Judy Collins

The Fourth Day of Mellowmas: The Blizzard

Jeff: Hey, Jason! Guess what today is?

Jason: The worst day of the rest of my life?

Jeff: Kind of! It’s a very special Mellowmas anniversary.

Jason: That can’t be good.

Jeff: Oh, you have no idea. In fact, this is the fifth anniversary of what I think might be the most depressing day in the history of Mellowmas.

Jason: There have been so many dark days, Jeff. So, so many dark days. But okay. So that makes this December 4th, 2008…Hmmm.

Jeff: Think DARK. Very, very dark.

Jason: Let me go through the Popdose archives…

Jeff: Like, “blood in the streets” dark.

Jason: http://popdose.com/the-fourth-day-of-mellowmas-sarajevomas/

Jeff: Yes! There it is! SARAJEVOMAS.


Jeff: No one loves Sarajevo more than Judy Collins! For yea verily, she hath loved it so much that she hath recorded a new Christmas album. And lo, did the blood run like a river in the streets of Mellowmas Town.

Jason: Define “new,” Jeff.

Jeff: “New to me, a person who has actively avoided Judy Collins music for exactly five years now.”

Jason: Because I’d be willing to bet she’s pulling a James Taylor right now. Or — dare I say it — a Michael McDonald.

Maybe even a Neil Diamond. Or a Barry Manilow. I’d love to figure out who has had the most repackaged Christmas albums.

Jeff: Lay zay long go mong boulay! That’s Sarajevoan for “cultural embargo against Judy Collins.”

Jason: Look, what could be worse than “Song for Sarajevo”?

Jeff: Oh! I’m glad you asked.


Jason, imagine what might happen if Judy Collins had her ass dumped by someone just before Christmas.

Jason: …I could see that happening. Maybe she played him “Song for Sarajevo.”

Jeff: And then, Jason, imagine Judy Collins driving through the high mountain snows. Heartbroken!

Judy, pulling off the road at a small-town diner. Judy, ordering a hot beverage.

Jason: How heartbroken could she be? She’s never had to do Mellowmas.

Jeff: That’s an excellent point.

Jason: Man, Jeff, you sure know how to paint a picture.

So. She’s been dumped, she’s drinking weak coffee right off the thruway.

Jeff: Imagine, Jason, that the weather is so bad that JUDY CANNOT LEAVE THE DINER. It’s just her and the proprietor.

She is heartbroken.

He has whiskey.

Jason: Oh, I know! And she turns to the proprietor and says, “Since we’re just here together, I have this song about Sarajevo that I’ve written…” And that’s when he breaks the bottle of whiskey and cuts his own throat.

Jeff: Or he throws her out in the snow. If only!

Jason: Right? “Song For Judy in the Snow.”

Jeff: That would be more painless than the six minutes and 38 seconds of today’s track, “The Blizzard.” By Judy Collins.


Jeff: I wish. It’s kind of like Fogelberg, without the beard and the frozen food.

Jason: Jeff, I guarantee you that nobody will make it through this track. Judy Collins may not have made it through this track.

Jeff: Judy Collins lives for this! I know now that she hates Christmas. Judy Collins makes Christmas music for widows. Grieving widows.

Jason: Jeff, if I knew the track was damn near seven minutes long, I would have cut out ALL this small talk. It’s going to be New Year’s Eve by the time we’re done.

Jeff: I have no regrets, because this small talk has had no soundtrack.

Jason: That’s pretty!

Jeff: Ah, there’s that pensive piano. So appropriate for the holidays. Judy is like George Winston, if George Winston wanted to make you cry for Christmas.

Jason: …Colorado? I have to say. Her voice is nice. Although she just totally went sharp.

Jeff: It is pretty, I guess. I’m kind of haunted by this album cover. It looks like she’s a vengeful holiday spirit.

Jason: Okay, so she’s on the road. She was in a world of white powder.

Jeff: L.A. in 1986! Except I don’t think that’s what she means.

She’s drinking coffee, Jason. She’s thinking about her dude.

