I’ve always had the feeling that if I took the time to listen to more of Ben Folds’ songs, I would probably like them. As it is, this late-90s “pop alternative” hit is the only song of his I know.
If I’m being disingenuous here, I’m sure someone will tell me. I’ve never actually thought of this as a holiday song until a friend pointed out to me that the opening line is: “6 a.m., day after Christmas.” That makes it good enough for this list.
The message, such as it is, is an altogether opposite one from the Christmas story. Ben Folds explains on his Ben Folds Live album that the song is about taking his girlfriend to get an abortion. There are no angels singing in the sky, and the conception was presumably less than immaculate.
Lyrically, the song is not nearly so explicit. One of the things I (and probably everyone who’s ever enjoyed it) like about it is the mystery behind the words. It taps that existential vacuum deep in the core of the human psyche:
And we drive
Now that I have found someone
I’m feeling more alone
Than I ever have before
The video oscillates between Folds playing the piano as he sings and storyline shots that give just hint of what’s going on without really explaining anything: