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Released: 2021

Features: Stu Larsen

“Happy Christmas My Dear” by Passenger, featuring Stu Larsen, is a somber, reflective holiday ballad, addressing themes of loss, nostalgia, and hope amidst hardship. The lyrics resonate the universal sentiment of longing and search for solace during the festive season.

The onset of the song hits you with Christmas imagery, coupled with the undertone of melancholy, creating an intense contrast between the festive backdrop (“Christmas lights”, “Christmas songs”) and emotional turmoil (“whiskey burn”, “smoke in your eyes”, “hole in your heart”). The poignant reminder of the “millionth time” hearing the Christmas songs underlines a sense of perpetual cyclic hardship.

The refrain “Happy Christmas my dear” carries the tone of a heartfelt, yet bittersweet message to someone dealing with emotional pain, possibly indicating a severance or distance, physical or emotional. The lines, “I hope you find what you’re searching for” and “sometimes, less is more,” suggest a sense of resignation and acceptance of the reality, alluding to the lessons learned from perhaps painful experiences.

From winter sun to the morning frost, the subject’s journey and life battles are further illustrated. This emotional expedition casts a dark shadow over the merry seasonal spirit through connotations of “battles won”, “wars lost”, and “the price you’ve paid”.

Yet, there’s an underpinning sense of optimism and acceptance in the lyrics. Passenger weaves Biblical references (wiseman, shepherds, and the brightest star), underlining the core Christmas theme and implying an invincible faith which always illuminates the path to “your way back home”. It’s as if stating, despite the trials, tribulations and errors, home, wherever or whatever it might be, is always within reach.

The sentiment builds with well-wishing “I hope you’re well, I hope you’re fine,” resonating the spirit of Christmas which is about extending love and well wishes. The repeating line “Happy Christmas my dear” towards the end comes across as an empathetic nod to the preciousness of human connections, especially during times of separation or loss.

In the nutshell, “Happy Christmas My Dear” stands as a solemn reminder of the darker shades often accompanying the colourful festival. It underlines the fact that holidays aren’t always joyous for everyone, yet the spirit of hope and goodwill are the eternal forces guiding us through.

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