Jason: Okay, Judy. I’m with you so far. You’re drinking the coffee. NOW WHAT.



Jeff: Nothing but Judy and two guys in a diner! This reminds me of a story Dave Lifton’s mother once told me!

Jason: How awesome would it be if she had actually used the word “fucking”?

Jeff: “I’m a private sort of person, but a blizzard is a blizzard”

Jason: You know how it is when you can talk to a stranger, Jeff.

Jeff: Give Judy Collins this much — she doesn’t give in to cliches in her lyrics.

Jason: Remember when songs used to rhyme?

Jeff: We still have three minutes to go! I don’t remember anything.

Jason: “You just play the piano. I’ll talk over it for like another three minutes.”

Jeff: Exactly!

Jason: Sometimes she’s a fighter when she gets too much whiskey! You should totally be relating to this.

Jeff: “Here, have a little whiskey. Pretend you don’t give a damn.” Raw stuff for Judy! Send in the clowns, Judy! Or at least have them tested for VD!

Jason: Again, you should totally be relating to this.

Jeff: Excuse me, I have never been in a snowbound diner with two burly strangers. I’m a churchgoing girl.

Jason: Okay, so she woke up in the morning…and then what? The roads were all clear? That’s impossible.

Jeff: Wait, all of a sudden she’s back on the road. Is she pregnant like Ann Wilson?

Jason: She was in the middle of nowhere. Who plowed them?

Jeff: Oh, you know who plowed, Jason.

Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha!

Jeff: The blizzard blows. IT CERTAINLY DOES, JUDY.

Was that a high H she just hit?

Jason: Well, I’ll tell you one thing. This is definitely not Auto Tuned.

“Judy, you were a little pitchy on that last note.”

“I know, but I can’t possibly sing this song again.”

Jeff: I’m pretty sure that was a diary entry she wrote at the piano in one take.

Jason: I could totally write a whole other song over that piano. It would be about you and me.

Jeff: YES. DO IT. Except play the song on the melodica.

Jason: You’re Judy Collins.

Jeff: I’m Judy Collins. I’m driving through the snow in Colorado. Hark! A diner.

Jason: Oh shit, we’re role-playing. Okay, here I go.

Judy! Judy Collins, is that you?

Jeff: Coffee please, burly stranger! I need a beverage to warm my hollow bird bones!

Jason: …You wrote “Song for Sarajevo,” right?

Jeff: I claim no credit for “Song of Sarajevo,” good sir. I channeled it, like Moses receiving the Ten Commandments.

Jason: …But that was you singing it, yes? On at least three different Christmas albums?

Jeff: In the spirit of Pavel, a Sarajevan boy I made up! Yes!

Jason: (gets out gun, shoots self in face)


  • Mordalo

    I don’t think you could have found a more frightening photo of Ms. Collins if you tried.
    I swear, I saw that picture on the main page, had a heart attack, died, revived and clicked the link.
    Ain’t no way I’m watching that video…oh, what the heck…

  • http://www.terjefjelde.com/ Terje Fjelde

    At one point here I thought she was heading down a hole in the diner floor to meet up with Chicago and Diane Warren.

  • Jay Nagy

    It sounds like Judy got……..something warm.

  • Jay Nagy

  • http://sportsmyriad.com Beau

    This is a really pretty song if you mentally block out Judy Collins and pretend it’s Tori Amos singing about snakes, dolls and Jesus.

  • Jay Nagy

    But then she had to cut a hole in the washtub and they went broke.

  • mlk

    I never would have thought this could be a pick me up song, but after yesterday- this is just jolly. I hate it. Though it’s not as bad as her previous entry. And I’ve always hated her voice, ever since I was little and she sang on Sesame Street.

  • Jay Nagy

    Actually it only *appears* to be a still. Wait for it……………….

  • http://www.wingsforwheels.net dslifton


  • http://redvioletblue.typepad.com/abyssgazing/ abyssgazer

    I have a feeling Judy’s going to get a visit from the ghost of Harry Chapin this Christmas Eve.

  • http://redvioletblue.typepad.com/abyssgazing/ abyssgazer

    Arghh–it’s like those Angels in Doctor Who, isn’t it?

