Ride is performed by Ella Fitzgerald. Listening to it in January is permissible.

Let’s make 2018 a year filled with music. What is your soundtrack going to be?

Bob Scarborough is a DJ with the oldies station WTOB 980 AM and 96.3 FM in Winston-Salem.


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