Icy Tunes to Turn To

I officially hit the peak of my mid-winter depression. I’m so crabby. I’m so cold. A combination that twisted my spine in a painful mess of stress and tension that had a chiropractor cracking away, ‘Goodness, you’re tight. What happened to you?’

‘It’s winter,’ I replied.

He suggested stretching, deep breathing, and giving my mind a little TLC. So I turned to the tunes for some therapy and came across achingly beautiful songs inspired by the cold, the snow, the bleakness of a dark winter day:

• “Girl from the North County” by Bob Dylan

Simple, sweet and totally relatable. The singer reflects on an old love living in the ‘north country’ – a cold, snowy, icy place like the Midwest, where Dylan was born and raised.

Favorite Frigid Line: “So if you’re travelin’ to the north country fair, where the winds hit heavy on the borderline, remember me to one who lives there. For she once was the true love of mine.”

• “Winter is Blue” by Vashti Bunyan

Warning: this song is wildly depressing. At first listen, tears sprung in my eyes. It is, however, hauntingly beautiful.

Favorite Frigid Line: “If my heart freezes, I won’t feel the breaking.”

• “Song for a Winter’s Night” by Gordon Lightfoot

Maybe my parents had a record or two of his, because there is something about Gord, something about his comforting, deep, safe voice that’s familiar. Compliment that voice with some jingle bells and lovely wintery lyrics, I’m a satisfied girl.

Favorite Frigid Line: “I would be happy just to hold the hands I love, on this winter night with you.”

• “White Winter Hymnal” by Fleet Foxes

This is a fun, upbeat tune from a primarily mellow bunch. “I only listen to Fleet Foxes in the winter,” admits one friend. The scenery these lyrics conjure up is completely commonplace in our Wisconsin winters.

Favorite Frigid Line: “I was following the pack all swallowed in their coats, with scarves of red tied ’round their throats.”

Okay – time for the comic relief that only YouTube surfing can provide. Search “Winter Song” by Angel – note the tight white spandex, long flowing hair, and ridiculous lyrics.

Stay warm and tune in to these tunes as well: “Hazy Shade of Winter” by The Bangles, “The Snow is Falling” by Galaxie 500, “Winter Time Blues” by Big Maceo Merriweather, “Snow Days” by Real Estate, and “Winter Road” by Bill Callahan.