About the author: Lisa Mangini is the author of a book of poems and four chapbooks of poetry and prose. Her work has been featured in McSweeney’s, Mid-American Review, Louisiana Literature, Memoir Mixtapes, and Ms. Magazine. She holds an MFA from Southern Connecticut State University, and is the Founding Editor of Paper Nautilus, a small press. She teaches English and creative writing at Penn State, and lives in the Nittany Valley with her husband and cat. For more, visit lisamangini.wordpress.com.
This is my kind of song as the new year rushes in and spins us extra-fast into a new decade. Bluesy, a bit moody, but with just a little bop and bounce, this song’s not focused on resolutions or a hurry to reinvent one’s self.
This track has that laidback feel I wish I could carry with me more often. Lyrics like “Happy New Year. It ain’t gonna worry me to death!” feel so good. Years blow by with so much excitement but also dread and drama… why not just live each day without piling on overwhelming and fantastical goals? This is a call to return to ease and living in the moment.
“Happy New Year” throws in a clever reference to the end of the previous year: “Don’t think about Christmas ‘cos Christmas just done left.” It’s a light-hearted nod that personifies the holiday as though it was a lover who jilted us. A true blues ode to a fresh new year!
The instrumental breakdown at the end is free and fun with a real boogie-down dance beat. But, true to classic blues form, Hopkins ends the song with a wolf’s howl of “OHHHH NEW YEAR” and the mention of having no one special in his life.
Ah, my kinda note to begin 2020… welcoming each day as it comes but carrying just enough heartache and good music to remind me I’m real.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, FRIENDS! It ain’t gonna worry me to death!