The Blissful and Wistful Song That Stole Winter
By Kaitlyn D’Souza, Staff Writer
As fall sweaters turn into winter coats, pumpkin spice changes to gingerbread lattes, and the constant utterances of “I’m sweating” change to “I’m so cold,” it becomes clear that the seasons have changed. Apart from the winter season or holiday season, or even the exam season that has all of us building up a sweat even on the coldest of days, a new season of music has come upon us. I’ve said my goodbyes to the season of “Sweater Weather” and “All Too Well”, now welcoming to my playlist “Last Christmas” and “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” Though most of these songs are joyful and upbeat, there is one that stands out, one that resembles the winter season more than any Christmas tune in my mind, encapsulating not only its blissful aspects, but its wistful elements too.
When I first heard The 1975’s “About You” last winter, it instantly became my favourite. I had it on repeat, listening to it during my commute to school, between my trip from class to class, and as I brushed my teeth before bed. And even though it was cold outside, my socks wet, my nose running, the genuine euphoria of the song somehow cancelled it all out! The song is one laced with the feelings of familiarity and comfort, like meeting up with an old friend back for the holidays. Yet, as the song’s instrumental fizzles out at the end, I find myself left with an onslaught of bittersweet emotions, for it is rare that a song so genuinely beautiful can simultaneously be so sadly nostalgic.
The song gaining such popularity during the holiday season seems to be a perfectly timed occurrence. After all, at least in my experience, it is the very season that I find myself reminiscing about the past. Thinking back to the times when I’d play in the snow and wait for Santa to stop by my house, I feel this bittersweet sense of nostalgia, similar to the one the song evokes. To me, this song is about more than missing a person, instead encompassing missing a time, missing an entire era. Missing the people present during the era, and those feelings and traditions that are now buried at the bottom of the stocking.
And while, similar to most listeners, there is always that one person who continues to come to mind as the song blasts through a pair of headphones, this season, I’m finding that that person may be my younger self. The younger self who’d look forward to putting up the tree, to meeting Santa who kindly visited her local mall, and whose only worry was whether she was on the naughty or nice list, not whether her final grade will be curved enough to maintain her GPA. T
his season, as the stress of exam season and lack of holiday spirit kicks in, I find that this younger self is the one I have not, and cannot, forget about.
In grappling with these feelings, I’ve come to realize that they truly are a part of life. Wistfulness is not something that any of us can simply wish away. However, having these feelings resurface again this year, I’m approaching them with a more optimistic view. While I could spend the season missing an era or a person or a tradition, I could instead spend it creating new traditions, meeting new people, and defining a new era! As the streets of Toronto welcome fresh new blankets of snow, I too can embrace this novelty which comes with a new winter season.
So, as the outro of “About You” plays, with feelings of euphoria and wistfulness battling for supremacy, I’m reminded that life is a combination of both cherished memories and excitement for what lies ahead … and this season, I’m embracing both!
Happy Holidays 🙂