Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bob Dylan - Christmas in the Heart

Ok so finally I come to the Dylan Christmas album Christmas in the Heart. I bought this some weeks ago, the deluxe version which included ten Christmas cards of the album cover! I didn't dare send them to anyone. I held off listening to it for two reasons. 1. I don't like the premature arrival of Christmas - the Christmas trumpery and the Christmas songs in shopping centres in September and 2. the fear based on snippets heard that it was a terrible album.

I've listened to it a few times this week and I'm relieved. It's a Christmas album with a mixture of the secular and spiritual, the serious and jocular. A good listen and well worth the wait. Best tracks ? Must be Santa - where the list of reindeer names include US presidents from Eisenhower to Clinton - and O Come All Ye Faithful - just to hear Dylan sing in Latin.

All proceeds from the album go to feed the hungry.

Of course the critics have had a great time trying to analyse the album. If it's by Dylan then there must be some deeper significance, hidden sub plot. It's just a collection of favourite Christmas songs delivered in a traditional way. Here and there the man has difficulty with high notes - as on Hark the Herald Angels Sing - but come on, it's Bob Dylan after all.



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Hi Michael,

On behalf of Bob Dylan, many thanks for plugging “Christmas In The Heart”, the charity album benefiting Feeding America, Crisis and the World Food Programme … .. and, if your readers want good quality, non-pirated, previews, then “Must Be Santa” is available for fans and bloggers to post / host / share etc from and a special widget is also available from .. for further details of the album, on-line promotions, videos and 2009 / 2010 shows, check-out and .. and keep an eye on these official sources for details of further news and preview material.

Please do visit the official web-sites of Feeding America, Crisis and the World Food Programme for information on their charitable work and on how to make donations : help to make this Christmas special for those in need.

Thanks again for your plug.



Peter Goulding said...

Hi Michael,
Well, I finally got around to taking a listen!!
To be honest, not really my cup of tea. Dylan's attraction is his lyrics and these aren't his lyrics. And I know its for charity but its only about 30 minutes long which isn't great value.
Having said all that, I've been playing Must be Santa over and over - brilliant!! Never heard it before - is it an original?

Michael Farry said...

At least one site says it is an original but that's not true, "A classic 1959 Christmas song by Hal Moore / Bill Fredricks".

"And while “Must Be Santa” was wholesome family fare in Mitch Miller’s 1961 Holiday Sing Along With Mitch album, Dylan’s version is a breathless sleigh ride clearly patterned after the one by Grammy-winning polka band Brave Combo. In fact, the Denton, Texas-based group is now rushing out a new live Christmas CD Christmas Present with an updated take of the track." There's a video of the track as well, on youtube.