Spectral Nights Christmas Countdown 2020: Phoenix – ‘Alone On Christmas Day’

It’s been such a strange year and in the spirit of togetherness and community, we’re going to be counting down to Christmas by sharing a selection of our – and our friends’ – favourite festive songs. Today, we’ve chosen ‘Alone On Christmas Day’ by Phoenix.

Ever since A Very Murray Christmas arrived on Netflix in 2015, it’s not felt like ‘the season to be jolly’ for us until we see George Clooney peering out between some Christmas trees and declaring ‘Santa Claus wants some lovin’. But today, we’re going to focus on Phoenix’s take on a previously little-known Beach Boys festive hit. The film, directed by Phoenix frontman Thomas Mars’ wife Sofia Coppola, finds Bill Murray struggling to put on a variety show in a freak snowstorm.

He instructs the kitchen staff – Phoenix to you and me, with Paul Shaffer tickling the ivories – to ‘play something nobody knows’ before they launch into this short, sweet and sad song full of observations on loneliness: ‘When you see some happy greeters, it can make your bitter sweeter. But still for real, it’s sad to feel alone on Christmas Day’. Meanwhile, Bill delivers increasingly impassioned backing vocals to help this lonely soul out of this heartbreaking situation: ‘Gotta move on… Keep moving on’ .

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