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Blue Christmas Christmas Song

Blue Christmas

Year: 1948

Written By: Billy Hayes, Jay W. Johnson

Although Ernest Tubbs recorded 'Blue Christmas' in 1949 it probably wasn't until Elvis Presley made it his own in 1957 that Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson's melancholy song migrated into public consciousness, where it has stayed there ever since. In the intervening time there has been upward of 60 recorded versions with some of the recordings giving Elvis a good run for his money. Country legends Jim Reeves and Johnny Cash offered up wonderful versions in 1963 for their holiday classic's 'Twelve Songs of Christmas' and 'The Christmas Spirit' but it is difficult to look beyond Brian Wilson's superb solo effort from the 1964 'The Beach Boys Christmas Album' which was bedecked in subtle but utterly engaging arrangements. It is a marked departure from the Beach Boys usual full-on harmonious sound but that doesn't make it any less appealing. In fact it sounds like an altogether brilliant decision to spice up this lonely song with Wilson's famous tones. Dean Martin also pulled out all the stops for his 1966 self-titled Christmas album, giving the song a lightness of touch that it is often missing.

'Blue Christmas' has had an unusually high appearance rate in the indie world, which may not surprise those who regard indie bands as a mopey lot. But, in most cases these versions are excellent. Pick of the bunch probably goes to slowcore champions Low who included 'Blue Christmas' on their exalted release 'Christmas'. Coner Oberst of Bright Eyes fame also recorded a full festive release in 2002 called 'A Christmas Album' which included a slightly less blue 'Blue Christmas'. Special mention must go to First Aid Kit's 2008 'Blue Christmas' which for once twinned a pair of female vocalists with beautifully rendered results.


Blue Christmas Lyrics

I'll have a Blue Christmas without you
I'll be so blue just thinking about you
Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree
Won't be the same dear, if you're not here with me

And when those blue snowflakes start falling
That's when those blue memories start calling
You'll be doin' all right, with your Christmas of white
But I'll have a blue, blue blue blue Christmas

(Instrumental Break)

You'll be doin' all right, with your Christmas of white,
But I'll have a blue, blue Christmas