Oh, Standard Time, how I hate you. It’s only been a week since we said goodbye to Daylight Savings Time and fell back an hour, and here in Chicago, we’ve only had the slightest hint of snow so far, but I’m already done with winter. If you need me anytime before, say, June, I’ll be in a blanket cave clutching a mug of hot chocolate and listening to this playlist of songs that help me get through the colder months.
I don’t know what it is about late fall that sends me running for the British folk, but November, to me, is all about Fairport Convention and Nick Drake, with a side of Steeleye Span. The Strangelings, a short-lived folk super-group from this side of the pond, take the traditional English ballad “Matty Groves” (also covered by Fairport Convention) and drench it in spooky electric sitar. I’ve included some songs that speak directly about this time of year, like Joni Mitchell’s “Urge for Going,” and Cassandra Wilson’s sultry version of the Neil Young classic “Harvest Moon.” Other songs, like “Milk and Honey” by Jackson C. Frank, and the haunting John Lennon ballad “Oh My Love,” just seem to capture the melancholy of late autumn.
I hope you’ll share some of your own favorite songs for this time of year in the comments — they’re predicting another polar vortex in Chicago starting next week, and I could use the extra warmth.