Forever "Too Cool for Yule"
Years ago I began creating a holiday playlist each November, known variously as “Don’t Touch that Dial,” the “Too Cool for Yule” blog, and more simply, the Director’s Playlist.
Each playlist is a collection of seasonal tunes -- from schlock (hopefully not too much of that) to rock and everything in between. By now we have managed to amass quite an eclectic set of “mix tapes.” This year is no exception.
Before you start clicking and singing along, however, a couple of explanatory notes (pun intended) are in order:
Peter Tork (born Torkelson in 1942 in Washington, DC) died earlier this year. Known as the keyboardist and bass player of The Monkees, Tork, along with Mickey Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Davy Jones, formed the mid-sixties American answer to the Beatles and over the course of their career sold over 75 million records worldwide. Not bad for a made for TV band (track 5).
Soul singer Roberta Flack (track 13) was raised in Arlington, and rose to prominence singing upstairs at Mr. Henry’s, the Capitol Hill bar and restaurant. Established in 1966 by Henry Jaffe, within two years Jaffe hired a local school teacher to sing in the pub. “She told me that if I could give her work three nights a week, she could quit teaching,” Jaffe later recalled. The singer, none other than Roberta Flack, would go on to win four Grammys for the songs “Killing Me Softly” and “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.”
I’ve closed this playlist as I did last year’s list with a song by Bob Dylan whose lyrics are as relevant today as they were when he wrote them. Released as the title track of his 1964 album of the same name, “The Times they are a Changin'” was Dylan’s attempt to create an anthem of change. Read through the lyrics and see if you agree.
The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.
Whether you eat Chinese food and see a movie on Christmas Day, attend a church, binge watch “Mindhunter,” curl up with a good book or board game you borrowed from the library, or sit quietly with your thoughts, all of us at Arlington Public Library wish you and yours the very best.