This song is evidence of how the things your parents do during your childhood affect you even if you don’t realize it. My mom is a big fan of Willie (I am sure she’d be glad to share the story of me projectile vomiting as a kid and making her miss his concert). And though I am by now means a country fan, Willie Nelson was played through my childhood and so I definitely associated good memories with his music. And of course my mom had his Christmas album. And I remember this song and others playing during Christmas time. I hadn’t though of his Christmas music in ages until I was at a tree trimming this weekend and a Willie Nelson Christmas song was playing. My brain immediately took notice! And instantly I could remember my parents’ living room with the Christmas tree shining with a million lights (was always kind of a fire hazard) and Willie on the stereo.
Its funny in listening to this song as an adult though the song is pretty melancholy for a Christmas song. Though there is some happy lyrics of the song, there is the bit about the homeless guy watching the Christmas shoppers which definitely yanks at my heart strings.
Willie Nelson’s voice is so rich it is the perfect sound for this song. It makes you want to cry listening to the bittersweet nature of his voice. Though Willie himself has had a hard life, it doesn’t come through in his voice but in the emotion he conveys in it. His voice is still smooth but somehow the tone betrays his struggles.
The tune of the song is simple, it makes me think of a real old fashioned cowboy song. Something that could easily be played while riding a horse. It almost has the cadence of a slow walk of a horse.