‘Christmas (I Remember),’ The Smithereens

The 2007 album, "Christmas With the Smithereens."

The 2007 album, “Christmas With the Smithereens.”

The Smithereens’ didn’t sing about chestnuts roasting on an open fire or Santa Claus coming to town on their 2007 album Christmas With the Smithereens. For the most part, they avoided standard holiday fare and covered more obscure rock holiday songs — including The Ramones “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)” and The Who’s “Christmas” — but also came up with a few originals, including the sweetly nostalgic “Christmas (I Remember).”

Drummer Dennis Diken sings this song, looking back fondly on the Christmases of his youth — “I close my eyes and I recall, when my dreams were big and my world were small”) — and reconnecting with it as an adult. “Christmas, I still dig it,” he concludes.

I know I probably shouldn’t have written “his youth” in the previous paragraph, since the song isn’t necessarily about Diken’s own youth. But it’s hard to resist thinking that when this Beach Boys and Beatles enthusiast sings about a time when “Every gift was good as gold/Like Shut Down, Volume 2 and Rubber Soul.”

New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday from Sept. 2014 to Sept. 2015. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, for almost a year — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. The complete list is here.


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