So long, 2020: Sending off a troublesome year in song

2020 has been one for the books, hasn’t it?

It seems like a lifetime ago that we were all gathering, making our plans for New Year’s Eve, organizing parties and such. This year looks very different.

Or does it? The last several years we’ve spent NYE at home in relative quiet. It’s different when it is by choice, though. The pandemic, which many thought would be under some semblance of control by now, rages on leaving wreckage in its wake. Even if we could go out, I doubt that we would, out of a mix of fear of others’ carelessness and a desire to not make an already bad situation worse. So, once again we’ll be ringing in the new year from the calm and safety of our own home.

I mentioned in an earlier NYE piece about how, in younger days, there would be a decision made as to whether 12/31 would be a day of “drinking to forget” or “drinking to celebrate.” Put another way, was it a good year or a bad one? Not that social media is a reliable indicator, but from what I read bad > good this year by a pretty wide margin. With that in mind, let’s build a playlist for getting rid of a troublesome year.

Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band – “Turn the Page.” Cliched, sure, but it fits. We can argue as to whether to go studio or live here. Ordinarily I don’t pick the live version, ever, but radio has caused me to expect it here.

Roy Orbison – “It’s Over.” This is worth playing anyway, even on a random Thursday.

Mel and Tim – “Starting All Over Again.” Same rationale applies as to the Orbison tune – this is just worth hearing any day of the week.

Basia – “New Day For You.” I put this here for two reasons: first, that it hits the theme nicely, and second, when I started at WJTW/Joliet, I think I got this song every single time I was on the air – twice if it was a six-hour shift. I didn’t like it then, and still don’t, making it a perfect garnish to the year.

The Beatles – “Here Comes the Sun,” because God/Allah/Yahweh/Buddha etc. all know that we could use it.

This at least gets us started. Feel free to add others in the comment section below and we can make it a group project.


My thanks again to everyone who has stopped by the blog over the past year. My apologies for the lack of content from August until now. I got hit with a bit of a double whammy in the last part of 2020:

-Our teaching loads increased at the university, and we shifted everything fully online. Things that used to take a few minutes took longer, and I felt funny playing on a blog when there were papers to grade. Add to that the constant flow of email from students in crisis, and I decided I needed to point my efforts elsewhere. (Don’t let anyone tell you that today’s kids have it easy. Sure, some do, but I can vouch firsthand that many of them are working their asses off trying to make the best of this.)

-We moved again. I really don’t recommend doing this during a pandemic, as it was the slowest move ever. It began with acquiring our new place in August and the last carload arriving on November 29. Long story short, our peaceful lakefront retreat in rural Michigan turned out to be anything but peaceful, and frankly, we felt safer back in the city, so here we are. The good news is that I am now finally set up to unpack those records and CDs that I was talking about unpacking last year at this time. I greatly look forward to doing that in the coming weeks. It’ll be like an extended Christmas, as I discover things I forgot I owned.

Despite me taking the extended vacation, this blog was still visited by people from 87 countries outside of the US and accumulated over eleven thousand visitors across the world. That’s not shabby, and I’m glad to have each of you in the fold.

Here’s to health, safety, and prosperity in 2021.

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