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 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.

20 thoughts on “Band – Christmas Must Be Tonight”

  1. a very nice one I’m not familiar with. Fits The Band very well. I’m surprised it didn’t get some airplay when I was growing up, since it would be CanCon (Canadian content, which radio in Canada is made to play a certain percentage of)

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It is a good one. I will watch it next week as we were talking about watching a couple of Xmas movies next week.
        Sue suggested Christmas With The Kranks
        I suggested Die Hard lol

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds soooo The Band. Perhaps the fact that it is NOT laden down with ‘ring-a-ding dings’ and ‘yo ho ho’s’ at the end of every line makes the general public miss the fact that it is a Christmas song.
    Sometimes the (Christ)masses need to be whacked upside the head with a snow shovel to actually hear a Christmas song?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s one that I can still enjoy. I like the Otis/Bruce and an ELP cut also but on the most part I get friendly fire here and there. Not much. On that note always like chatting music and stuff Max. Enjoy family etc over the holidays. I know you will.

        Liked by 1 person

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