The 12 Discs of Christmas 2012 #11
The Only Thing I Want for Christmas (Is Just to Keep the Things That I've Got)
(Columbia 35325; 1939)
Eddie Cantor lost a bundle in the Wall Street Crash of 1929, and proceeded to make jokes about it for the rest of his career, even writing a couple of books on the subject, Caught Short!: A Saga of Wailing Wall Street in 1929 and Yoo Hoo, Prosperity!: The Eddie Cantor Five-Year Plan a couple of years later.
This recording from 1939 plays up that aspect of his act a bit, while sending the message that you should be grateful for what you have (with a subtle nod to the troubles happening overseas in Europe, "but we still have peace over here. In this country we really have Christmas 365 days each year."). Two years later, things would become very different.
A few footnotes about this song, among its three co-writers, Vick Knight was Cantor's radio producer, lyricist Johnny Lange was probably best known for penning Mule Train and Clancy Lowered the Boom a decade later, plus another Christmas tune, Santa Claus Is Riding the Trail (and fathering actress Hope Lange). Instrumental backing is by Jerry Joyce and His Orchestra, featuring a drummer named Lindley Jones, known to his friends as Spike.