2014 ADVENT PLAYLIST | 4. “the warm side of the door”

Welcome to the 1%J 2014 1%J ADVENT PLAYLIST, in which we attempt to reconcile the simultaneously occurring but often contradictory spirits of Advent season and the “holidays.”  

by 1%J friend Peter Gallagher.

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Morgan Ames’ Christmas classic “Warm Side of the Door” made its debut in the 1984 slasher film “Silent Night Deadly Night.”  Understandably, the film itself overshadowed the song and Ames’s Christmas ballad never received the attention it deserved.  However, as the movie grew in popularity so has the public’s attention to this the song and it is now an integral part of this new cult classic.

I, like most modern viewers of “SNDN,” found the song to be both humorous and catchy.  However I never thought critically about the lyrics of “Warm Side of the Door.”  I was usually too preoccupied with singing along to listen and analyze the lyrics, so this is my first time attempting to understand the song I adore so much.

I don’t understand you SNDN, and you don’t want me to understand you.

After thoroughly listening to the song I’m not surprised by too much.  The song seems to be about two sides of a door.  On one side of the door is the singer – his side seems to be a less than desirable place, but apart from the mention of “thunder and lighting” we really don’t get a vivid description of what this place is like.  Instead, Ames focuses on what he refers to as the “warm side of the door.”  There are a lot of really nice things there, including his brother, everyone smiling, a loss of desire for material possessions, people who love you, people who will kiss you and hug you, safety from the storm outside, and, most importantly, a warm temperature (probably because of a burning fire that Ames mentions).

You hate me Warm Side of the Door, and I hate you.

While much of the song is clear-cut, there are some unanswered questions.  I’ve always been drawn to the line about his brother – “he will call to me / the way he did before.” Why has his brother stopped calling him?  Are they in a fight or is this something more serious?  If Ames and his brother really are just fighting, “SNDN” seems like an unusual medium for Ames to rectify their relationship.  I’m guessing he is dead, which makes that line pretty sad.

The larger question has to do with the line “it’s always Christmas on the warm side of the door.”  There is a lot of confusion surrounding this part of the song.  Some internet bloggers have argued that this lyric is ridiculous, claiming it is unrealistic to expect it to always be Christmas on a warm side of any door.  While I agree, I don’t think this is what Ames is saying.  Ames is talking about the hopes and expectations we all put onto Christmas.  Christmas is to Ames where the “warm side of the door” happens.  It’s the time of year when all of our wishes come true, when family gets together, and when we finally have an excuse to light a fire.  What I find refreshing about Ames’s take on these expectations is that he does not seem let down by Christmas.  In an age where so many artists focus on the disappointment of the holiday season, Amess’ takes a more traditional route.  Ames’s Christmas is a perfect Christmas, but it also doesn’t seem unachievable – which makes it a little corny, but less annoying.


One comment

  1. […] 4. Morgan Ames, “The Warm Side Of The Door.” […]

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