The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The 12 Discs of Christmas 2008 #2



Have Reindeer, Will Travel
(from Johnny Mathis's Sounds of Christmas; Mercury SR 60837, 1963)


Today's 12 Discs of Christmas entry is a bit of a rarity from Johnny Mathis, during a brief sojourn he took on Mercury Records, away from his usual home at Columbia, in the early-to-mid '60s. To my knowledge, Have Reindeer, Will Travel hasn't shown up on CD yet although other tunes from his 1963 Mercury LP Sounds of Christmas have (it can be hard to tell which ones, Mathis has recorded a lot of Christmas music over the years, which has been issued and reissued in a number of different forms). My copy is taken from a Mercury 7", the flipside of The Little Drummer Boy (which has to be one of my least favourite Christmas songs, in any rendition).

Maybe this particular song hasn't seen the light of day again because of its comparison of Santa Claus to NASA celebrities Alan B. Shepard and John Glenn. That may date the song in the minds of some, but just increases its charm as far as I'm concerned.

3 comments :

Timmy said...

Nice, thanx....

swac said...

Glad you liked it!

Presumably, these would make for a fun mix disc once they're all posted...or at least serve to augment your own holiday compilation.

Miss Sherlock said...

Hi swac: Would love to hear the flip side for this Christmas. Thanks.