The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The 12 Discs of Christmas 2010 #12

Kate Bush - December Will Be Magic Again (EMI 5121; 1980)

There's nothing particularly rare or odd about this Kate Bush single from 30 years ago, it's certainly been on its fair share of Christmas compilation CDs. But it's always been a favourite of mine due to the combination of mystery and excitement that pours forth from Bush's multi-octave voice, extolling the wonders of Bing Crosby and Oscar Wilde. She eventually transforms herself into a snowflake, and her vocals blanket our ears in drifts of sound. For a one-off Christmas tune, it remains a marvel of performance and production.

As an added bonus, here's a rare clip of Bush performing December Will Be Magic Again on a 1979 TV special, with a live vocal over a different mix of the song. Enjoy!


Max Allan Collins said...

Thanks for this lovely Christmas present.

No one quite like Kate Bush -- sexy, haunting, timeless, arty, graceful, child-like, knowing, unknowable....

Michel said...

Thanks for yet another fine series!

swac said...

Thanks Max! I've got everything she's done...I thought The Red Shoes was a bit of a misfire, but her last album Aerial was close to being a masterpiece. It was worth the wait!

Wayne Kasper said...

My two cents/pence on Kate (on our 70s blog - 80s/90s coming soon):

Nick said...

Thanks for some great Christmas tracks! Have you posted the entire SWACMAS 2010 yet? Would love to check out the rest of your picks.

swac said...

Hi Nick,

I didn't post Merry Swacmas 2010, but I'm willing to provide a link to a download for anyone who wants it. Just send me an email and I'll send the link your way.

Thanks for your interest!