A 13349 Burl Ives Christmas Album
No production credits
Released on 1968
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
A 13349 cover
[high resolution scan]

K ronomas X.0: HEY HEY HEY, I’M TALKIN’ CHRISTMAS. Four years after his immortal role as Sam the Snowman, Burl Ives tossed off this talkie. If the spoken asides of Elvis bored you, Burl doing it across an entire album should bore you a whole new one. I like the man and his singing voice, which is almost nowhere in attendance on this album. Instead, he chooses to narrate most of these Christmas tales, including the prayer of a young girl, “Happy Birthday Jesus,” which would get my nod for the creepiest Christmas song ever. It’s followed by a short recitation from his childhood, “Oh What A Lucky Boy I Am.” I’ll bet the babysitting gigs just dried up after this album. Even when he sings, the performances are lackluster: “Jingle Bells,” “Ave Maria.” The low rumbling tones and sluggish pace of his voice are better suited to “Thy Rebuke,” an excerpt from Handel’s Messiah that’s about as far away from “Holly Jolly Christmas” as you can get and still be on the same snowglobe. Originally released in 1968, Burl Ives Christmas Album has been re-released over the years as a cheap repackage with different artwork. The Burl Ives/Christmas connection is a strong one, but this is probably the weakest of the bunch. Really, he sounds like he’s ready for the retirement home on “It Came Upon The Midnight Clear” and “Silent Night.” Of minor interest, the album does contain one of the few recordings of “Santa Mouse,” based on the Michael Brown book, in which Santa dresses a little mouse with a tiny beard and suit. Which, now that I think of it, was probably not a healthy sign for Santa, and likely led to the unfortunate “reindeer in a dress” incident that haunted his later years.

TRACK LISTING

  1. IT CAME UPON THE MIDNIGHT CLEAR    3:02
  2. SILENT NIGHT, HOLY NIGHT    3:56
  3. O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM    4:02
  4. O HOLY NIGHT    3:39
  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS (A CHILD'S PRAYER)    3:05
  6. OH WHAT A LUCKY BOY AM I    1:28
  7. JINGLE BELLS    2:10
  8. SANTA MOUSE    2:00
  9. AVE MARIA    3:59
  10. THE CHRISTMAS STORY    1:46
  11. MEDLEY: THY REBUKE (FROM "THE MESSIAH")/BEHOLD    4:02

CREDITS



return to XMAS discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US 1968 Columbia LP CS 9728  
US 1995 Sony Music Special Products CD 64771  
US   Sony Music Special Products CD A 13349 different cover

 

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