Christmas for Halloween
Peter Stone Brown on the greatest Christmas album ever recorded.
There are many ways to view or react Bob Dylan’s decision to record a Christmas album, and probably all of them make sense. I always figured he’d do one eventually and when the album was announced several weeks ago, my initial reaction was, why now? I would’ve expected it about 28 years ago, but after 46 years of following Dylan, I learned long ago that predicting anything he’s going to do is futile.
Shortly after the announcement of the album, it was also announced the album, Christmas In The Heart, would be a benefit, Dylan would be donating all royalties present and future to three organizations that combat world hunger, Feeding America in the United States; Crisis, in Great Britain; and the United Nations’ World Hunger Program.
It’s important to remember that just about every artist with a recording contract, and of many musical genres has recorded a Christmas album at some point, and if they haven’t done a Christmas album, they’ve done a Christmas song of some kind, and this includes musicians as diverse as Joan Baez, John Fahey and Asleep At The Wheel. It’s certainly a grand American (if not worldwide) pop music tradition. And Bob Dylan, despite whatever mantels have been hung on him, has increasingly demonstrated he’s an artist in the great American tradition.