December Song – The Meaning Behind The Words

Today, the new George Michael song, December Song (I Dreamed of Christmas) was aired for the first time. Many people are having difficulty understanding the meaning of the lyrics.  Perhaps that’s not surprising, because George Michael often deliberately writes his lyrics so that they are open to interpretation.  For what it’s worth… for right or wrong… here’s my interpretation of the meaning (that is, George’s meaning) behind the song…

George is singing a song to his late mother (and to some extent, his father too).   While George has often spoken about his feelings for his mother, it’s rare for him to write a song about her. December Song is a sad, and rather moving, tale. The few rays of light in the song come from George’s use of the Virgin Mary and Jesus as metaphors for optimism. In the song, George is telling his mother that he understands just how difficult her life was when he was a child. He also wants her to know, though, that he felt life was difficult too sometimes; and that just like her, used to dream of Christmas because it was a time when they could put the bad things that had happened during the year behind them; and that they could be optimistic for the future, even if that optimism lasted only for a day or two.  He acknowledges to his mother that, when she died, he went off the rails because of his grief, doing things that he would never have done if she’d been alive.  During that period, he tells her he simply couldn’t feel optimistic, even at Christmas time. Today, though, he wants her to know that he feels more positive about life, and that Christmas is once again a time to put bad things behind him, and where he’s able to feel optimistic about the future.

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43 thoughts on “December Song – The Meaning Behind The Words

  1. Yeah I reckon you’re right. It’s one of those songs, that I stated (in a rare post) on my blog that can mean four different things, depending on the person listening to it. It’s the superficial meaning, the deeper meaning, the personal meaning and the could-be meaning. ;) It’s not like it’s the first time he’s done that. All is down to individual interpretation when it comes to his lyrics – which is probably why he’s so popular (yes, popular!): Most people can actually relate to *something* in his songs.

  2. This song does nothing for me. The lyrics are vapid (Jesus came to stay / I could believe in peace on Earth / And I could watch TV all day) and the melody, just when it starts to form something solid, suddenly veers off in yet another murky direction. The song almost comes to fruition at several points, but not quite. Sorry, that’s just my opinion.

  3. I love the song. The melody is so beautiful, not selfevident. To me, that’s the beauty with this song. I was moved to tears by it, but not the first time I listened. The lyrics? Well, I certainly can relate to the child in the song. I never cease to be amazed by his talent. Well done GM & DA!

  4. Don’t see how you can call it vapid. Lots of subtle stuff in there. For example, the clip of the Christmas Sinatra recording at the beginning is a 1957 recording. That’s the year the George’s parents married, making it highly relevant to the topic of the main song. That’s so subtle an idea that I’ve seen precisely NO-ONE pick up on it (even though I deliberately pointed out the year of the recording in my original review). Instead, I just see people asking, “What’s that bit at the beginning and the end for?”. I don’t like having to explain it, ‘cos I think it’s nicer for people to work these things out for themselves; but people just aren’t getting some of the things that George is doing in this song.

    As for the section of lyrics you quoted, I just don’t see that these are vapid words…

    - “Jesus came to stay” – a metaphor for a temporary atmosphere of peace and happiness (albeit fake) in his house as a child

    - “I could believe in peace on Earth” – a borrowed phrase from a Christmas carol, “Hark The Herald Angels Sing” (borrowing phrases from carols is a minor theme in the lyrics); subverted to make the point that the ideas expressed in carols are the opposite of what his childhood often felt like

    - “I could watch TV all day” – a simple pleasure of a child, desperate for some respite from the stresses and strain of living in an unhappy house

    Of course, you don’t have to *like* the lyrics *or* the music. To call the words vapid, though, is rather an err… “empty” criticism, I think ;-) As for the melody, I think it fits the mood of the song perfectly – lots of turmoil, never quite resolving in the way you’d expect etc.

    As with many great songs, this one manages to tell a complex story, conveying many subtleties and considerable depth of emotion, in only three minutes. That’s not an easy thing to do – it’s really a pretty damn good piece of work, in my opinion.

