Monday, December 24, 2007

Listening to Otis Redding at Home During Christmas

Driving home for Christmas was a welcome slow-paced drive this year. Just me in the VW, with the Christmas songs of Sufjan from the iPod filling my car. After I made my way through that playlist, I gravitated to listening to the soothing strains of Otis Redding. I don't know, there was a warm comfort in listening to those soulful songs that resonated with me on this year's drive home.

There's a song by Okkervil River called "Listening to Otis Redding at Home During Christmas" that prompted me to dial in Otis. I can certainly identify with the sentiment of that song, where the singer finds himself back home, in his old hometown, at Christmas time. Some of the same feelings he was singing about were washing over me. As I neared my parent's house, I found myself going slower and slower, wanting to finish the song. I even drove around the block once, creeping along (a fact that might have caused an overzealous neighbor to think something was amiss) only to allow the song a chance to play all the way through.

It's funny, the houses in my neighborhood all seem so small now. The hills I recklessly piloted my bicycle down seem so insignificant now that I'm older. All the old neighborhood kids are gone--scattered like proverbial seeds cast upon the wind. The only real visible change to the landscape are the trees. Those that have remained have been allowed to tower, while other neighbors have chosen to clear-cut huge swaths of land, creating a very different skyline than that of my youth.

So yeah... home at Christmas. There's nothing like it. At least Otis doesn't change, eh?
Incidentally, Otis died 40 years ago this month, 10-Dec-1967 when the plane he was traveling in crashed into the icy waters of Lake Monona in Madison, Wisconsin.

Merry Christmas to all my faithful readers. Let me hear from you in the comments... it gets lonesome sometimes in the blogosphere.

+ Okkervil River — Listening to Otis Redding at Home During Christmas

+ Otis Redding — These Arms of Mine
+ Otis Redding — Try a Little Tenderness
+ Otis Redding — My Lover's Prayer
+ Otis Redding — That's How Strong My Love Is
+ Otis Redding — Security

5 comments:

rahawa said...

There is nothing like Otis on Christmas. Nothing.

Beth said...

Otis' version of "Try a Little Tenderness" is. The. Best. Ever.

Hope you had a lovely Christmas!

patina said...

lovely story. i visit your blog whenever i am at the local library where the connection speed allows for a measure of enjoyment. seldom can i hear the songs. i have decided to approach this site as if i were physically handicapped. i find the good in what i can experience here! the words

happy new year

luisa said...

nothing since christmas....?
did you quit your blog?
oh dear....

emily

melissa said...

Whenever I have a break in my daily routine, the first thing that comes into my head is music. I frequently drift to your blog, which I have bookmarked next to my school email site and a blog about living deliberately. My interest in music has always been strong, but in the past years it has increased in intensity and depth, much thanks to your blog and others like it. I love getting tastes of music I've never heard and broadening my scope of artists. We are of two different generations, but music transcends. Thanks for inspiring. I do hope you return...

-melissa