Christmas is far behind us now, but I still feel its effects. For some reason, I have noticed the thread of sadness that runs through many Christmas songs more than usual.
Let me try to explain: Take ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.’ Picture Judy Garland singing it. It goes along nicely until it gets to one four-word phrase: “If the fates allow.” That hits my heart dead on, because often the fates don’t allow. There’s nothing we can do about it, but the pain is there.
Or, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.” What? Did you never listen to the end? Picture an American soldier in some war in a muddy, lice-infested fox hole. Yeah, I’ll be home for Christmas, all right, “If only in my dreams.”
For some reason, that particular place pops up  in my mind whenever I hear it.
I owned a Lincoln once. Yes! Me! A Lincoln. Of course it was several years old, but it was a Lincoln. It had the most comfortable seats of any car I’ve owned or been in before or since. Anyway, I had been to Frontier Country for a funeral. Don’t remember which one, there have been so many. I do know that I broke the record from there to here. Frosty couldn’t go. Just me. Up there and back the same day. I recollect that I was roaring through downtown Marbury when that song came on the radio.
I guess I was just about at the sign that  pointed to the Baptized By Fire Baptist Church when it hit me – “…if only in my dreams.”
“White Christmas” can tear you up if you really listen to it, as can other Christmas songs.  They all at least bring back memories from “Up On the Housetop, Click, Click Click” to the present.
One of the saddest songs ever written is “The Green, Green Grass of Home.” For some unknown reason, whenever I hear it, I see myself in the back yard,  splitting stove wood, when  I see somebody walking down the driveway from Grandma’s house, and I somehow identify with him although somehow knowing that it’s a guy in a cell, waiting to be executed.
Law, me. How did I get into such a morbid mood? How about “ Jingle Bells?” Nothing could be sad about that…unless the horse broke its leg or something.
Come on, springtime. The sweet gums and oaks look absolutely embarrassingly naked out there in my backyard. Come on, spring.
Bob Sanders is a veteran local radio personality, columnist, author and raconteur of note. He can be reached at