  5. I agree with Remarkable. I can’t stop listening to it. You can always tell when he’s poured his heart and soul into something – there’s something in the voice. And I think the vocal, although subtle, is fucking amazing.

    I’ve heard similar reviews as the one from Yogchick; “It doesn’t go anywhere.” Where’s it gonna go? Through the roof? He’s 45… he probably won’t make (the likes of) “I want your sex” or “Freeek!” again. Which is just as well, cos he already did that ;)

    I know some think that a great GM tune means that he has to have at least five long-ass/powerful notes, subtle (or obvious, as the case often is) horny/sexy lyrics, something that can be considered to be minor (or major, as the case often is ;) ) shocking. This type of song is what I actually like to think of as ‘a typical GM tune’. It just has that *feel*! I don’t know how else to explain it.

    The melody sounds like a cross between Jesus to a Child, Anselmo’s Song and Waltz Away Dreaming – two of which I like a lot.

    Maybe it’s just cause I can relate to the meaning of the song. In most cases (apart from the occasional “fuck you, I’ll wank in front of anyone I like” tune) I can relate to something in his music – guess we’re not that different when it comes to experiences and emotions after all. Apart from the obvious ;)

  6. Thanks Rem! I’m with you on that, that it’s a remarkable piece of work. I just had to pick up “The Christmas Waltz” yesterday. Another beautiful song, btw. I sensed that it had some deeper meaning and now I know. December Song touched me emotionally and I think it will continue to do so for years to come. Just beautiful!

  7. I agree – it is very George. I actually get a tiny bit of the vibe of the 10cc song, “I’m Not In Love” – something to do with the style of George’s vocals on parts like “I guess that Mum and Dad decided” and also parts of the arrangement (keyboards with background synth sounds).

    George would probably be insulted by that comparison, though! I think he might have been going for more of a religious music feel – almost hymnal, church music style arrangement in the chorus.

  8. I think it is one of the few songs that rely on facts rather than a connection through my (very) own childhood or fantasies. Even though it has not been ideal at all for me a child, I can’t connect to something like “There was always Christmas time / To wipe the year away”. C’mon, even in my childhood I had places and times that I like to remember. Just wipe them away? Never! ;)

    So first I got stuck, now I get struck by the song. Thanks for your explanation, Mr. R. :)

  9. As a fan, I don’t have a chance not to like the song. Yeah it’s true if it remains a little of his creativeness. When I hear his perfect voice in a new song, I can’t stop myself. I try to like it, to catch a good note to like it.

    In my humble opinion, I don’t have a problem with lyrics, thanks Remarkable :) I am looking at the whole picture, it could be better. Nevertheless it is not a bad song.

    The Melody is just like Pearl Harbor theme:

    I didn’t like the song when I first listened. Now I like it. George’s vocal is still there and still the best.

    My disappointment about the song is related to a great expectation. We have a strong example, Last Christmas. I, as a fan, deserve to see him at the top again. So does he.
    Yeah I should have known time has changed…

  10. All I can say is that the words are very emotional at the same time they are very simple.

    They need not mean anything to anybody else as I think since the song is just a gift from him to us fans for Xmas. Its a personal project & hence may have many internal references for him. and he is not bound to discuss his ideas behind it.

    But I thought the song is of his making peace with himself or just remembering his childhood & his simpler time of life. And the phase of his life after passing of his mother & finding love that brought calmness to him.

    PS- I am not christian but I just LOVE this song , must have heard 100 times already. The initial melody o piano brings a lump to the throat. I guess he played it on the John Lennon piano.

  11. “Even though it has not been ideal at all for me a child, I can’t connect to something like “There was always Christmas time / To wipe the year away”. C’mon, even in my childhood I had places and times that I like to remember. Just wipe them away? Never!”

