"Hang Myself From The Tree" by The Vandals
I always thought that Christmas songs were supposed to be uplifting and joyful. Thanks to The Vandals I know differently. Oi To The World was one of the first Christmas albums that I ever purchased with my own allowance money as a young punk. The Vandals are all about humor in their music, so I wasn't surprised by songs like "My First Christmas as a Woman" or "Christmas Time for My Penis." However, "Hang Myself From The Tree" caught me a bit off guard.
A depressing Christmas song? Wow. I'm not saying that this is the only one that exist at the time. Maybe it was. Maybe it wasn't, but it was definitely the first one that had an impact on me. One drab song among a collection of tongue-in-cheek music is not going to make anyone mistake The Vandals for an emo band. However, "Hang Myself From The Tree" is an eye opening song that reminds the listener that Christmas isn't always such a great time of year for everyone.
"The season of suicide / I know why they died" sings Vandals' guitarist Warren Fitzgerald. "Christmas reminds me that I have nothing." Those that have families and friends to spend time with during the holidays should feel fortunate as not everyone is lucky enough to have the same supportive community. Not everyone has exciting holiday plans and togetherness to look forward to. "I won't write a note / because it would be addressed to no one." For those that live much of their lives alone, Christmas time can be a cold reminder of one's lack of friendship and camaraderie. Add a global pandemic on top of the mix and such feelings of loneliness may be amplified.
In an unprecedented time when many of us are stressed out and lonely it can be beneficial to take a moment to step back and remind ourselves of how fortunate we really are...
Don't forget to check-in on your friends and family during these holidays. Make that phone call. Send that message. You never know who needs it. Even if it's just to say "Merry Christmas, Asshole. Now fuck off again!"
...and then please try to cheer back up! The song has a tuba in it FFS! At least the studio version does anyway. 😄
Check out "Santa's Sweaty Sack : Christmas Punk Rock Playlist" on Spotify: link