Thursday, December 17, 2015

My Musical Advent Calendar

"I Told Santa Claus" /
Fats Domino

Coulda fooled me. This track showed up on the compilation Hot Rod Holiday, which has been a staple of my family's seasonal listening for years. But in fact it wasn't recorded until 1993. I'm guessing (hoping) that Fats had been trotting out this holiday number for years before it was finally recorded.

Bottom line? Fats is tapping into a bounce piano tradition that's as old as the hills, and as rich as we could want it to be.

This song is just this shy of "Merry Christmas Baby," the old sexual innuendo-laden Charles Brown classic. Our singer is humbly addressing Santa Claus, asking for his holiday wish list, and all he's got is -- well, there's this girl...

And yeah, he starts out all hot and heavy: "Oooh wee baby, you sure look good to me / I told Santa Claus I want you under my Christmas tree / I won't need a million dollars, you be enough for me." That road-house piano line pounds away, making everything copasetic.

But it takes him no time at all to specify, "I'm gonna ask you to marry me." And, just to prove his bona fides, he's projecting into the future: "A boy for you / And a ten-pound girl for me." Interesting how he assumes that the mother wants the son, but dad? He's jonesing for the girl child.

Having given birth to a ten-pound girl -- who is an amazing person whom I wouldn't want to have lived without -- I'm totally on board with Fats' agenda.

Let's be real -- this cat is a national treasure, any time of year. I dig that this particular track has a holiday bias, but truly, honestly? Anything Fats does is cool with me.

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