This year, while braving the hustle and bustle of last minute holiday shopping at the local mall, I was surprised to find I had a few dollars left over after buying all of my gifts. I decided to treat myself to Celine Dion’s latest release, These Are Special Times. I thought, Perfect! This is just what I need to brighten up my day.
The first song that quickly caught my ear was “Happy Christmas.” I listened carefully to its lyrics after getting home, trying to understand what the song was saying about the Christmas season. The message is that Christmas should be celebrated by everyone, everywhere. Sadly, not everyone gets this opportunity, especially during times of war and political strife. Celine Dion has hope for the New Year; however, she asks that it be “a good one without any fear.”
With all the bad news in the media these days, I wonder if that message behind the song is still valid? The song made me think that despite all the disasters and turmoil that have happened in the world recently, we can still do our part to help make others’ Christmas dreams a reality. This song is a perfect opportunity to stress an important message of a fearless and happy life for everyone, which will only come about if we commit to a new year of change.
“These Are Special Times,” the title song, intrigued me. It started out in a slow beat, indicating that there was probably some sentimentality attached to it. Sure enough, as I continued to listen, I caught this sense of soft-heartedness within the song. “These are the special times, times we’ll remember, the precious times, the tender times we’ll hold in our hearts forever,” Celine Dion sang ever so slowly.
Being a holiday themed disk, Celine was singing about how people who care about each other share the holidays. I found this to be especially true, as the holiday season is a time when people, especially friends, significant others and family are together, hoping to share special memories with each other. This song is a reminder that it is the memories between those we care about that should not be forgotten. It is these special moments that we treasure, holding them in our hearts forever and constantly reminding us that there are people in our lives that do care.
The next song was another very sentimental one that caught my attention. “Another Year Has Gone By” was so gracefully sung. It is about people who care for each other and is set during the Holiday season. In particular, Celine Dion sings in reference to two people who love each other, “And we’re still holding hands when we’re walking, acting like we’ve only just met, but how could that be when there’s so much history, guess that’s how true lovers can get, another year has gone by.”
Based on the lyrics, this song gives the opportunity during the holiday season for two lovers to reflect upon the positive aspects of their relationship. It is also a reminder that even throughout the year, and even during the bad times, the one that you love will always be there for you. This love is expressed in simple ways and gestures in this song. The lyrics offer hope and inspiration for couples in love.
Another of Celine Dion’s CDs that I thoroughly enjoyed was A New Day Has Come (2002). The cover scene of Celine at the beach was very tranquil and lovely, and several songs contained within provided additional hope and inspiration for me. And what a coincidence, too, I thought, as the title of this disk had the words “new day” on it, which reminded me of the New Year that was coming up.
In the title track, Celine Dion tells the message of renewal, whereby she sings, “Let the rain come down and wash away my tears, let it fill my soul and drown my tears, let it shatter the walls for a new sun, a new day has come.” It reminded me that despite life’s challenges, there is hope for brighter days ahead. In difficult times, it is okay to cry and express emotions of sadness and grief. Yet, there is a reminder that this sadness and grief is only temporary. The more difficult the moments one faces in life, the more each moment will wash itself out, just like tears being washed away. In finding the inner strength from one’s inner self, a person can overcome these challenges.
Sometimes when we need to overcome life’s challenges, we need to find solutions to life’s problems. The song “Right In Front of You” tells of how one can find these solutions. “Right in front of you, right in front of me, we were looking, but somehow, some way, we couldn’t see, that the love was always there, it’s been around us everywhere, I had to fall to finally see, that you were right in front of me,” Celine sings, as her vocal tone beautifully increases in strength, and with a heavy but melodic beat. When we look at things for the first time, we take it for granted sometimes, Celine clearly conveys. But, when we look again, we can often find the answer or true meaning.
In the end, when one has overcome such challenges, there is usually a reward. In the song “The Greatest Reward,” Celine Dion sings about the rewards in life, beautifully conveying the message that being the reward of a person rather than an object is the most important reward of all. Reflecting, she sings of life and how when one changes their attitude and opens up to others, they are able to achieve the rewards or benefits that they deserve in their life. “Now the greatest reward is the light in your eyes and the sound of your voice and the touch of your hand you made me who I am,” sings Celine Dion sweetly and seemingly effortlessly, causing me to ponder the rewards in my life.
Overall, as an artist, Celine Dion offers new insight into the world around us, as expressed in these two musical works. Focusing on the holiday season and the New Year, we are all reminded that there are times we need to be reflective and thankful of what is around us. We also need to be renewed in order to change for the better. Even going beyond the holiday and the New Year season, these messages of hope continue throughout the rest of the year and for the rest of our lives.
I would highly recommend to everyone both of Celine Dion’s These Are Special Times and A New Day Has Come CDs. In particular, I would recommend her musical works to people who are searching for meaning in their lives, or who are experiencing difficult times in their lives, as these musical collections are a reminder that there is something in life to look forward to. After all, everyone needs a reminder of the special times and the changes that are needed for a new day in one’s life.
Dion, C. (1998). These Are Special Times . Sony.
Dion, C. (2002). A New Day Has Come . Sony.