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Must Be Santa by Bob Dylan

Album: Christmas in the HeartReleased: 2009
  • "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. Dylan told Bill Flanagan: "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.'"

    This song is reportedly 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." Dylan's version intersperses the names of former US presidents into the list of Santa's reindeers: "Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen/Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon/Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen/Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton."
  • The official video for this was directed by Nash Edgerto and features Dylan singing in a gray wig in the midst of a rather raucous Christmas house party.
  • All of the profits from this album went towards Feeding America, Crisis and the World Food Programme. In 2009, Dylan told Bill Flanagan that he had intended to make a Christmas record for sometime: "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." Even though Dylan is Jewish, he told Flanagan he never felt left out at Christmastime: "...it's so worldwide and everybody can relate to it in their own kind of way." Dylan added his ideal Christmas dinner would consist of "Mashed potatoes and gravy, roast turkey and collard greens, turnip greens, biscuit dressing, corn bread and cranberry sauce."
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