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.


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)


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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