Bob Dylan – Must Be Santa

My friend Dave (A Sound Day) asked some of us bloggers to write about a Christmas song that was special to us for Turntable Talk…so I went with Mr. Bob Dylan… who won’t be mistaken as the jolly old guy any time soon.

I would never bet against Bob doing anything. When one of my friends told me at the time that Dylan released a Christmas album…I thought he was kidding. No, he wasn’t…and I liked it when I heard it. This song was based on a German drinking game, with the lyrics taking on a ‘call and answer’ structure… “Who’s got a beard/That’s long and white?/Santa’s got a beard/That’s long and white.”

Must Be Santa” was written by Hal Moore and Bill Fredericks. The song was first released in 1960 by Mitch Miller. In 2009, Bob Dylan covered Brave Combo’s arrangement as part of his holiday album, Christmas in the Heart.

All of the profits from this album went towards Feeding America Crisis, and the World Food Program. In 2009, Dylan told Bill Flanagan that he had intended to make a Christmas record for some time: “Yeah, every so often it has crossed my mind. The idea was first brought to me by Walter Yetnikoff, back when he was President of Columbia Records.”

If you want to know what Dylan considers to be a great Christmas meal… it would consist of “Mashed potatoes and gravy, roast turkey and collard greens, turnip greens, biscuit dressing, cornbread and cranberry sauce.”

Bob Dylan: “This version comes from a band called Brave Combo. Somebody sent their record to us for our radio show [Theme Time Radio Hour]. They’re a regional band out of Texas that takes regular songs and changes the way you think about them. You oughta hear their version of ‘Hey Jude.'”

Bob Dylan – Must Be Santa

Who’s got a beard that’s long and white?
Santa’s got a beard that’s long and white
Who comes around on a special night?
Santa comes around on a special night

Special Night, beard that’s white

Must be Santa
Must be Santa
Must be Santa, Santa Claus

Who wears boots and a suit of red?
Santa wears boots and a suit of red

Who wears a long cap on his head?
Santa wears a long cap on his head

Cap on head, suit that’s red
Special night, beard that’s white

Must be Santa
Must be Santa
Must be Santa, Santa Claus

Who’s got a big red cherry nose?
Santa’s got a big red cherry nose

Who laughs this way: “HO HO HO”?
Santa laughs this way: “HO HO HO”

HO HO HO, cherry nose
Cap on head, suit that’s red
Special night, beard that’s white

Must be Santa
Must be Santa
Must be Santa, Santa Claus

Who very soon will come our way?
Santa very soon will come our way

Eight little reindeer pull his sleigh?
Santa’s little reindeer pull his sleigh

Reindeer sleigh, come our way
HO HO HO, cherry nose
Cap on head, suit that’s red
Special night, beard that’s white

Must be Santa
Must be Santa
Must be Santa, Santa Claus

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen
Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen
Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton

Reindeer sleigh, come our way
HO HO HO, cherry nose
Cap on head, suit that’s red
Special night, beard that’s white

Must be Santa
Must be Santa
Must be Santa, Santa Claus
Must be Santa
Must be Santa
Must be Santa, Santa Claus

Author: Badfinger (Max)

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

14 thoughts on “Bob Dylan – Must Be Santa”

  1. A band out of Dallas called “Vince Vance and the Valliant’s” put out a Christmas song and video back in the 80s called “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” A great tune that’s much better than that screaming Carey thing. Old Bob is pretty funny.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know why I had assumed Dylan wrote this song. The background is fascinating. This is my favorite song about Santa, and I just realised that I haven’t got this or his ‘Little Drummer Boy’ in my collection. Springsteen’s rendition of ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’ isn’t far off. The writing in this song is top notch and Dylan’s brash, almost ‘Basement Tapes’ Carnivale interpretation and delivery is superb.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thanks again for taking part Max, and for bringing this one to light. I’d never heard it before and it seems like quite a few people haven’t. But I like it and was totally surprised how jovial Bob is on the record and in the video.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for inviting me Dave.
      I found a rare Christmas song last night…I was going to write about it but I don’t hear Neil hardly or at all…or maybe I’m missing him…It’s Johnny Cash and Neil Young singing Little Drummer Boy.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Well I wrote it up last night…I’m happy I have a few new ones now I can add to the Christmas list.

        Like

  4. Like that pic of Bob at the top of the post two fisting those two bottles of wine! lol Hammer em down buddy!
    Great move donating all the profits of this album though….

    Like

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