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Any Major Santa Claus

December 16th, 2021 Leave a comment Go to comments

A few years ago I put up a mix of traditional Christmas carols as sung by pop artists. In those songs, obviously, the birth of Jesus was at the centre. But for many people, the person at the centre of Christmas is Santa Claus, so here’s a mix of songs about the old reindeer-exploiting face of rampant commercialism. As far as I can tell, none of these songs have featured in previous Any Major Christmas mixes (at least I tried my best to make it so).

Santa Claus, as most people know, is based on the Christian 4th-century Saint Nicholas of Myrna, who was a bishop in Asia Minor, or modern-day Turkey. Which means that in the US, UK and Western Europe, there are people who’d prefer to deny the original Santa entry into their country. The Santa of this mix, of course, has special access everywhere, including chimneys, in which he might get stuck from time to time, as Ella Fitzgerald explains.

We also know from The Sensational Little Shana Lynette, as the 10-year-old Kansas kid was billed in 1983, that Santa was in danger of falling victim to international terrorism at the hands of the dastardly Soviets, or “Mr Russian”, as Shana politely says in her Cold War propaganda song. I suspect that agent Father Frost, who had replaced Santa Claus in the festive celebrations in the USSR, would have loved to get a shot at his capitalist rival.

Similar Zeitgeist silliness found expression in other seasonal songs. In 1957, Bobby Helms had “Captain Santa Claus” and his reindeers going on space patrol in a track that served as the b-side to his X-Mas hit, Jingle Bell Rock. And George Jones, still to grow into his sonorous voice and macho persona, involves Santa in the twist craze of the early 1960s.

Santa is at times something of a sex symbol, in ways most overweight and white-haired men of a certain age are not. We had Eartha Kitt trying to seduce the old feller in Santa Baby on the Any Major Gals’ Christmas mix last week. Here we up the ante by having Mae West apply her seductive wiles to ole Nick. And since West was 73 when she issued her version in 1966, it is rather more age-appropriate than that by Kitt, who was 26 when she tried to get Santa and his sack into the sack. Not that one should judge inter-generational sexual attraction between consenting adults, of course.

Most famously, Santa Claus was kissing Mommy underneath the mistletoe. Of course — and here I issue a spoiler alert for the uninitiated — it wasn’t really Santa whose tongue was roaming in Mom’s mouth (and here I wish to introduce you to the great German concept of “Kopfkino”). I’m particularly pleased that on this mix we have John Prine sing this song, giving proof to the fact that Prine could make even the most dreadful songs sound entertaining.

An even more unlikely candidate for the performance of trivial X-Mas songs is Bob Dylan, yet here he is singing Here Comes Santa Claus (which is not a Santa sex songs. Neither is Back Door Santa, nor Santa Claus Got Stuck In My Chimney). The original performer of that song — which featured on Any Major Christmas Originals — was Gene Autry. The “Singing Cowboy” is also represented on this mix, with When Santa Claus Gets Your Letter, the b-side to the original release of Here Comes Santa Claus.

As ever, this mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R, includes home-ho-ho-hoed covers, and the above text in an illustrated PDF. PW in comments, and links to previous Christmas mixes below.

Next week I’ll post a mix of New Year’s songs, and before New Year’s Eve the traditional disco mix. If I don’t see you before Christmas, let me wish you a very merry, peaceful and healthy Christmas!

1. The Weather Girls – Dear Santa (Bring Me A Man This Christmas) (1983)
2. Bob Dylan – Here Comes Santa Claus (2009)
3. John Prine – I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (1993)
4. The Beach Boys – Little Saint Nick (1964)
5. Elvis Presley – Santa Claus Is Back In Town (1957)
6. Bob Seger & The Last Heard – Sock It To Me Santa (1966)
7. James Brown – Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto (1968)
8. Louis Jordan – Santa Claus, Santa Claus (1968)
9. Lou Rawls – Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town (1967)
10. Mae West – Santa Baby (1966)
11. Ella Fitzgerald – Santa Claus Got Stuck In My Chimney (1950)
12. Nat ‘King’ Cole – The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot (1953)
13. The Mills Brothers – You Don’t Have To Be A Santa Claus (1955)
14. Fats Domino – I Told Santa Claus (1993)
15. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – Is Zat You Santa Claus (2004)
16. Albert King – Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin’ (1974)
17. The Holmes Brothers – Back Door Santa (2003)
18. Sufjan Stevens – Get Behind Me, Santa! (2006)
19. Sia – My Old Santa Claus (2018)
20. Dwight Yoakam – Santa Can’t Stay (2015)
21. Homer & Jethro – Santa’s Movin’ On (1956)
22. Jim Reeves – Señor Santa Claus (1963)
23. Gene Autry – When Santa Claus Gets Your Letter (1950)
24. George Jones & The Jones Boys – My Mom And Santa Claus (Twistin’ Santa Claus) (1962)
25. Bobby Helms – Captain Santa Claus (And His Reindeer Space Patrol) (1957)
26. The Di Mara Sisters – Santa’s Italian Wife (1971)
27. Shana Lynette – Mister Russian, Please Don’t Shoot Down Santa’s Sleigh (1983)

GET IT! or HERE!

More Christmas Mixes
Any Major Christmas Favourites
Any Major 1980s Christmas
Any Major 1970s Christmas
Any Major 1960s Christmas
Any Major 1950s Christmas
Any Major 1940s Christmas
Christmas Mix, Not For Mother
Any Major X-Mas Mix
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Pop Vol. 2

The Originals: Christmas Edition
Any Major Christmas Carols (in pop)
Any Major Christmas Bells
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Smooth Christmas Vol. 3
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 1
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 2
Any Major Christmas Soul Vol. 3
Any Major Doo Wop Christmas
Any Major Rhythm & Blues Christmas
Any Major X-Mas Blues
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 1
Any Major Country Christmas Vol. 2
Any Major Acoustic Christmas
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 1
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 2
Christmas In Black & White Vol. 3
Any Major Christmas ABC
Any Major Gals’ Christmas
Song Swarm: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

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  1. amdwhah
    December 16th, 2021 at 10:44 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. Bruce McKee
    December 23rd, 2021 at 05:33 | #2

    Merry Christmas and a big thank you for all of your comps throughout the year.
    You always seem to come up with something new and interesting.
    Cheers

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