“This Will Be Our Year”, the Zombies
A Day’s Work, Season 7 Episode 2
This may be the most archetypal sunny & sentimental track from Mad Men’s later seasons, so it makes sense to use it just when everyone is starting the process of sorting everything out and getting back on their feet. Furthermore, it feels right that it figures into the hesitant rejuvenation of Sally and Don’s relationship after the horrifying climaxes of season six. Like the season premiere, A Day’s Work is showing the state of affairs in 1969. The agency seems to be regrouping and improving, but only in fits and starts.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Mad Men music without a little muddying of the waters, as the baroque satisfaction of the melody and lyrics stands in stark contrast to Peggy’s romantic travails. And yet, she’s nobly trying to move on from her affair with Ted. Everyone is having their relationships tested, and on Valentine’s Day of all days. Pete is unsatisfied, in an unfamiliar place and being elbowed out of romance and work. Because of secretary troubles, Joan moves up a floor next door to Roger, which could make them clash. Don and Sally share a sweet dinner together, patching over the heartache of last season. It seems that everyone is throwing themselves into this new order of things with unusual optimism.
“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”, Christmas Comes But Once A Year
It’s an understatement to say that Sally has a complicated relationship with her father. This season four episode closer reflects the early stages of her disillusion, with a tale about a different kind of fantasy being shattered. Teresa Brewer’s well-known, adorable holiday carol makes the depressing reality more bearable. Lies are exposed, affairs are coming to light, and a little girl narrates it on a lonely, loveless Christmas.