  • Speedy Pepper

    Jason and Jeff – It took me to, like, the 7th page of Google Image to find that horrifying picture of her. She looks like a morphed picture of that Madame doll and the corpse of Carol Channing.

    Man, you guys hit to hurt, don’t you?!

  • Jay

    If you make it to the end of the song….well….maybe you shouldn’t try.

  • Jay

    “I got a cabin right over there…….” Judy was not the first.

  • http://sportsmyriad.com Beau

    Hey, she was good on the Muppet Show.

  • http://sportsmyriad.com Beau

    I’m still trying to figure out which school of feminism would applaud the notion of showing how strong you are by being utterly helpless — intentionally. “Oh, how silly of me! I drove out in a snowstorm after breaking up with my boyfriend! Which of you big, strong boys will give me a place to sleep tonight and dig out my car in the morning? I’m just a girl!”

  • http://www.popdose.com jefito


  • http://www.popdose.com jefito

    That’s what Mellowmas is all about!

  • http://www.popdose.com jefito

    I saw a quote someplace where Judy said that out of all the songs she’s written, “The Blizzard” is her favorite.

  • http://sportsmyriad.com Beau

    Oh no — two phrases that terrify me:

    “conceived for a television special with Kris Kristofferson”

    “loosely based on a true situation”


  • http://sportsmyriad.com Beau

    And you guys were pretty close when you said it sounds like it was written in one take.

  • Speedy Pepper

    Pain and horror. Got it!

  • http://www.wingsforwheels.net dslifton

    Here’s a phrase that terrifies me:

    “Singer best-known as an interpreter decides to write songs.”

  • Jay

    ” mystically renewed” Oh, but it wasn’t gonna be a semi-narrative Kenny & Dolly “HAY, Kris, funny us gettin’ all cooped up, huh, darlin’?”?

  • rockymtranger

    So conflicted…I actually like the idea of the song, and Judy gets bonus points for using names of actual places in Colorado. But wow…it’s just bizarre. You THINK it’s gonna get rapey, and then there’s a revelation and clear roads and the Peak to Peak Highway and all is good in the world. And a blizzard is a blizzard.

  • reval5

    I enjoy Judy Collins. She reminds me of childhood and I think she’s a pretty swell person to boot. However, her songwriting track record is spotty and I can’t help but dock her points for pretty much swiping the melody of “Famous Blue Raincoat” whole cloth.

  • Ian Lozada

    Turns out she’s know for her American Sign Language interpreting. Who knew?

  • http://www.popdose.com/ DwDunphy

    Mellowmas redeemed. Now I know how the guys behind the Manhattan Project felt.

  • http://www.popdose.com/ DwDunphy


  • http://www.popdose.com/ DwDunphy

    I heard the midwest to western U.S. is experiencing bad weather right now. Has anyone checked in to see where Judy’s at?

  • http://www.popdose.com/ DwDunphy

    AGH! Jeez, don’t sneak up on me like that. It’s like text, text, text, text, textDENVER!!!text, text, text.

    Now I gotta take a lie-down.

  • http://www.popdose.com/ DwDunphy

    Sweaty. Judy Collins. Ick.

  • rockymtranger

    To be fair, John Denver is the king of Colorado Christmas music. If that was a title to be earned.

  • rockymtranger

    This is what Mellowmas is all about. God help us all.

  • Rob Ross

    When Judy Collins was young, her photos remind me of a woman I once loved and dated. Then she left me, so I hated her and wrote a double-lp’s worth of songs (no, not David Allan Coe-style). Now seeing the “matured” Judy Collins gives me hope that this wretched harpy will look like that as she ages rapidly.

  • Dustin

    Confession time: I haven’t been dutifully listening to Mellowmas this year as much as previous years, so it’s the 22nd and I’m just now getting to this entry.

    That said, I do live relatively close to all the landmarks that she’s spouting off, I gotta wonder what the hell kind of route she’s taking. Maybe if she weren’t galavanting all over the place, she wouldn’t get caught in a blizzard.