Well, folks, every year, we come across a song or two that we imagine will be truly, truly terrible — and we’re surprised to find out that they’re actually not half-bad. Take a trip with us down south and see if you agree!
Lynyrd Skynyrd — Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin’ (download)
Jason: Ungh! OOOOH! ROCK!
Jeff: This is unusual for a Mellowmas track.
Jason: You mean that it actually has some balls behind it?
Jeff: It sounds…hairy. Smells like Natural Light.
Jason: Or Milwaukee’s Best.
Jeff: Santa Claus wants some lovin’! It’s time for Santa to make his midnight greet!
Jason: Say it again! Santa Claus wants some lovin’!
Jeff: Oh, wait, that’s “creep.” As in, “this song is creeping me the fuck out.”
“Now I been trying to fix this old bicycle
Can’t seem to find my pliers
Halfway watchin’ Mama for that sleep in her eyes cause
Santa Claus wants some lovin’.”
Does that mean what I think it means?
Jason: I’m afraid so.
Jeff: Is he waiting for her to fall asleep?
Jason: I think so. I don’t know what it has to do with the old bicycle though.
Jeff: Or the pliers. shudder
“I don’t want no turkey
Don’t care about no cake
I want you to come here Mama ‘fore the children wake cause
Santa Claus wants some lovin’.”
I want to vomit.
Jason: See, this is a case where I think the music is just fine, but the lyrics are terrible.
Jeff: Shit, for all I know, this music is from another Skynyrd song.
Jason: I mean, the music isn’t great by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s not horrible.
Jeff: “Come make your Papa happy.” Spoken like a true man of the south!
Jason: Oh, no. That’s awful.
Jeff: “Daddy, get off me, you’re crushin’ my cigarettes!”
Jason: Hey, do you think Santa Claus wants some lovin’? Because they haven’t mentioned it about 300 times.
Jeff: Ssshh. I’m enjoying the solos. I’m finally having some fun this Mellowmas.
Jason: This isn’t going to go on until tomorrow like “Freebird,” is it?
Jeff: And they fucking faded it out! Assholes! Come back here and make your papa happy, dammit!
Jason: They probably faded out because the guitarist was drugged up and didn’t open his eyes for another 10 minutes. They didn’t want to disturb his groove.
Jeff: Or maybe another one of the Skynyrds was on the run from the law.
Jason: Actually, for all we know, that guitarist may still be playing. Maybe they faded it out, mixed it, pressed it and released it, all while he was noodling.
Jeff: Well, I feel unfulfilled. We were just starting to rock a little, and those dicks ruined it. I’ve sat through Al Jarreau, Barry Manilow, and worse.
Jason: Jarreau, Manilow and…Skynyrd. I smell a tour!
Jeff: I smell what happens when you mix together too many brands of toilet cleaner!
Jason: Ha ha ha!
Jeff: Stand back!
Jason: So now what?
Jeff: Well, we’re down South.
Jason: Uh oh. You have something else up your sleeve, I know it.
Jeff: And I’m in the mood for some more guitar.
Jason: Can’t I just send you a Tommy Emmanuel track?
Jeff: I have something caught in my beard.
Jason: Is it yesterday’s yogurt?
Jeff: Oh, would you look at that? It’s 38 Special!
Jason: slams head on desk
Jeff: Santa Claus needs a second chance, Jason. He knows he was wro-ooooooong, and he wants you back where you belong.
Jason: Great. Now “Second Chance” is in my head.
Jeff: Are you ready to have a wild-eyed Christmas night?
Jason: Does it even matter anymore?
Jeff: Absolutely not.
So listen, before we listen to this song, I want everyone to just sit and stare at the cover artwork for a minute.
Jeff: Do you see that?
I repeat. DO YOU FUCKING SEE THAT?
Jason: I’m trying not to look at it! It makes my stomach feel all funny!
Jeff: What says “Christmas” like eyeballs hanging from a tree?
Jason: Yeah, that cover is almost as creepy as the Lee Greenwood cover.
Jeff: As if it wasn’t weird enough that 38 Special was making a Christmas album in the first place.
Jason: Well, let’s listen to the track. And see if it’s as creepy as the cover.
Jeff: I can only hope.
38 Special — A Wild-Eyed Christmas Night (download)
Jeff: Real drums! It’s a Mellowmas miracle!
Jason: Yeah! “All right, let’s do it!”
Jeff: When you hear that, you know no one’s going to do it.
Jason: Huh. Jeff, this…this isn’t that bad.
Jeff: You know, I think I may have to agree with you. I mean, okay, it’s hokey as hell.
Jason: Yeah, but most Christmas songs are.
Jeff: And there’s nothing Christmasy about it. And they namecheck themselves in the chorus. Which is terrible.
Jason: WHOOOOOOOOOOOO! Wild-eyed Christmas night!
Jeff: But all things considered, this could be much, much worse.
Jason: Well, the lyrics are Christmasy, you gotta give them that. They’re talking about mistletoe and other shit.
Jeff: It…actually sort of rocks.
Jason: I know!
Jeff: Solo! See? This is what I wanted.
Jason: This feels…not right, somehow. Not right for Mellowmas. This is kind of like when we covered Paul Carrack last year. We expected awful, and we got…not-awful.
Jeff: This guitar solo is giving me the strength I need to carry on. It’s also making me want to listen to my Gary Hoey Christmas CDs.
Jason: I love the Gary Hoey Christmas CDs! I mean, it’s probably not an awesome song, but in the context of Mellowmas? It’s pretty fucking great.
Jeff: Yeah, it deserves a Mellowmas Grammy of some kind.
Jason: Well, what the hell? Let’s give it to them.
Jeff: And the award for Song Better Than Its Album Artwork goes to 38 Special’s “A Wild-Eyed Christmas Night”!
Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha ha! And the award for Band Least Likely To Put Out A Christmas Song That’s Not Adult Contemporary goes to 38 Special’s “Wild-Eyed Christmas Night”! And the award for Band Least Likely to be Able to Afford Real Horns and Drums goes to 38 Special’s “Wild Eyed Christmas Night”!
Jeff: YES! I was hoping they’d win that one!
Jason: How did this happen, Jeff? How did 38 Special wind up being Mellowmas heroes?
Jeff: It’s the magic of the season, my friend.
Jason: This is the question that could be asked in Alan O’Day’s Mellowmas song next year.
Jeff: Good idea — let’s ask Alan if he can write that down.
Jason: How awful to have your Mellowmas season rescued by 38 Special.
Jeff: It seems appropriate, somehow.
Jason: I feel wrong thinking, “Oh, thank God, 38 Special! I never dreamed you’d come!”
Jeff: Well, never let it be said that we don’t give Mellowmas credit where it’s due.
Jason: And there you have it, folks. Mellowmas Redeemed: The Story of 38 Special.
Jeff: If there’s one Mellowmas record you need to buy this year, it’s…38 Special’s Wild-Eyed Christmas Night.
Note: There are no Mellowmas records you need to buy this year.
Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha!