(No CD art because of technical issues today...sorry! Click here if you'd like to see the CD art.)
I want to know if anyone else feels this way about Emmylou Harris's album Red Dirt Girl: A friend of mine asked me why I like this CD so much and I said, "Because it gives me a Christmas feeling."
This might seem like a strange thing to say about a CD that is filled with songs about loss, exile, and dreams that never come true. But there's something about the breathy strength of Emmylou Harris's voice, and the warmth and fullness of the arrangements and the slight thread of hope that struggles to find its way to the surface of the songs. It reminds me of the part of Christmas that happens after after the anticipation and excitement of waking up in the morning, after all the presents have been opened, and after the inevitable scuffle or meltdown or two (no one ever claimed Christmas was perfect.) It reminds me of pajamas in the afternoon, the Christmas tree with opened presents strewn and abandoned underneath, and my family gathering in the kitchen, eating chocolates all day long, the warmth of the oven already filled with turkey.
I think in all our families, in all our lives, there are stories of loss, exile, and dreams that never come true. And it is strength, and warmth, and love, and hope that allow us to embrace those stories and pass them on and rise up and even move on. And so, in the anxious, waiting period before Christmas, I listen to Red Dirt Girl. And it feels like home.
Emmylou Harris Website
Emmylou Harris discography on iTunes
Emmylou Harris on Wikipedia