Some is good, some is bad
And the joke is rather sad
That it’s all just a little bit of history repeating"
As part of my post-Thanksgiving holiday return to the city, I spent 7 hours driving through 3 states, taking assorted friends and family members to their homes. 7 hours worth of driving can give a person ample time for reflection. 7 hours worth of Christmas music on the radio can give a person a nasty migraine. But at about the 5 hour mark of my odyssey, something became remarkably clear. Every year, it's practically a requirement for recording artists to release Christmas songs, sung and orchestrated with numbing sameness. Even Dylan, with his aural version of 40-grit sandpaper, delivers the traditional songs in traditional versions. But hidden within the Christmas music oeuvre, there exists a small collection of wonderful songs, familiar to the ear, yet modified to reflect the unique essence of the singer. Something people in marketing would call "brand identity". And in a monthlong Christmas music marathon, these are the songs we'll remember.