Today, we cover one of the biggest holiday releases of 2009. Why is it one of the biggest holiday releases of 2009? We don’t know. Does it feature an extremely popular musician? Sure. Are any of the songs good? Well, if they were, would we be covering them here? We rest our case.


Jason: Before we start today’s Mellowmas post, I want everyone to know that I have not listened to this track — “Cold Song” — in advance.

Jeff: Despite my pleas. You’re a hard-hearted man when it comes to Mellowmas.

Jason: If I recall correctly, I got as far as “Soul Cake” before I threw my headphones to the ground and began stomping on them.

Jeff: Funny story about that, actually.

Jason: Uh oh.

Jeff: You know my daughter goes to this hippie school out in the woods, right?

Jason: Right. The Jerry Garcia School or something.

Jeff: So they have this thing called the Lantern Walk, where families show up at night and light candles and sing and sail little boats on the pond.


Jeff: Anyway, I got the Sting CD, and I was like, “‘Soul Cake’? What the hell is a soul cake, and what does it have to do with the holidays?”

Jason: You mean you have the answer?

Jeff: No, but we went to this year’s lantern walk, and they were singing a song about soul cake. So I was conflicted.

Jason: What the hell kind of school are you letting your daughter attend? Are there really no other options in New Hampshire?

Jeff: I mean, on the one hand, I’m watching my daughter sing in candlelight with other adorable little kids. On the other hand, I hate Sting.

Jason: Your daughter is going to grow up to be tantric. See what you did?

Jeff: I’m listening to adorable little voices, but I’m envisioning Sting’s grizzled, pompous mug.

Jason: Counting his money. Cursing Stewart Copeland.

Jeff: Well, we all curse Stewart Copeland. Fuck that guy.

Jason: I disagree.

Jeff: Fuck you, too.

Jason: I swear, the best part of the Police tour was watching Sting’s face every time Stewart went to say something.

Jeff: Ha ha ha!

Jason: I think that’s how Mike feels whenever I step up to the microphone: “Oh shit, ham sandwich has something to say.”

Jeff: So you’re the Stewart Copeland of Acoustic ’80s?

Jason: Without the talent, yes.

Jeff: That’s kind of remarkable.

Jason: Isn’t it, though? We’re lucky our audiences get drunk at our shows.

Jeff: Here’s something else I think is remarkable.

Jason: What?

Jeff: Sting has always been a humorless douche, pretty much, right?

Jason: He plays the lute. I think that’s your answer.

Jeff: You could have joked about him cutting a Christmas record more than 20 years ago, and you probably would have come up with something a lot like what he actually eventually recorded.

Jason: That’s a good point.

Jeff: So even though Sting has no sense of humor, he ended up providing the perfect punchline to an awesome joke.

Jason: I want to get back to the Lantern Walk. Did you ask your daughter’s teacher how the Lantern Walk will help her get into a good college?

Jeff: I’ll take you on next year’s Lantern Walk.

Jason: When you break down the tuition, how much is the Lantern Walk costing you?

Jeff: My daughter is in preschool, you ass. Is this how you treat kids in Astor…oh, hey, that’s a good question.

Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha ha! I feel bad for our readers. We haven’t even gotten to the song yet. And the scary thing is, this is how we talk all the time. We’re not putting on a show for Mellowmas or anything.

Jeff: Well, I’m wearing a Santa hat.

Jason: Are you?

Jeff: (Not really.)

Jason: Oh. You should totally be wearing the vest I bought you last year!

Jeff: I’m pretty sure that’s soaking up oil in the garage. I should sell it to one of the farmers. That thing would make a bitchin’ scarecrow vest.

Jason: How dare you? I think I spent at least $13.98 on that vest! The ghost of Liberace is going to visit you on Christmas Eve.

Jeff: That’s probably only half of what I spent on buying you the collected works of Benny Mardones. Not to mention your still-unopened copy of The Van. So suck it.

Jason: I call bullshit. You bought all those CDs used.

Jeff: The vest was used too!

Jason: I don’t think you want to mention “Liberace” and “used” in the same sentence.

Jeff: Heh, heh, heh.

Jason: Okay, let’s get to the song.

Jeff: Must we? I suppose we must.

Jason: I don’t want to, but I feel bad for anybody who’s read this far and hasn’t yet gotten a song out of it.

Jeff: Okay. Remember, readers, we’re doing this for you.
Not for us.
For you.

Jason: All I know about this song is that you told me it was absolutely the song we had to do for Mellowmas.

Jeff: I don’t remember much about it either, other than that I really did feel that way.

Jason: I think I’m ready. Hang on, let me put down this piece of soul cake.

Jeff: flush

Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Jeff: Warm soul cake!

Sting — Cold Song (download)


From If On a Winter’s Night… null

Jason: Is this Christmas in wherever Lord of the Rings takes place?

Jeff: Ha ha ha ha!

Jason: I’m not feeling Christmas-y with this song.

Jeff: I think that’s how Sting wants you to feel.

Jason: I can hear someone breathing as they play the flute. I hope it’s not Sting.
Oh no.
The vocal.

