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Music of the Month: December

A look at our top songs for the month of December.
Cali and Brianna compile a list of their top songs each month and go in depth with them.
Elizabeth Nusom
Cali and Brianna compile a list of their top songs each month and go in depth with them.

We are super excited to not only celebrate the holiday seasons in this MOTM edition, but also the final week of the semester. Of course, we will resume the column when we return from break. Until then, enjoy the holidays with friends and family! 

Want to see what else we’re listening to? Check out our Spotify accounts! Cali: Footos | The Fresh Fighter Brianna: Benusom


Cali’s Picks

“Little Saint Nick” by The Beach Boys, “Little Saint Nick” (1963)

A holiday staple first released as a single, but later on the commercially successful, “The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album,” brings the classic energy of the group as well as a cheery holiday vibe. The song replicates a previous Beach Boys hit, “Little Deuce Coupe,” just replacing some of the melodies and lyrics with more holiday-oriented themes and instrumentals. Through frequent group harmonies and subtle sounds of sleigh bells, The Beach Boys convey a mood of holiday bliss, producing an overall expressive ditty. Although the track is nearly 60 years old, it still performs very well commercially each holiday season, even peaking at #43 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on Jan. 1, 2022, proving that this song still has cultural relevance within the modern era.

“Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by U2, “A Very Special Christmas” (1987)

Initially released on the compilation album, “A Very Special Christmas”  in benefit for the Special Olympics, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” is U2’s take on the Darlene Love classic. Although slightly altering the initial composition, the Irish group upholds the melancholic holiday moods established in the original. The number slowly starts with a few elongated guitar chords along with indistinct chatter from Bono that quickly erupts into an upbeat holiday tune with a rolling drum lick. The verses feature the sounds of sleigh bells and Bono’s distinct croons accompanied by The Edge’s lulling guitars. The choruses isolate the guitar and vocals, putting emphasis on the effect the absence of the narrator’s love during the holiday season truly has on them. Bridging together the two choruses, The Edge rips out an expressive guitar solo in place of the saxophone section in the original number. To conclude the simple, yet beautiful track, Bono takes the lead with a symphony of notes along with smoother instrumentals. Although often viewed as strictly a holiday song, U2 has performed this song live on multiple occasions, including recently from The Sphere in Las Vegas.


Brianna’s Picks

“Let Me Sleep (It’s Christmas Time)” by Pearl Jam, “Lost Dogs” (2003)

Released as a B-side to Pearl Jam’s hit single “Jeremy,” “Let Me Sleep (It’s Christmas Time)” offers a fresh take on holiday standard tunes that are classic but become redundant after being on repeat for weeks on end. The track opens with a soft acoustic guitar backed by the consistent knocking of the percussion. The acoustic guitar is later accompanied by the subtlety of an electric guitar, creating a thought-invoking blend that is voiced through the soft and grungy tones. The sheer rawness of Eddie Vedder’s vocals adds a sense of relevance to the listener due to his non performative quality of voice. This festive track infused with grunge adds to Pearl Jam’s vast discography. 

“Christmas Eve / Sarajevo 12/24” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra, “Christmas Eve and Other Stories” (1996)

The powerful and haunting instrumentation doesn’t go unnoticed in this progressive track that captures the essence of the holiday spirit in a more abrasive tone. With the blending of classical and rock elements, “Christmas Eve / Sarajevo 12/24” transcends the traditional holiday tunes. The track also includes the melody from “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,” providing an interesting layer to its context in regards to the three-year Bosnian War. Through the rise and fall, looseness, and maintained tension, “Christmas Eve / Sarajevo 12/24” stands as a testament to emotion poured into the composition for the musicians evolved in the creative process as well as the emotions and impact that is exerted onto the audience.



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About the Contributors
Cali Rowe
Cali Rowe, Features Editor
Cali Rowe is a junior and is in her third year of journalism. Cali enjoys playing guitar, writing, listening to music, and playing softball in her free time. She loves travelling anywhere and everywhere, especially to the beach, hanging out with friends and family, and dedicating time to her faith. Cali is pleased to serve as a features editor this year, and is excited to once again be part of the Norse Notes staff.
Brianna Nusom
Brianna Nusom, Editor-in-Chief
Brianna Nusom, senior, is in her fourth year on the Norse Notes staff. She has been involved with Oakmont's theatre for four years- the past three she has been the sound technician for plays, musicals, choir and band concerts, and dance shows. Brianna has been a cheerleader for six years and looks forward to what the senior season will bring her. Brianna has a great passion for all things music and in her free time she enjoys composing and listening to music. Outside of school, Brianna plays many instruments ― her favorites include drums, bass, and guitar. Her essential music genres include grunge, folk, and metal, consisting of artists such as Alice In Chains, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stephen Stills, Deftones, and Greta Van Fleet.  

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