    Thing is, when you’re a small kid living in a home where there are things like domestic violence, drink/drug abuse, psychological terror and the likes, then it affects you in more ways than one. YES of course you have great memories (probably) outside of home. I’m sure he doesn’t mean EVERY f-ing memory there is will be wiped away, and I think it’s more a hope of “maybe next year it’ll be better” than forced amnesia. Take it from me, if your supposed safe-haven, your *home*, feels uncomfortable or scary in one way or another, then you start clinging to any kinda hope. Why not Christmas?

  12. I like the way that knobby explains the four levels that she sees, but what I don’t like is the unbalanced way in that.

    Yogchick exagerates a bit saying that it takes no way, but it can only take this way to twisted ways.

    Remarkable says that it is complex and that it is not empty, yes but filling something with things in a messy way without respeting levels it is not going to make it better.

    Levels need to be respected in order one after one and it is not that makes this just one that understands this.

    I don’t want to be mean but if it takes someone as twisted as you for a song to be understood enough, not good. Right?

  13. This is going to cause a lot of rolling of the eyes, but upon repeated listen, I actually like the following lyrics (as opposed to thinking of them as vapid as I originally thought):

    Jesus came to stay /
    I could believe in peace on Earth /
    And I could watch TV all day

    Actually, this song is growing on me slowly but surely. Still too early to tell. But I don’t dislike it as much as I did previously, and I think this has much to do with Remarkable’s analysis/explanation.

    Can anyone explain the following lyric?:
    The Virgin smiles for all to see /
    But you kept her from me

    It sounds here like he’s accusing his mother of something.

  14. Don’t think anyone here is twisted, but just hear some people saying they really like the song for various reasons!

    I didn’t expect to like it (and just found it) but I do like it for this reason:

    it’s like the self-described sound of Mark Knopfler: fingers on a Strat.

    To me, it’s George’s silky voice on Christmas nostalgia. That’s enough for me

  15. @oldtigre

    St Thomas, is that you?! The only person I’ve ever banned from commenting on this blog?! Or maybe, it’s our old friend, Billy Big Knob! I don’t know. Anyway, whoever you are, I’m sure you think your writing is coherent; and makes sense in some way. I have to tell you – it isn’t; and it doesn’t.

    @yogchick

    Yes – I can understand this. As I said in my earlier review – this is a record that really repays repeating hearing. As for the “but you kept her from me” bit… I think it’s simply as follows… As I said before, the Virgin Mary references are simply a metaphor for happiness/optimism. So, George is saying to his Mum (and Dad) that the unhappiness in the house (the arguments and fighting etc) made his childhood not a particularly happy one. I’m not sure he’s “accusing her”, so much as simply stating his feelings. Certainly it doesn’t mean he didn’t (doesn’t) love her.

  16. This is George at his best.
    This song will be my teddy bear for a long time.

    @Remarkable

    Thank you for publishing the lyrics and help me understand why I start crying when I listen to the song.

    @Knobby

    I can’t stop listening to the song either…I know what you mean, I can relate to it as well. Some people might not understand (or have forgotten) that when you’re a kid, you take everything in, even the things that may seem unimportant to adults (arguments, drinking, etc…). And those things stay for a long time, if not forever…

    Thank you to both of you for having expressed what I feel.

    And thank you to George and David for this gem…
    The last time you made me cry was with “You have been loved” in Antwerp and there you go again ;-)

  17. @Knobby: I think the youngsters who only “learn” from their violent, drug abusing parents and haven’t seen anything else than the gang and violence, they don’t even realise that there is something better because in most cases they had no choice.

    In less hard cases, George, you and me managed to turn the corner and got a better life, because you knew or found out there is something better that you can follow as a goal in life. George became a popstar and that fact should help me to work up the death of my mum 10 years after she died… but I guess it’s not only me who find some personal emotional anchor points in his lyrics. ;)

    Well, I can’t identify myself with the feeling that Christmas was the last and only resort of hope and peace, neither as a child nor now – I feel life is what you learn from your ups and downs. Sum up the good and bad things in life, keep the good, learn from the bad, and practice what you learned. Even mum came back in dream and left me her good things in a mystic shine above her grave. Her bad things are forgiven, not forgotten.

