Bruce Springsteen – Merry Christmas Baby

There have been many versions of this song but this one is the one I listen to the most. The dynamics in this version are great.

This Dec 31st, 1980 performance of Merry Christmas Baby was recorded at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, NY, during The River Tour. The song was played in its E Street Band arrangement. It was released in November 1986 as the B-side to WAR. This was the lead single from the Live/1975-85 box set.

Although Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley covered “Merry Christmas Baby” before Bruce did, it sounds like he based his version on Otis Redding’s 1968 version.

Lou Baxter wrote this song but it was called “Merry Christmas Blues” and Charles Brown took it home to work it out. He rewrote it with the new title. Baxter wanted Charles Brown to record it the way Charles rewrote it and it became a big hit with Brown singing with Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers.

Then the music business struck again…The company promised Charles he would have a co-writer credit but of course, it didn’t happen and Johnny Moore had his name listed on the song instead. Charles never got paid royalties for the song. It was originally released in 1947 and peaked at #3 in the Charts.

Moore died, largely unknown, in the 1960s. Brown, meanwhile, became renowned as a pioneer of the laid-back, piano-driven style of West Coast blues and was recognized as an early influence on Ray Charles; he had a renaissance in the 1990s, touring with Bonnie Raitt.

Charles Brown was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 but died before the induction.

It was also on a compilation album A Very Special Christmas of various artists released in 1987.

Merry Christmas Baby

Bring it down, band!

Now, I just came here tonight to say…
I just wanna say…
I just wanna say…

Merry Christmas baby, you surely treat me nice
Come on, merry Christmas baby, you surely treat me nice
I feel just like I’m living, living in paradise

Now listen
Now you see, I feel real good tonight
And I got music on the radio
And I feel real good tonight
And I got music on the radio
And the boys in the band are playing pretty good!
Now, I feel just like I wanna kiss you
Underneath my mistletoe

But now listen
Santa came down chimney, half past three
With lots of nice little presents for my baby and me
Merry Christmas baby, you surely treat me nice
And I feel like I’m living, just living in paradise
Come on boys!

Well now, Santa came down chimney, half past three
With lots of nice little presents for my baby and me
Merry Christmas baby, you surely treat me nice
I feel like I’m living, I’m living in paradise

And I just came down to say
Merry Christmas baby
I just wanna say, merry Christmas baby
I just wanna say, merry Christmas baby
I just wanna say, merry Christmas baby
And happy New Year, too!
Oh yeah!
Play it boys, go!
Merry Christmas
Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-happy New Year
Ohhhh!

Oh yeah!
Merry Christmas baby!

Author: Badfinger (Max)

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

24 thoughts on “Bruce Springsteen – Merry Christmas Baby”

  1. I kind of like his ‘Santa claus is coming to town’ a little more, but this is an OK holiday song. Curiously, I’ve heard it while out and about maybe four times this year and haven’t heard ‘Santa claus…’, which is quite unusual compared to most Decembers. I used to have that Very Special Christmas CD, quite enjoyed it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yea usually you don’t hear this one much at all…and the other one all of the time. That is probably the reason I started to like this one more.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love Chuck Berrys woozy little version of this song, so laid back you can almost see the half dozen empty ‘egg nog’ glasses and smell the Christmas ‘cigar’ smoke.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I approve of Bruce’s rendition of this tune! 🙂 It’s got a nice Stax vibe. I also feel “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” has been overexposed – it’s good to know the Boss also knows some other Christmas songs! 🙂

    What is unfortunate is the tune’s background story. It looks like Charles Brown never received the songwriting credit and the associated royalties he deserved. The music business can be so rotten!

    Liked by 1 person

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