I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas to end what has generally been an awful year. So I think a bit of uplifting music is in order for this magical day.
I first heard of the band “Trans Siberian Orchestra (TSO) from some people in my carpool, about eight years ago. Hearing them rave about this group got me curious, and I purchased my first TSO album “Christmas Eve and Other Stories.” I was immediately hooked. I’ve since picked up two other albums by this group, (one Christmas album, and one rock opera) and I remain in awe of the power of their music.
The two TSO Christmas albums mix renditions of classical Christmas music mixed with their original work. Their music speaks to me in a way very few singers do.
I joined the Navy at the ripe age of 17 and celebrated my 18th birthday in Navy Boot Camp. I ended up stationed on my first submarine in San Diego, California, on the opposite side of America from the rest of my family. After several years other members of my family migrated out to California but for the first few Navy years, I spent my holidays alone. Christmas was usually the loneliest holiday as all my married shipmates spent the day with their families, which left single folks like me to fend for ourselves. This meant Christmas in the barracks or (once I turned 21) at the designated local bar. Some years I volunteered to take a duty day for one of my married shipmates so they could be at home, and I could spend my day onboard my sub around the only people I then knew.
The TSO song “The Old City Bar” brings me back to my early Navy days of not having any family around. I can’t listen to it without bringing back strong memories of my first few Christmases in the Navy. For this Christmas, after a horrendous year that was witness to the wholesale government-directed looting of our country and citizens taking increasingly sharp sides over who we are as a nation; I think this song is worth listening to.
So here is a live rendition of TSO’s incredibly powerful Christmas song “The Old City bar.”
Merry Christmas everyone. May the coming year bring us peace.