A Christmas song? Not really. A holiday song? Barely. At least it’s for charity. Let’s let David Byrne himself explain what he’s done here (via his Reasons to Be Cheerful newsletter):
I always wanted to write a holiday song. I wouldn’t call it a Christmas song, as the visitation of Santa (formerly known as St. Nicholas, who mainly did punishing) seems to have evolved to be a more secular consumer moment than a religious or spiritual affair.
I believe the foundation of this music might have been written at the same time as the collaboration I did with St. Vincent a few years ago, but somehow a literal view of the Santa phenomena was what came out. It wasn’t right for Annie and me – the story of a fat man in rather odd attire who breaks into people’s homes and leaves mysterious packages.
I’d worked with Jherek before and enlisted him to arrange and record the “orchestra,” which I wanted to sound sort of old-school creepy. The old song “Teddy Bears Picnic” may have been a reference.
Back then, I thought I’d use the song as a means to raise money for a good cause, but to draw attention to this thing I thought it might need a visual, so I storyboarded a video for the song which eventually ended up getting shelved.
But maybe helping celebrate another year of Reasons To Be Cheerful might be a good reason to resurrect this song, and let the storyboards allow folks to imagine what the video might have been.
Enjoy and thanks for listening/watching