    My personal experience that might some people find arguable is that I totally broke up any contact with my father. “How can you, he *still* your father”, they say. I’ve been the family’s scapegoat to whom he shew only the face of a pessimistic egomaniac who drags everything down into the dirt.

    I’d like to know George’s story about Christmas as the (only) days of peace….

  18. Oh Nobby that makes me soo sad. I don’t know what to say about that. I feel really sad for you, honestly. I can’t imagine not having a relationship with my father. Sure, He upset me when I was a child. But quietly he was always cheering me on. He was trying to be the tough father yet encouraging. I hated him often. As I got older, we just clicked more. We could look at each other and know what each other is thinking. We have this secret code that no one else knows about. It is weird. My father is like no other. I’m lucky!

  19. Nobby said:

    Well, I can’t identify myself with the feeling that Christmas was the last and only resort of hope and peace, neither as a child nor now – I feel life is what you learn from your ups and downs. Sum up the good and bad things in life, keep the good, learn from the bad, and practice what you learned. Even mum came back in dream and left me her good things in a mystic shine above her grave. Her bad things are forgiven, not forgotten.”

    I think when the good things came out from your mom they were real. Believe me, they do come back in your dreams. In heaven…sin is never remembered. So, all your mom remembers is the good. (You can believe me or not, I don’t care. :))

    xx

  20. Did he at least once mentioned his mother?
    I don’t hear it then…..
    This is a bit funny, that you saying it’s for his mam.
    In that case Understand and This is not real love…….also for her?

  21. @Remarkable
    I didn’t mean to sound as raw as for you to compare me with some kind of too extremist types of people, please don’t. I understand what you mean but, please don’t be unfair with me like that.. and I never never thought to be specially outstandingly clever nor I anytime believe so of me, I just said that… because at first, second and twentieth listen still jumped on me like that, I was wanting not to say a thing! now at the one thousandth time I just decided a way to see the song in line just for me and feel contented and very happy with it, but that is….

    @Nobby
    well, to me it is only a Christmas song because is Christmas time now, then it was put like that but the lyrics sound a lot like quite any ordinary day for me :)

  22. @Sunny,

    No, Understand and This Is Not Real Love nothing to do with his mother.

    George is *very* clever with his lyrics. He deliberately writes them so that different people can take their own meanings from them. However, just because many interpretations are possible, that doesn’t mean they don’t mean something to George. He often leaves clues to *his* meaning, for those that care to open their eyes.

    Sometimes, the meaning is so cryptic, it’s not possible to figure out the clues unless you’re actually one of the people he’s writing about. The songs on Faith are a great example of that – at the time, no-one except George and two other people knew what he was writing about there. Even on the Older album, most of the world didn’t figure out what songs like Jesus To A Child and You Have Been Loved were about at the time (as hard as that is to believe – given that it was really quite obvious).

    In the case of December Song, the lyrics are indeed quite oblique. From the lyrics alone, I agree that you can’t say for sure whether the song is personal or not. However, George decided to put in a HUGE clue about the true meaning of the song, by using the Sinatra clip, recorded in 1957. That’s not an accident. I think that’s there to show that this song is indeed about *him* and *his* parents.

  23. @ Remarkable: I disagree that GM deliberately writes lyrics so that different people can take their own meanings from them. I feel his work has always been deeply personal and only that. IN listening to his earlier work (pre-Patience), one only had to listen almost casually to the lyrics to understand what he was going through at that particular time. GM himself has said, to paraphrase, that while he is a somewhat private person, one only has to listen to the words to learn about him. I strongly agree — his lyrics are so personal (like his influence Joni Mitchell), that one feels as though you know him on a personal basis. With Patience, yes, the lyrics were sometimes a bit more cryptic … but still personal and only personal. I don’t listen to his music and come away with my own interpretations; I listen to it and learn about him (or try to anyway). That is why it is so rare — even impossible — for other singers to do covers of his songs. They are not him so they cannot sing in his voice with his specific feelings and sentiments woven into the songs. Just my opinion for what it’s worth.

