Band – Christmas Must Be Tonight

Robbie Robertson’s Christmas gift to his new son Sebastian during the sessions for Northern Lights-Southern Cross album it never became a seasonal favorite but it should have been. It wasn’t released until the bands Islands album in 1977.

Rick Danko sings this song from a Shepherds point of view. It’s pure and down to earth like only the Band can be. No sleigh bells or other Christmas trappings…just pure music. Maybe that is the reason it never got picked up.

Robbie Robertson re-recorded this song after he left the group. And he did for the soundtrack of Bill Murray’s Scrooged. That version is very good but I still like The Bands version much more…it’s hard to beat Rick Danko.

Christmas Must Be Tonight

Come down to the manger, see the little stranger
Wrapped in swaddling clothes, the prince of peace
Wheels start turning, torches start burning
And the old wise men journey from the East

How a little baby boy bring the people so much joy
Son of a carpenter, Mary carried the light
This must be Christmas, must be tonight

A shepherd on a hillside, where over my flock I bide
Oh a cold winter night a band of angels sing
In a dream I heard a voice saying “fear not, come rejoice
It’s the end of the beginning, praise the new born king”

I saw it with my own eyes, written up in the skies
But why a simple herdsmen such as I
And then it came to pass, he was born at last
Right below the star that shines on high

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

28 thoughts on “Band – Christmas Must Be Tonight”

  1. Very nice! I’ve never heard it before which is unfortunate. Quite good as a song, and as a message too.Weird since I came from Canada – in general, The Band got a lot of airplay up there due to their roots.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know right? I missed it on that album. It’s good song…tomorrow…a Christmas song from………..Big Star….yes Big Star…the most religious one I’ve had.


    1. The Big Star song…I’m doing tomorrow…I guess it’s how you take it. But for being non religious as he was…you can make a case of The Ballad of El Goodo being on the spiritual side.
      I read where people argue over whether Jesus Christ….the song is sarcastic or not…or somewhere in between.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This and Redding’s ‘Merry Christmas Baby’ are my go to Xmass songs. The Bands is just so cool. Thinking of those little rough around the edges individuals singing makes it better. They capture a spirit for sure.
    (I’m caught up Max)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh man Merry Christmas Baby is awesome. I first heard it by Bruce and he did a great job…I love Otis’s of course.
      This one by the Band I just found not long ago.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know…I don’t know how I missed it on Islands before. Only few I can listen to…I found The Band and also Big Star did one…neither sounds like a Christmas song.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s such a pure song…a joy but it will never be a regular for people because of the lack of Christmas effects. Glad you liked it Christian!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Go ahead…I just watched half of Scrooged the other night and don’t remember it. Hell I just found a Big Star Christmas song also…it’s coming tomorrow….the rest until Christmas day is repeat programming lol.

      I like this though…steal away!


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