HW Pick: “The Christmas Song” Nat King Cole 1961 (video)

December 24, 2015

Nat_King_Cole_(Gottlieb_01511)Leave it to this urbane crooner to make a lovelorn lament sound like a sepia-tinted tour through old Harlem. There’s a breezy postcard quality to Cole’s nostalgic urban sketch—”Since my sweetie left me, Harlem ain’t the same old place/Though a thousand flappers smile right in my face”—more emblematic of hoary clichs about ’20s uptown life than of how anyone actually lived. But that’s part of the point: Nelson Riddle’s swaggering arrangement is a reminder that over the years, romantic notions of NYC have come to feel as vivid as the place itself.

Enjoy:

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