Christmas Songs

Christmas Carols aside, there are a LOT of Christmas songs out there, yet we only hear the same cycle of songs that form the canon.

I like to explore a bit at Christmas, and this year I came across a Bob Dylan Christmas album. Yes. Bob Dylan. I know.

According to Wikipedia today….

“Christmas in the Heart is the thirty-fourth studio album and first Christmas album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on October 13, 2009 by Columbia Records. The album comprises a collection of hymns, carols, and popular Christmas songs. All Dylan’s royalties from the sale of this album benefited the charities Feeding America in the USA, Crisis in the UK, and the World Food Programme.

“Dylan said that, although he was born and raised Jewish (he converted to Christianity in the late 1970s before returning to observing Judaism[), he never felt left out of Christmas during his childhood in Minnesota. Regarding the popularity of Christmas music, he said, ‘… it’s so worldwide and everybody can relate to it in their own way.'”

For me, the most fun track is “Must Be Santa”. I encourage all to enjoy this one; it’s daft. It was written by William Fredericks, Hal Moore, but listen out for the Dylan subversion!

Fredericks/Moore had:

“Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen,
Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen”

Dylan changed this to:

“Dasher, Dancer,
Prancer, Vixen,
Eisenhower Kennedy,
Johnson. Nixon,
Dasher, Dancer,
Prancer, Vixen
Carter, Reagan,
Bush and Clinton”


In this treat, Dylan is backed by a klezmer band! And… it’s a Schitzelbank song! Oh! trust Bob Dylan to be so complex – Jewish/ German/ Christmas/ Christmas/ American Politics/ Charity and good works – and the video is set in an American deep south colonial mansion where adults frolick and party and also have some fighting and destruction – and the video is shot so well that you are surprised at coming across Dylan after a cinema verite style one-take sweep. Genius! and – what a complex package of sheer silly funness! Classique!

Anyway, Merry Christmas!