Paul Simon’s new single, “Getting Ready for Christmas Day,” has hit the web. The song, off his upcoming album, So Beautiful or So What, is streaming at various corners of the web: Paul’s official (and currently-being-revamped) website, National Public Radio’s All Songs Considered and Stereogum.
The song is about what you would expect from a Paul Simon Christmas tune: straight-up, catchy drums; bouncy acoustic guitars with effects; a sample of a 1941 record of the same title by the Reverend J.M. Gates; a thoughtful lyric about a nephew serving in Iraq (I think Paul once mentioned that his wife, Edie Brickell, actually had a nephew at war). To us, it sounds like “Getting Ready” grew out of the same funk that brought us the underrated “Once Upon a Time there was an Ocean,” from Surprise. It has the same melodic rhythm guitar style, and the arpeggios towards the end remind me of the Church scene in Once Upon a Time (fitting for a Christmas song, no?).
All in all, a great tune that doesn’t rely on holiday clichés. Can’t wait for March!