SeedSing's Advent Calendar of Awesome Holiday Music: Day 20 - Alone on Christmas Day


ed note: This article was originally published on December 20th, 2015

The pre-Christmas Day season of Advent is upon us. Here at SeedSing we love the chocolaty goodness of getting a piece of candy once a day until we get to open our presents. As our gift to you we will present a new awesome holiday song for every day of Advent. This is the greatest music of the season. Enjoy.

Day 20: Alone on Christmas Day by Phoenix and Special Guest Bill Murray

Opened doors: OneTwoThreeFourFiveSixSevenEightNineTen, Eleven Twelve, ThirteenFourteenFifteen,Sixteen,Seventeen,Eighteen, Nineteen

I have spent many Christmas nights all by my lonesome. I was not alone for the whole day. My Christmas mornings have always been about waking up way earlier than normal and opening tons of presents with my family around. Once the intense excitement of Christmas morning was finished, I would pack up my bounty and head back to my 15th floor studio apartment in downtown St. Louis. Most of these Christmas nights I would stare out at the Gateway Arch on the usually cold evening and decided I would get a drink, at the fancy hotel a few buildings down. I would put on my Christmas sweater, wrap a scarf around my neck, and head to the hotel bar. Once inside I would find a seat in a corner booth and observe all the travelers who were truly spending Christmas alone. I would sip my Manhattan, listen to the piano being played, and was thankful I was not alone on Christmas Day. 

Earlier this December, Netflix premiered the Sofia Coppola directed Bill Murray holiday special A Very Murray Christmas. During the course of the program a lonely Bill Murray asks the catering staff at the hotel to play him a song. The staff happens to be french indie rock band Phoenix. The band, with help from Paul Shaffer on piano, Jason Schwartzman on drums, David Johanson (as Buster Poindexter) on martini shaker, and Mr. Bill Murray himself on featured vocals, cover the Beach Boy's rarity "Alone On Christmas Day".

Phoenix and gang take an unknown and discarded Beach Boys tune with "Alone on Christmas Day" and create a new holiday standard. The Beach Boys tune was originally unreleased in 1979, and after Phoenix requested to cover the tune, Mike Love changed some of the lyrics and released his own version. The Phoenix cover is light years better. The tune alludes to the sadness of being by oneself on Christmas, but "Alone on Christmas Day" encourages us to think of the gladness, and to keep moving on. Plus if you listen to the tune, no one is truly alone on Christmas Day. You will still have the bar patrons and employees to sing you a joyful tune.

I was never truly alone on Christmas Day. In the morning I had my family and in the evening I had the travelers and  employees at the hotel bar. We all came to the bar as individuals, but on Christmas evening we were together. The piano played on in the background, our drinks warmed our spirits, and we all got ready to move on, together.

RD Kulik

RD is the Head Editor for SeedSing and the host of the X Millennial Man podcast. He has given up the Christmas Night bar scene and traded it for his family sitting around the fireplace. He did not give up on his yuletide Manhattan. Celebrate the togetherness of Christmas by liking SeedSing on Facebook.