  24. ADDENDUM to comment above: Scratch what I said about Patience — it is just as blatantly personal and decipherable as his earlier work. In fact, it may be his most personal album to date. Like the others, I don’t feel it is open to alternate interpretations as it is so specific about his experiences and perceptions (Round Here, American Angel, Amazing, My Mother Had a Brother, Precious Box … possibly the entire album). In fact, I don’t think there is a single song in his entire body of work where I interpret it other than how he intended it. His lyrics are so direct and literal; even with COWBOYS AND ANGELS one can tell its about a menage a trois even though he doesn’t directly state it. I guess I just don’t understand where you are getting the “multiple interpretation” angle.

  25. Yogchick, are you telling me that when Faith was released, you knew what the songs were about? I repeat – *no-one* knew that.

    Even by the time Older was released, most people didn’t get it; they didn’t work out that George intended that album to be his “coming out” album.

    My point is: when you know what the songs are about, it’s easy to understand what he’s saying. However, when you don’t know, the lyrics are open to interpretation.

  26. I think the bit “I guess that Mum and Dad decided
    That the war would have to wait” refers to john lennons..”merry xmas war is over”…

  27. @DeniseMichele: Thanks, my father had chances enough to prove he is serious, but he gambled away all of them.

    @josh: Lennon’s “Happy Christmas (War is Over)” refers imho to a more general “you can have peace by stopping the war and fighting”, while George’s line seems to be about parents who normally stickle and argue at trifles but on Christmas. At this occasion it’s like a “commanded peace”.

  28. @ Remarkable: But my point is, it’s pretty clear with most of GM’s songs what the song is about. What song on FAITH is open to wildly different interpretations? The lyrics seem pretty straightforward to me. As for OLDER, there are plenty of male references and Jesus is a male name — it was pretty clear to any listener that he was referencing his own gayness (in case anybody didn’t already figure it out already with LWP). I suppose with this latest Christmas song, it is open to interpretation because the lyrics are so cryptic — but that is unusual for him. Therefore, the discussion about the lyrics for this particular song has been quite lengthy … but I don’t see that happening with any of his other songs because it’s fairly clear what he’s talking about in them. Maybe if you can name a few other songs of his that are open to broad interpretation, I’d be willing to agree with your argument.

  29. @Yogchick, instead of just stating that you think the meanings behind songs on Faith are straightforward, please can you tell me:

    1) Which songs on Faith are personal?

    2) In these personal songs, who is George writing about?

  30. When I say his songs are personal, I’m referring to LWP, OLDER, and PATIENCE. But that doesn’t mean FAITH is some cryptic, open to interpretation set of music. THey’re just pop songs about various scenarios and situations (although I suspect ONE MORE TRY and HARD DAY and KISSING A FOOL could have maybe been written from personal experience or at least inspired by personal experience). … So what songs, either on FAITH or some other album, are so ambiguous they are open to multiple interpretations?

  31. Yes, Remarbable I agree with you that lyrics in December song are so complicated because it was done deliberately.

    Now of course I can see that he mentioned his “mam” and “dad”.

    You know these lines about silent nights and snow that was falling on his bad before (so he was like lonely and feeling cold), for me it means that he talks about his personal and even sexual life, like it was before……and now he is OK, cause he has all the love he needs……but again he mention “she” ….and “every single day” it reminds me “Understand” “for every single day that you’re here” once again…… and once again he blames God like in “Understand” “but you kept her from me” like in there “and there is no way that Gods are hearing me babe, they don’t even try”…….I think he definitely blames God!

    I also think that “Jesus came to stay” means that actually Gods are hearing him now, that is the meaning……..

    I personally don’t believe that GM ever wrote song not about himself, when he started this confusing beauties songs like “Understand” and “This is not real love” to sing…..this is not in his character……you know constantly write songs about “other people problems”……for me it sounds a bit funny…….

