This song was one I had actually almost forgotten about, probably because it isn't, technically speaking, a Christmas song. However, my Christmas party for one of the unions (I think I belong to four at this point) last night, the DJ played "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" and I was reminded a) of how much I like Jim Croce's music, b) how sad it was that he died so young, and c) that "It Doesn't Have to Be That Way" should be included in the days of musical advent. There are only one or two references to Christmas in it, but the emotion of the song is such that it speaks, I think, to what the season should be about:
Down the windy winter avenuesThere walks a lonely man,And if I told you who he is,Well I think you'd understand.But it doesn't have to be that way.What we had should never have ended.I'll be dropping by today.We could easily get it together tonight.It's only right.The holidays are stressful--it comes with the territory. Though Croce's song discusses this in a romantic context, I think it could easily be applied to many of our dealings with one another at this time of year. It really doesn't have to be that way...we can each forgive a little, forget a little, and try to remember that love is what the spirit of the season should be.