The Sometimes Surprising Christmas Album Catalog
While provoking a bit of buzz, Bob Dylan’s Christmas album is not even close to the most unexpected holiday music offering.
In that esteemed group of unanticipated carol collections are, for example, Twisted Sister’s “Twisted Christmas,” Jethro Tull’s “The Jethro Tull Christmas Album,” “A John Waters Christmas” by various artists, Afroman’s “A Colt 45 Christmas,” and William Hung’s “Hung For The Holidays.”
Formidable as such exemplars may be, the leading contender for the most surprising performer to produce a holiday CD could well be the Jewish Canadian poet, novelist, singer-songwriter, and icon, Leonard Cohen.
The Leonard Cohen Christmas Project
Leonard Cohen’s songs and albums are often the result of long gestations. “I’m Your Man” was an album three years in the making.1 “Hallelujah” alone, Cohen attests, took over two years to complete. “In My Secret Life” required 13 years to progress from conception to release – even with Sharon Robinson helping. 2
Nonetheless, even Cohen’s stalwart fans can be forgiven if they despair over his Christmas compilation, which is now in its 30th year with only one song to show for the effort.
One has to be patient (but if it helps, I’m wiling to donate my art from the Heck Of A Guy MOJO cover proposal that appears atop this post).
Leonard Cohen and Jennifer Warnes – Silent Night
This Leonard Cohen-Jennifer Warnes duet was recorded at the December 15, 1979 Brighton, England concert.3
Update 30 November 2011: The original audio track has been incorporated into the video embedded below.