    This song lyrics are so confusing now, that he doesn’t have to answer if this is for woman or not (cause he seems uncomfortable with this subject), cause no one is going even ask him…..he mentioned his mother, so “problem” is solved……and from the other side he probably not able to stop himself and not release such strange songs too……and maybe he somehow cannot came out with the true…..even for himself seems to me…….I don’t even mention other people…….it’s so confusing…….Really!

    Strangely enough I think this song doesn’t really sounds very much like a Christmas song, he tried a bit to write another Imagine, looks like, don’t you think? I am sure he recorded it on Lennon piano………

    Really this song is only shows for me that George has lots of his very personal problems…..probably even with his sexuality(cause it probably shows how much he ‘s confuse, seems his life become even more unclear and messed up then few years ago) cause this is really too much……to complex and I think quite sad song……..just for a usual little Christmas song…….which should be more fun and joy…..but December song is beautiful, for sure…..but the most confusing he even done I believe….

  32. @Yogchick,

    Just so we’re clear – from the lyrics of song on Faith, you are unable to decipher George’s meaning. In fact, you think they’re mostly just pop songs about various random scenarios situations, rather than being personal to George life. In a few cases, you think there is a possibility that they could be about George’s life, but you are unable to decipher exactly *who* George was writing about.

    Those are *your* interpretations. However, George’s meaning in those songs is different to your interpretations. He wrote those songs about very specific things in his life, and about very specific people in his life. It’s just that you don’t what those things are, and who those people are.

    My point is this: your interpretations of George’s songs are informed by what you know about his life. When you *know* things about his life, you can see the clear meaning. When you don’t know those things, you have to interpret the meaning from the lyrics, and different people will have different interpretations. Then it gets much more difficult. Just like the Faith songs.

    You should note that you completely failed to tell me what the meaning is behind the Faith songs, despite have claimed that the personal meaning of George’s songs is always completely obvious from the lyrics.

    Other songs of George’s that are open to interpretation. OK. Who and what was A Different Corner written about? Who and what was Nothing Looks The Same In The Light written about? Who and what was Like A Baby written about?

    You don’t *know* the answers; so you will have to guess/interpret the meaning from the lyrics.

    Or a more recent song. Cars and Trains. Most of that song is impersonal, social commentary. But the question is – is *the whole song* like that? Could a part of that song be about George’s life? How do you know? Are you sure?

  33. Of course I don’t know exactly “who” and “what” GM is writing about. I do not know if they are about specific people in his life or if they are general lyrics about the world and its possible situations. That is beside the point.

    My emphasis is that even without knowing that kind of specific information, one can still interpret the songs correctly as to its emotional meaning. And that these meaning are fairly consistent across the board amongst people (unless some people just really confused or overimaginative).

    For example, I did not know until 2004 that COWBOYS AND ANGELS was specifically about Kathy Jeung and another man (some French guy I believe) … but I did sense for years before that that it was something to do about a love triangle involving another man and woman. Why did I know that? Because I listened to the lyrics where he addresses in one stanza a man and in another stanza a woman. That hardly makes me psychic, but it does show that if you listen to the lyrics you can understand the storyline/meaning even if you don’t know the specifics (who exactly he is writing about or to whom, etc.).

    Most of his songs are like this. He tends to write about his specific experiences (without naming names of course) but writes them in a way that the average listener can understand what situation/sentiment he is talking about anyway. There are a few exception to this style, but not many. CARS AND TRAINS is ambiguous enough to be open to multiple interpretations, as is PRECIOUS BOX. There are probably a few others (as you mentioned, NOTHING LOOKS THE SAME IN THE LIGHT) … but these are not the general trend.

    As I said, GM has said repeatedly, to paraphrase, if you want to know about my life just listen to the songs. The themes are perfectly clear and universal and for obvious reasons he does not state specific names. I’ll never know the object of desire of A DIFFERENT CORNER (rumor has it that it was Brad Branson, his photographer), but I do know that it’s about yearning and a fear of rejection. I think most people who listen to that song thoughtfully or even somewhat attentively would agree — there’s no confusion there.

  34. “The songs on Faith are a great example of that – at the time, no-one except George and two other people knew what he was writing about there.”

