Monday, December 18, 2023

Mango Island Sound "So Many Christmases Ago"

Every year, it seems, one of the songs that I receive from the many artists around the world and feature in the New Music Roundup connects with me in a way so that it deserves a feature post all its own.  "So Many Christmases Ago" by Mango Island Sound is that song this year.

"So Many Christmases Ago", written by Mark Pelczarski, sole permanent member of Mango Island Sound, is performed by Mark and his guest musicians. With its calypso-influenced sound and lyrics brimming with nostalgic memories, it will fill you with a gentle happiness, as if you're reminiscing about Christmases past while lazing in a hammock on a sunny tropical beach.  

Mark drew upon his own memories of Christmas growing up when writing "So Many Christmases Ago", and for those of us of just the right age his memories resonate with us like the beauty of a Strad in the hands of a virtuoso. 

It's not only the memories of the past that make "So Many Christmases Ago" such a wonderful song.  It's the recognition of time passing, which makes the memories more meaningful, and the connection of the past with the present and future.  Mark's lyrics:

Kids grow up so quickly go out on their own
Generations come and then they go
Grandkids scurry 'round us now as we once did
So many Christmases ago

hit home with me, as my own children are grown, my parents and aunts and uncles have passed, and we have welcomed our first grandchild into the family.  My Christmas memories are significant in the traditions we have and hope to pass along to the next generations, even as we create our own new traditions.

The song closes with my favorite lyrics of the year:

The years all blend together as we reminisce
Old photographs and stories bring delight
As long as we hold onto all these memories
We'll always be together Christmas night

I've had the privilege of getting to know Mark a bit this season through our e-mail chats back and forth about his music, our families, and the similarities we share in our respective lives on this ol' planet.  Mark is a fine dude, and he's the type of musician I love to support at Merry & Bright - making music for the love of music, reaching out personally to bloggers like me, and genuinely happy to have reached a new fan.  

Mark learned to play steel drums/steelpan over 30 years ago, and has worked and played with Jimmy Buffett and Dan Fogelberg, just to name a couple, over the years.  As Mango Island Sound, Mark has created some fantastic, groovy songs, including "Calypso is Good for the Soul", "Dance, Dance, Maybe", and "Conch and Circumstance".   All of Mango Island Sound's music is available through their website.

And Hey!  How about this!  Mark has put together a Mango Island Sound Tropical Christmas Playlist on Spotify which is, as Special Agent Dale Cooper might put it, a damned fine Christmas playlist.

Please check out Mango Island Sound on all the interwebs.  I think you'll dig it :-)

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