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Released: 2020

Features: Brett Eldredge, Atlantic Holiday

“Under The Mistletoe” by Kelly Clarkson featuring Brett Eldredge captures the touching intensity of unrequited love during the holiday season. As a pop ballad, it’s filled with emotional honesty and a hearfelt yearning for reconciliation with a lost love, all set against the backdrop of a cozy Christmas setting.

In the opening verse, Clarkson’s lyrics depict a scenario where she’s in the same room as her former lover. When she says, “Every time I look around this room/My eyes, they tend to fall on you”, she is expressing her lingering feelings and the emotional distress of seeing someone she still cares deeply about, particularly during a time of year that’s supposed to be filled with joy and merriment.

The chorus: “Here under the mistletoe/Magic fills the air/Standin’ over there/Santa hear my prayer” evokes the iconic Christmas image of the mistletoe – a symbol of love and reconciliation. In this context, it underlines her Christmas wish: a second chance at their love. Yet the question “What am I gonna say?” reveals her internal struggle to communicate these feelings.

As the song progresses, the repetitive chanting of “All I want, hey, yeah…” encapsulates her single-minded focus on this one burning desire. The line “Push my pride aside”, further emphasizes her willingness to make herself vulnerable in the pursuit of rekindled love.

In the lines: “To keep you from gettin’ inside/ Works until I see your face”, we see an attempt to maintain emotional distance, but ultimately, the sight of the lost lover undoes all her efforts. The poignant sentiment here is amplified by the holiday context, adding another layer of depth to the musings of regret and longing.

“Under The Mistletoe” is undeniably a pop Christmas anthem, but it subtly veers off the beaten path of cheery holiday songs with its focus on the heartache of a love that could have been. It’s a tough pill wrapped in a sugar-coated capsule: heartbreaking and exquisitely beautiful all at once.

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