24 December 2019 22:34
Twas the night before Christmas and Santa was on the job, not a creature was stirring except for Saint Bob. We're on the cust of Christmas day which can mean only one thing, we're dipping back into the Far Out Magazine Vault to dig out some classic festive material delivered to you courtesy of the great Bob Dylan himself. In 2006, as part of a collaboration with XM Satellite Radio, Dylan launched his Theme Time Radio Hour which consisted of 50 themed shows which ran for three years between 2006 and 2009. With one episode a week, Dylan tackled everything from drinking, to summer, to dogs, the bible, guns, Halloween and more. On December 20th, 2006, Dylan released episode 34 of his radio show which happened to be a two-hour Christmas and New Year special. "Well it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas," Dylan said while introducing his show.
"And for the next couple of hours, it's going to sound like Christmas too. This is the special yuletide extravaganza edition of TTRH, chock full of Christmas themes, holiday dreams, and jingle bell schemes." After playing a series of festive tracks from the likes of Charles Brown, The Sonics, Nancy Wilson and more, Dylan stepped up to deliver a Christmas performance of his own with a rendition of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas'. "Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, The poem, A Visit from St. Nicholas, was published anonymously in 1823 and later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, who claimed authorship in 1837. The work, which has been credited as being largely responsible for some of the earliest conceptions of Santa Claus, has been called "arguably the best-known verses ever written by an American." Dylan, a man with his own writing accolades etched into the history of literature, put his own unique spin on the poem as part of his reading and did so in the typical flair we've come to expect. Enjoy the reading, below.
A Visit from St. Nicholas, By Clement Clarke Moore 'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there; The children were nestled all snug in their beds; While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap, When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, Gave a lustre of midday to objects below, But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer, With a little old driver so lively and quick, I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: "Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen! To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! dash away all!" As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky; So up to the housetop the coursers they flew With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too— And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound. He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack. His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow; The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath; He had a broad face and a little round belly That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly. He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; A wink of his eye and a twist of his head Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread; He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose; He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight— "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!" A Holiday Romp Through Midtown 'Twas the night before Christmas and all down Broadway Not a theater was stirring, with neither musical nor play The costumes were hung by the ghostlights with care Prepped for holiday audiences who soon would be there. With finales all sung, and tap dances all tapped The stars settled in for a long winter's nap The ensembles were nestled, all snug in their beds While visions of Tony Awards danced in their heads. When below the marquees there arose such a clatter The whole district awoke to see what was the matter. Away to the fire escapes, they leaped in a flash Met with a scene so bizarre, it could have been lifted from Smash. Lion Kings. Gods, French showgirls with feathers, Rock stars and cowboys and ghosts from the Nethers. Witches and wizards, Phantoms and Fates Hit the streets to party with their best Broadway mates. Bill flew in from Chicago with his murderous ladies So did all the denizens of a town they call Hades. Our dear Evan Hansen, so awkward and spastic Was invited to sit with mean girls they call Plastic. Across the way, buds Damian and Janis Found friends in the teens who sing songs by Alanis. While the sisters from Frozen stopped by for a selfie With those magical Ozians, Glinda and Elphie. Aladdin brought Jasmine, Beetlejuice scared folks silly And Oklahomans served crock pots of holiday chili. Poor Tom from Betrayal who still has the blues Hung with the company of Company (who brought all the booze) When it's time for dessert to Waitress they fly For a big slice of Jenna's sweet holiday pie. And as they all munch on flavors to savor Mormons tell of the birth of their Lord and Savior. (And if all this Christmas gets some folks quite skittish They can light the menorah at Fiddler - in Yiddish) Flying in from uptown, no it's not Santa It's everyone's favorite genius: Lin-Manuel Miranda He descended tonight from the Heights, up above For some holiday improv with Freestyle Love. Genie conjures up goodies to fill every stocking While Temptations and Tina keep the party rocking To skip Christmas tradition would be quite a pity So The Rockettes brought their kick line from Radio City And as these legends put on a great show Elsa tops it all off with some holiday snow. When what to their wondering eyes should appear But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer! Nope, not Santa this time. "Merry Christmas, dear Broadway!" they called from their ride. "Good to see you all out, enjoying Yuletide! To bring Broadway cheer to folks of every age!" "Christmas is not unlike theatre, you see They both promote joy, love, and empathy They bring laughter and wisdom! Now let's get out there and do them some good!" On Wilson! Hit the tops of the rafters! Hit the very back wall! And Tiny Tim shouted, "Bless us, everyone!" As they all left, they heard a voice crow: "Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good show!"