Jeff: Ah, THIS is why. Yes. Hello, Sting. You motherfucker.
Like, I don’t really know how to put this shit into words.

Jason: I guess this is what happens when you have as much money as Sting. You can just sing whatever the hell you want.

Jeff: This is unquestionably the most pompous thing I’ve ever heard. This is total bullshit.

Jason: How do you record something like this, step back and go, “Yeah. They’ll buy this.”

Jeff: I fucking defy any Sting fan reading this to defend “Cold Song.” Because this is audio proof that Sting hates you. Also, proof that hell is real.

Jason: He sounds like Droopy Dog.

Jeff: He sounds like a crazy person!

Jason: I mean, if you told me this was the soundtrack to A Droopy Dog Christmas, I’d be okay with it. Also, what the hell does this have to do with the holidays?
“Oh let me freeze again to death?” Is that what he said? Because that’s exactly what I’m thinking!

Jeff: It’s Sting taking a holiday from giving two shits.

Jason: Wait, that’s the end? That’s how it ends? “O let me freeze again to death”?

Jeff: Unless you have it on repeat, like I do. Which I do not recommend.

Jason: I do not. WHAT KIND OF HOLIDAY SONG ENDS WITH “O LET ME FREEZE AGAIN TO DEATH”? That’s AWFUL! He should have called it “The Ballad of Stewart Copeland.”

Jeff: I wonder if this is an original song, or some traditional track he dug out of, like, the Necronomicon.

Jason: I….I just don’t know what to say.

Jeff: I’m trying to find something on this song. Nothin’.

Jason: I mean, in his defense, he didn’t call the album A Sting Christmas or anything. The album is called If On a Winter’s Night…, so clearly he’s giving himself license to do this dark shit.

Jeff: Although the album apparently debuted at #6 on the Billboard charts. Which makes me very angry.

Jason: There is no God.

Jeff: Nope. I mean, if Halford had debuted at #6, then I’d be okay with it. But this is the sound of a very rich man having a complete lark at his fans’ expense. And they bought it.

Jason: Why did it chart so high? Is it just because he’s one of the most high profile artists to release a Christmas album this year, and he did it early? Are people demanding their money back? I mean, think of all those older women who are thinking they’re going to get Christmas songs from the guy who gave them “Fields of Gold.”

Jeff: Oooh! Erlewine reviewed it!

Jason: Uh oh.

Jeff: “It’s a holiday album for people who have never wanted to hear a holiday album, let alone own one.” YES.
One and a half stars. YES.

Jason: Erlewine is really coming through these days.

Jeff: And oh by the way, this is a song from the 17th century. STING, YOU POMPOUS ASS.

Jason: Yeah? Is it true that this guy hasn’t written pop music since 1999?

Jeff: Billy Joel? Oh, wait. Sting. Damn, why doesn’t Billy Joel make a Christmas album? It would have to be more fun than this.

Jason: You know, if Billy adopted his blues-y voice, I bet it’d be good.

Jeff: Even Billy’s jiveass classical record was more fun than this.

Jason: Or at least passable. Either way, it wouldn’t be this.

Jeff: I would rather listen to “You’re Only Human (Second Wind)” all Mellowmas than this. He wouldn’t need to adopt any kind of voice. He could just drink.

Jason: He has a song on this album called “The Hounds of Winter.” That’s what I’m talking about! He sounds like a hound!

Jeff: Funny thing about “The Hounds of Winter.”

Jason: Don’t you dare tell me a story about your daughter’s preschool.

Jeff: It was on the album he released in 1996.

Jason: Oh. Whew.

Jeff: NOT WHEW. More ripoff!

Jason: No, I mean “whew” that your daughter wasn’t walking a dog around in some kind of ritual ceremony.

Jeff: Oh, that’s in the spring.

Jason: cue laugh track, cut to commercial

Jeff: Ha ha ha! I’m laying odds here that by next year, we see A Billy Joel Christmas.

Jason: I don’t know. He seems to be perfectly happy to make all his money through touring and Sony recycling old shit.

Jeff: It will, of course, include his classic holiday track, “Christmas in Fallujah.”

Jason: Oh shit! That’s right! I forgot about that song! And with good reason!

Jeff: As well as a special Christmas mix of “She’s Right on Time.”

Jason: Anybody who considers “She’s Right on Time” a Christmas song can bite me.

Jeff: I’m totally making some dickwad Sony executive think right now. I know it.

Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Jeff: The video had a tree in it!

Jason: Dude, you and I are the only two people who have seen that video. Maybe Dave Lifton.

Jeff: If “Cold Song” is a Christmas song, then “She’s Right on Time” is goddamn “Jingle Bells.”

Jason: What label is this Sting album on?

Jeff: It’s on Deutsche Grammophon, which I believe he chose because it sounds kind of like “Douche, Come On.”

Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

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About the Author

Jeff Giles and Jason Hare

Two people, separate rooms Trying to hurt the other Bound together by destiny Is there nothing they won’t do? Will we never see them through?

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