Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Jingle Jammin' IV: Mommy and Santa Claus

Jimmy Boyd started it with the hit song by Tommie Connor, a recording that combined cutesy with a creepy vibe and went to the top of the Billboard chart. Buck Owens improved somewhat on the concept and a whole lot on the music with his rockin' country favorite "Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy." (But George Jones cashed in with "I Saw Mommy Twistin' with Santa Claus," yeesh. Oh, well, he's in great Thumper Jones mode at least.)

Mack Rice (above) went one better with "Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin'" in which daddy does the singin' and the cutesy kids are relegated to bed. (I particularly like the stanza where Dad gets fed up with trying to assemble a bicycle and longs to get it on with Mon before the little cherubs awaken.) His version was as funky as you could get and since then other rockers, funkers, and bluesmen have taken a crack at it, most notably Albert King. (The Christmas Jug Band has a nifty zydeco flavored live version, and alterna-acapella group The Bobs penned a variant from the point of view of Mrs. Claus.)

Akim and Teddy raised the stakes deliriously with "Santa Claus Is a Black Man" which made the racial element in Rice's song explicit. This time the high-pitched child's voice is groovy rather than creepy.

The idea of Santa with a libido, especially an uxuriously yearning Santa, is amusing, but Clarence Carter took the idea further with a Lothario Claus in "Back Door Santa," whose ho-ho-hos are not only lascivious, but perhaps slyly triumphant about his Kringling cuckolding of the hood
("I ain't like old Saint Nick--he don't come but once a year." Hmmm.)

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