    Sorry to butt in, but did George ever say who those two people were? Just in case I missed something…

    I’m guessing one of them was Kathy Jeung, but who was this French guy?

    Brad Branson was on Careless Whiskers, that GM documentary, saying that George played the song to him on the phone and told him he’d inspired it, so unless he’s someone who’s not to be trusted (I don’t know much about him), I suppose that’s true.

  35. I apologise, in the last paragraph of my post above I meant to say that Branson claimed George told him he’d inspired A Different Corner.

  36. @Yogchick,

    “Of course I don’t know exactly “who” and “what” GM is writing about. I do not know if they are about specific people in his life or if they are general lyrics about the world and its possible situations. That is beside the point.”

    Well, I note that you keep claiming that; but I keep asking you this question about the tracks on Faith, and you keep on spectacularly failing to give me the correct interpretation. Either you get it totally wrong, or you give answers so vague as to be essentially meaningless.

    Contrast that with other songs where *you* happen to know the correct answer; but in those cases, George has spoken widely about their meanings. That’s hardly a fair test.

    As for my general point about multiple interpretations of songs being possible, you have only to look at how many people were surprised to find out George is gay to see that I’m right.

  37. @ Remarkable: So what about FAITH? What do you want me to do — give a track by track analysis? what question(s) are you asking me about FAITH? I really don’t understand what the issue is and how I’ve “failed spectacularly” at something I didn’t even know I was supposed to do. I didn’t even realize you were asking me specific questions about FAITH.

    When I talk about GM’s lyrics, I talk about them outside of what I know about GM’s personal life. So it doesn’t matter what GM has spoken widely about. Go back and re-read what I said about COWBOYS AND ANGELS and A DIFFERENT CORNER — my point in both those song analyses is that even without knowing the specific, personal information, the meaning and basic sentiments are still pretty clear to most people. In both of those songs I had made my interpretation after learning the real stories behind them through the press.

    Finally, some people were surprised to learn that GM is gay because they have absolutely no gaydar and obviously never heard LWP or OLDER … or at least weren’t listening properly. In fact, I think his gayness was becoming evident even with FAITH, but that’s a whole other thread.

  38. In addition to my comment about, I will answer the 2 questions about FAITH that I finally found buried in one of your posts:

    1) Which songs on Faith are personal? — How should I know? Why is that important? The point is I interpret the songs the way GM generally intended them to be interpreted because he makes it pretty clear — he is, in general, not an ambiguous, cryptic lyricist. Most of his songs are pretty clear. HAND TO MOUTH is, off the top of my head, is the only song off of FAITH that may have multiple interpretations.

    2) In these personal songs, who is George writing about?
    Again, how should I know? And why does that matter? I do, nevertheless, know what sentiments are being conveyed. Because, as I said, GM doesn’t exactly mince his words and is almost emphatic in stating his meanings. In fact, I find him one of the more pleasurable lyricists to listen to because, unlike some songwriters, he doesn’t make you “work” to understand him. Not usually anyway.

    Having said all of this, knowing about GM does accentuate the understanding of his music. But I do not think it’s necessary to know those things to get the basic gist of what he is saying. GM normally doesn’t write like that — he seems to want his lyrics to be fairly accessible and without too much ambiguity. But, of course, there are exceptions such as this latest Christmas song.

    I hope I answered your FAITH questions. If not, state them again.

  39. Correction: in the post before the last one, what I meant to say was that “I made my interpretation BEFORE learning the stories behind them through the press.”

  40. George has always the gift to bring his emotions and feelings into his music. Especially the slow and romantic songs like “Jesus to a child” or “You have been loved” are full with personal experience. The new song follows up this history of telling a story of his personality and childhood which is also very evident in the song “Round here”.

    What always impresses me the most is that the lyrics match in each and every song to the music itself. It’s not like writing some lyrics and mix some strange music stuff on it as it happens most of the time. Thanks George for writing songs which will remain timeless.

  41. Pingback: George Michael – December Song Review, Lyrics & Video « Remarkable’s Buzzin’ Blog

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