Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Ho, Ho, Ho (Who'd Be a Turkey at Christmas)

If you thought "Step into Christmas" was slight...well, you should get a load of its B-side; it makes "Step" seem like "Rocket Man" in comparison.

Recorded at the same November 1973 sessions as "Step", and probably after many pints (among other substances) had been consumed, it's a very loose performance featuring silly lyrics that tell the story of a brandy-fueled encounter with Santa Claus, described as the "Bearded Weirdie":

On my roof there's snorting sounds, and bells inside my head
My vision's blurred with colour, and all he sees is red
There's a pair of large sized wellies coming down my flue
And the smell of burning rubber, oh is filling up the room

All sung in speeded-up and slowed-down voices, something like the fan club-only holiday songs the Beatles and especially John Lennon used to cook up. It's set to a lockstep "Bennie and the Jets" type tempo, and was probably a gas to record. To listen to, not so much, although it is hard not to smile once in a while at how goofy they're all being and how much fun they seem to be having.

Guess he got the urge to do holiday recordings out of his system with this and its A-side partner, because to my knowledge Elton never attempted to do another Christmas song, at least during his "classic" years.