Vince Guaraldi

The Heartburn Waltz


Now that Valentine’s Day is over, I’m a bit sorry I was cynical. I am not single or alone. Many of us have lives filled with people who love us.

Today, my mom and I watched both Charlie Brown Valentine’s Day shows that were on ABC on Friday. They are just sweet enough to get a tooth ache, but through it all the best part is (of course) Vince Guaraldi’s music, especially the frilly “Heartburn Waltz” that dances in and out of the original 1975 Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown.

In the show, Charlie Brown doesn’t receive any cards for Valentine’s Day until some girls feel rather guilty for forgetting. According to the Peanuts documentary, children all over America felt so sorry for the poor cartoon boy that they sent him cards. It’s that sweetness that’s worth remember on a day that can be so cynical.

On a side note, the Valentine’s special was at a five-year ratings high. Loving that the shows are still getting, well, loving all these decades past.

Wicked Wednesday – It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Are there people out there who still deeply care about Halloween even 12 days after?

I’m not sure if I want to know the answer, but it’s certainly a yes for me.

If there is one thing I do every year, it’s watch the classic “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” Every year it’s the same 20-minute special filled with rocks, sheet ghost costumes and of course: a giant pumpkin patch. Even though the holiday has since passed, the DVD (the only one I have from back home) is still played regularly and even at odd moments over the course of the year. June included.

But there is something so sweet and special about this television special. Anything Charles Schultz or Bill Melendez waved their hands over, really, seems to have a bit of extra magic. Even from the first scene of the picking of the perfect pumpkin or the scene of Snoopy helping Charlie make the piles of leaves, and he little side story about the World War 1 flying ace is still hilarious (because who doesn’t want to see a beagle fight the Red Baron and get emotion to the tunes on Schroeder’s piano?). It might not be for everyone, but we all have something that is familiar and warm. I feel most comfortable (and comforted) watching the cartoon, and I suppose that’s why it will alway feel special.

People give up on Halloween too easily. When can costume parties and pumpkins be an all-year treat? Well, even if Halloween isn’t for you (or even if the idea of a year-round fancy dress seems a bit excessive), it is very difficult to deny that Vince Guaraldi’s “Great Pumpkin Waltz” is one of the most beautiful tunes to listen to all autumn.

An American in London celebrating Thanksgiving

In London it’s already Christmas. As soon as Halloween was over, I emerged the next morning in a Winter Wonderland. No – there is no snow in sight but plenty of lights and decorations. But I am an American no matter what and I’m still celebrating our holiday (oh and I guess the one we kind-of share with those Canadians too).

My boyfriend and I will be indulging ourselves in some fanastic Southern-inspired dishes tomorrow in Tower Hill. Probably not the typical Wisconsin home-cooking I’m so fond of, but I’m really looking forward to being surrounded by “my kind.” I’ve actually really missed Americans.

Since there really aren’t “Thanksgiving” songs – anyone who tries usually fails (just because “thank you”  or “grateful” is in the title doesn’t mean we should be putting together crap playlists). The best bet for the holiday tune is by my beloved Vince Guaraldi. Usually referred to as just “Thankgiving Theme” the track comes from the nostalgic TV-special A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Below is a talent rendition of the tune by username Chnarles:

So if you’re alone, with loved ones or even too many of them, remember the true meaning of Thanksgiving and that’s just being thankful. We’re really quite lucky – even with shit gets tough. If all else fails – set all the shit on fire like you’re Wednesday Addams.