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Tyler Clark presents: Local Mythologies writesTop 25 Christmas Songs of the Last 25 Years: #17 - Vermont, “Santa Claws”

It's the holiday season, which means Christmas music. Lots and lots or Christmas music, most of which was written before the people listening to it were even alive. While "Jingle Bells" and "We Three Kings" are great, and resilient, we're devoting this year to finding the best Christmas song written since 1989. We continue today with #17, and a one-item Christmas list from Promise Ring side project Vermont.

#17: Vermont, "Santa Claws" (1999)

It's a hard truth to swallow: even Santa, as both a supernatural figure and living allegory about the power of giving, has his limits, and some kinds of happiness just can't be gifted. As universal lessons often do, this truism has taken lots of forms. Maybe you've seen this one, a sappy meme that's made its way around the Sentimental Aunt wing of Facebook for the past few Christmases:

Middle-aged ladies sniffling into their third glass of chardonnay aren't alone here, though. Even jaded emo dudes get these blues. Consider the plight of Davey Von Bohlen, frontman of Vermont/The Promise Ring/Maritime and grade-A mope. On "Santa Claws," his side project's entry for Kindercore Record's tragically overlooked Christmas Two, DVB bemoans the end of his relationship by doing what sad folks do best: imagining all of the activities that he and his ex-girlfriend could be experiencing together if they weren't broken up. With weary resignation, he musters the will to ask Santa for a little holiday intercession.

Will Davey's Christmas wish come true? Probably not. Is the song's bruise-poking wallowing healthy? No. Is it necessary? It might be. DVB has the kind of sadness that's felt even more acutely during the holidays, when the people-shaped holes in our lives present themselves in sharper-than-usual contrast. It's what makes Christmas such a fraught time of year, and how numbing the pain with a little retail therapy became so downright appealing. Santa might bring you that 80" TV. It's the least, and most, he can do.

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Categorized: Christmas Top 25

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