by Chris Bodenner

A reader writes:

THANK YOU for the Pogues! That song never fails to give me goosebumps, but while it is certainly melancholy I never find it depressing. Perhaps it speaks to the Irish blood I don't have, but there is something about it that always uplifts me: perseverance in the face of difficulties, especially difficulties of our own making. At a time when suicides shoot up and many people feel alone and depressed, I think underlying theme of this song is really a blessing, not a burden. Reality can suck, but in the end it's all we really have: "I coulda been someone." "Well, so could anyone..."

That said, maybe I'm just an optimist. It's not like the Pogues can't stick a shiv in your heart and show the dark side with not a shred of uplift; check out "The Old Main Drag." But while we're on the topic of Christmas songs, what about the Kinks? Perhaps not depressing but a cunning comment with a dark side, and a rocking song to boot!

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.