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Questionable Christmas Music: Bob Dylan, "Christmas in the Heart"

You all encouraged me to go ahead with my posts about holiday music that doesn't suck, but I'm actually going to start with something a little more... questionable. You may very well have heard parts of this album. Heck, I heard it at Starbucks the other day. If you haven't, though, prepare yourself, because this is quite possibly the best bad Christmas album I own (or perhaps the worst good one).

This album includes some lovely choral harmonies, well-rounded instrumentals (piano! bells! harp! accordion?), and... Bob Dylan. If you think Dylan's signature gravelly voice seems a little weird paired with such classics as "O Come All You Faithful" or "The First Noel," you're probably right. NPR perhaps put it best in their review: "Dylan does make his slow, deliberate version of 'I'll Be Home For Christmas' sound more like a threat than a promise." It shouldn't work.


But somehow, it does. Don't ask questions, just listen and try not to take it too seriously. If you want flawless vocals, I have an album of those to recommend too, but don't expect to find them here. This is pure Christmas weirdness, designed to make your friends ask "what are you listening to?" and perfect for singing along with as you get tipsy on homemade eggnog.

Of course, I'd be remiss not to mention the best/most terrifying song on the album: "It Must Be Santa." Remember that accordion I mentioned? Here it is.

My sister and I have gotten countless hours of entertainment from "ho ho ho"-ing in the style of Bob Dylan, and I promise you will too.


For some reason, the only place I can find a clip is on some random Russian radio website, but you can go here to listen to parts of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," among others. The album is also on Spotify, if you're into that. It's not exactly a choir of angels, but there are few joys comparable to the sound of Dylan's voice cracking on the first line of "The Christmas Song." And isn't that really what the season is all about?

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