This time of year has become the world’s biggest holiday by a large margin; considering the amount of shopping that’s done for it I suppose it’s obvious why retailers want to make the time it takes over start earlier and earlier.
But we can’t forget what it’s really about. The reason for the season. Axial tilt; that’s not really a joke, because the original reason for what has come to be known as “the holiday season” is the season itself; the winter solstice. The longest night of the year, and more thematically important, the moment when the days stop getting shorter and start getting longer. That’s why so many cultures and religions make it into a day about hope and new beginnings.
And I think this song (easily the most obscure one I’ve featured) expresses the true meaning of the solstice better than any traditional holiday song, and even better than any of the rather good pagan songs I’ve heard. Brighter Than Today, central anthem of A Secular Solstice, performed by the Bliss Jockeys and Lesley Shannon.
(Uploaded by Raymond Arnold)