Burning with optimism’s flame: A New Year’s Eve mixtape by Dennis Hartley @denfcinema5

Burning with optimism’s flame: A New Year’s Eve mixtape

By Dennis Hartley

Charles Pierce wrote a great Esquire piece today about the difficulty of holding on to optimism as we head into a new year during trying times. He says: "Optimism is not exactly something that’s just lying around on the floor, waiting to be picked up. It’s something we have to work for again. It’s a heavy lift, but a necessary one. All we have as we enter 2020 is, well, us." He's right...it's up to us to keep the fire burning. Chin-chin.

Tired of Guy Lombardo? Here are 10 more alternate tunes to ring in the new year...

"Time" - David Bowie - A song as timeless as Bowie himself. “Time, he's waiting in the wings/He speaks of senseless things.”

"1999" - Prince - Sadly, it's a perennial question: "Mommy...why does everybody have a bomb?"

"1921" - The Who - I always listen to this first thing when I wake up New Year's Day. “Somehow when you smile I can brave bad weather.”

"New Year's Day" - U2 - I know... "Great pick, Captain Obvious!" Fabulous live version, with The Edge pulling double duty on keys.

"Celtic New Year" - Van Morrison - Speaking of Ireland: Van the Man! “If I don't see you through the week, see you through the window.”

"Year of the Cat" - Al Stewart - Great Old Grey Whistle Test TV clip. “Strolling through the crowd like Peter Lorre, contemplating a crime.”

"Reeling in the Years" - Steely Dan - A pop-rock classic with a killer guitar solo by Elliot Randall.

"New Year's Resolution" - Otis Redding & Carla Thomas - Great Stax B-side from 1968, with that unmistakable "Memphis sound".

"Same Old Lang Syne" - Dan Fogelberg - OK, a nod to those who insist on waxing sentimental. A beautiful tune from the late singer-songwriter.

Happy New Year!

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--Dennis Hartley

We are still running the Happy Hollandaise end-of-year fundraiser. If you would like to support this kind of independent media as we cover what is going to one doozy of a political year, you can do so below.

And thank you so much for reading and supporting my work all these years. I am truly grateful. --- d