A Thing or Two About a Tune or Two: Beating the Blues

Pablo Picasso, The Old Guitarist

Pablo Picasso, The Old Guitarist


“The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils; The motions of his spirit are dull as night, And his affections dark as Erebus. Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.” ~William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

For me, there is no sadder period of time than the 24 hours following Christmas, they mark the longest possible moments of the year until the next Christmas. Depression sets in. I really feel it, and although the days are getting longer, the world seems a bit colder, grayer, and lonelier in the period of time immediately following the holidays. January is an eternity of damp coldness and the only celebration to which we are encouraged to look forward is Valentine’s Day (blech!).

What is to be done when one can’t evade the cloud of post-holiday blues? Might I suggest shaking your groove thang? Let us heed the advice of Shakespeare’s Lorenzo and “mark the music”. Chase those holiday blues away! Get up offa that thing! Enjoy these ten cheery tunes that are sure to get your toes a tappin!

1. Although I do so love to indulge my inner deathly invalid and listen to Chopin (try his “Prelude in B Minor), he didn’t just compose depressing rainy day music. “Heroic Polonaise” is delightful and will make you want to join the rest of the world rather than withdraw to watch the autumn leaves drift by your window and contemplate your sad existence.

Johann Strauss sure knew how to write a dance tune:

2. “Blue Danube Waltz”. (For further fun, check out Disney’s version in Fantasia. It’s magical)

3. And the “Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka”

4. Tie a ribbon in your powdered wig, gents. Ladies, perfect your curtsies. The “Father of the Symphony” takes us back to the Classical Period with his “Menuetto” from the Surprise Symphony

5.  Celebrate life with Dvořák in his “Carnival Overture”, which is the second installment of his “Nature, Life and Love” trilogy of overtures.

6. What is more celebratory than a a march describing the circus coming to town? Here is Charles Ives’, “Circus Band”

7. Verdi’s  “La Dona e mobile” (or as I like to call it “Tah Rah Rah Boom Di Ey”) from Rigoletto initiated many twirls about the room from my sisters and I.

8. I cannot resist a sexy strut when I listen to Bizet’s “Habanera” from Carmen. You’ll want to put on your high heels and do a few hip sways when you see hear this.

9. Although the entire duration of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No 7 is around 80 minutes (and we strongly recommend that you listen to all of it), I have chosen to highlight some of the most exciting 18 mins for this blog post.

Finally, if music fails to lift your spirits, take a cue from Kristin Chenoweth: douse yourself in twinkly baubles.

10. “Glitter and Be Gay” from Candide




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