Folklore Playlist #3 – Winter Nights (Or, Brittany Gets Moody in Snow)
I have a confession: I love the winter. My friends mostly do not understand this. They call me their “winter fae,” while most of the rest of them gravitate toward the other seasons (Sara, for example, is a hardcore “summer fae” – she hates the wintertime! Ask her for her opinion on snow and you will get a very grumpy face.) I’ll admit to loving fall, and spring is okay I suppose, but winter has a very special place in my heart. There are few things more magical to me than watching snow fall, than the quiet of a winter’s dawn, than the enchantment of stories by a crackling fire.
Thus it shouldn’t surprise you that, when I went to make this playlist, I had a LOT of songs to choose from! I wound up going with a quieter sound, trying to evoke the things I find most beautiful about winter: a sunrise on freshly fallen snow, storytelling sessions, snowflakes at night kind of feeling. Sara insists it should be called “Brittany Gets Moody in Snow,” which is… fair, so I made that the subtitle :P.
“Night” by George Winston – As I’ve mentioned before, I love starting playlists off with a good mood-setting instrumental. This song just feels like watching falling snow at night to me – the whirling flakes against your windowpane, the sense of something magical about to happen.
“Winter” by Tori Amos – This song has always been a favorite – in fact, I think it was the first Tori Amos song I ever heard and/or fell in love with. It’s such a beautiful, melancholy winter song. Plus there are so many fairy-tale references in it!
“All is Found” by Kacey Musgraves – Sara and I went to see Frozen II this past weekend (because fieldwork!) and this song was just so… haunting and perfect. We were so impressed with how well they mimicked the feel of a traditional ballad.
“In December” by Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands – I discovered this band in North Carolina while Sara and I were in a wedding of a dear friend! We went to a spa with the bride and they had some of their cards sitting out and I was intrigued by the artwork. I was delighted to find that the band is quite good! I love the rhythmic, almost lulling sound of this one in particular.
“Winter Flowers” by Martha Tilston – Martha Tilston has such an amazing voice, so gentle and yet powerful. I love this song; I think the metaphor is just brilliant.
“Listen the Snow is Falling” by Thea Gilmore – One of my favorite things about this song is that it’s about the city! As we’ve stated before (and are showing with our Urban Enchantment blog post series), cities can be places of great magic too. I also love the way that this song reflects how nature can connect us across great distances.
“Green Man” by Jennifer Cutting’s Ocean Orchestra – Switching things up a little bit, this is a song by our dear friends and mentors Jennifer Cutting and Steve Winick all about the mysterious folkloric figure of the Green Man. We just love this song – it’s all about the power of nature and rebirth.
“Snowglobe” by Jesca Hoop – Another voice I just love, Jesca Hoop’s songs are always mystical and full of feeling. To me, this song feels like coming home and being safe and protected with family in deep winter.
“Winter Fields” by Bat for Lashes – When the beginning of this songs I instantly imagine a field covered with glistening snow in the sunlight, looking over it, perhaps preparing to ride through it on a reindeer or in a silver sled!
“Winter’s Poem” by Leaves’ Eyes – The story of a woman waiting for her love through the ice and snow of winter… I adore the slightly heavier music of this one.
“Black-Dove (January)” by Tori Amos – I know I already had a Tori Amos song, but this one is just so different and yet still so fairy tale. The “by the woods” repetition gets me every single time.
“Winter” by Daughter – Another atmospheric, melancholy winter song… I have certain tastes, clearly :P. #brittanygetsmoodyinsnow
“Winter Lady” by Leonard Cohen – Cohen is a master of telling full stories with very few words. He’s a bit like a fairy tale writer that way. I love the subtle evocation of the “Crane Wife” folktale here.
“Winter Bird” by AURORA – This song really does feel like a winter bird soaring to me!
“Song of the Lonely Mountain” by Neil Finn – I know, I know, another movie song, but this one is just so clearly a song for singing by a winter fire. It makes me want to eat stew, wrap myself in blankets, and listen to stories.
So that’s my winter playlist! What winter songs do you guys just love? Please comment below or in our Facebook group!
P.S. I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you that our Kindling a Light in the Darkness: Winter Folklore and Fairy Tales mini-course is still open for enrollment… this would be the perfect playlist to listen to while participating!