Just Above Sunset
January 2, 2005 - Irving Berlin and Freud

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A few weeks ago in the photography section you will find a discussion of the song White Christmas, written in 1937 by Irving Berlin while he was living out here, down the street actually, and which became popular when Bing Crosby performed it in the 1942 movie, "Holiday Inn."


James Wolcott’s comment is interesting.


An entire book has been written about the song "White Christmas" itself, the Irving Berlin classic suffused with nostalgia and melancholy and thanatos.  A heavy snowfall is a cold burial that hushes the countryside, and when the singers wish that all your Christmases be "merry and bright," there's nothing merry and bright about the music, which seems to have made its own peace with death.


Right.  Depressing, but right.  Now every time you reread Freud on Eros and Thanatos you’ll hum White Christmas of course.


Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik
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