U2 – Christmas – Baby Please Come Home

U2 – Christmas – Baby Please Come Home

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) is my all time favorite Christmas song. It was originally recorded by Darlene Love in 1963. It’s now become an annual tradition – she appears each Christmas season on Letterman and performs it. Here’s her first appearance in 1986. And here she is in 2013. It was U2’s 1987 cover that I first connected with, however. I like Darlene Love’s performances – and her vocals are amazing – but there’s something joyful, something triumphant about her renditions. You know her baby is going to come home, or if he isn’t she’s strong enough to manage without him. Plus she’s got an entire orchestral community as an emotional support system in case things don’t work out. It’s just hard to imagine her crying herself to sleep. The U2 version is much different. Sure, the boys have fun with the song, but there’s something much more plaintive in Bono’s vocals. You know he’s not going to get the girl, even though he’s desperate to have her. And it’s the one time of the year that it really matters. You can hear the longing and the heartbreak in his voice. He had a taste of what he wants more than anything else in the world (last year), but that’s all he’s going to get. There’s no return to innocence, no re-creating or re-experiencing the magic. It’s all just nostalgia and pain. Damn – no wonder I love this version so much . . . U2 Performing Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)...

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Robert Earl Keen – Merry Christmas from the Family

Robert Earl Keen – Merry Christmas from the Family

Here’s one that’s always fun to listen to. Robert Earl Keen’s “Merry Christmas from the Family” has become a modern Christmas classic. What’s Christmas without a little family dysfunction? Or a lot? My favorite line: “Fred and Rita drove from Harlingen/I can’t remember how I’m kin to them.” Enjoy!   Merry Christmas from the Family!     Official Robert Earl Keen...

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Otis Redding – Merry Christmas Baby

Otis Redding – Merry Christmas Baby

The first time I saw Otis Redding was at the Monterey Pop Festival – well, the video of it anyway. He held nothing back at Monterey, from the high energy “Shake!” to his cover of the Stones’ “Satisfaction” to his soulful, electrifying performance of “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long.” But in the spirit of Christmas, I’m posting a different Otis Redding song – his famous version of “Merry Christmas Baby.” Enjoy!  ...

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