On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
Bing Crosby – White Christmas (1947)
After our trip to Europe, we’re back in the US for a song that has shifted a modest 50 million copies in its lifetime and was made most famous by Bing Crosby who makes his second appearance on this list. Written by Irving Berlin, White Christmas is an essential festive song on any compilation you have on repeat throughout December, though based on last year you might delve into your Christmas tunes as early as November as well. To each their own before you ask whether I succumbed to the festive cheer a month too early.
White Christmas does everything it says on the tin and many millions of people, beyond those 50 million that bought the song, will be familiar with this one. Bing Crosby sings of his hope we’ll have a white Christmas, something weather forecasters are obsessed with every year and even the bookmakers from time to time. The song has a myriad of imagery with glistening treetops, sleigh bells and talk of merry days. Very festive indeed.
It’s rather surreal revisiting White Christmas in the middle of March but I can only adhere to what 1001 Songs offers each day. Maybe in December I may be listening to Mungo Jerry’s In the Summertime but we shall see. As festive songs go this is a timeless classic though not one of my favourite Christmas songs. Strange individual that I am, I tend to go with songs like Stop the Cavalry, Fairytale of New York and I Believe in Father Christmas on my preferred list. Not remotely festive and quite possibly a looking glass into just how yuletide things do get in my home when December comes round. This is a good song from Bing Crosby but bah humbug!
Favourite song so far:
Edith Piaf – La Vie en Rose (1946)