Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Danny Kaye's Christmas Album
He recorded at least 10 holiday tracks, as singles and for other albums, that could be repackaged to fill a CD—“A Merry Christmas at Grandmother’s House (Over the River and Through the Woods)” and the kiddie-voiced “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” with the Andrews Sisters, the novelty songs “Santa Claus Looks Like My Daddy” and “Eat Eat Eat,” “Snow” and “White Christmas” with his White Christmas co-stars, a jazzy “Jingle Bells” for the Five Pennies soundtrack, and holiday standards “Deck the Halls,” “Oh Come All Ye Faithful,” and “The First Noel.”
But there are also at least a half-dozen more numbers that could be used, now that Danny’s daughter, Dena, has shown a willingness to crack open the vault that for decades has held hostage his radio shows, TV series and specials. “Jingle Journey,” “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” “Waltz Around the Christmas Tree,” “We Won’t Be in England for Christmas,” and “Some Children See Him” could all be pulled off the soundtracks of his variety series’ annual Christmas shows to be used on a CD.
Over the years, Danny’s wife, Sylvia Fine, would write well over 100 songs for her husband to perform. Ironically, she didn’t write any of these 16 holiday songs. The one Sylvia Fine Christmas song I could find a lyric sheet for Danny never recorded. It’s a short ditty called “Why, Mommy?”:
It’s a funny thing about Santy Claus –
It suddenly just came to me –
I saw him in all the department stores
And he never looked the same to me.
In Macy’s he was tall and fat,
In Gimbel’s he was short and flat,
At Rogers Peet he was red as a beet,
At Lord & Taylor he looked much paler;
At F.A.O. Schwartz his nose had warts,
Next day at Sears – they disappears;
Then came an even worse dilemma:
Two of him were at Hammacher Schlemmer.
Poor old Santy Claus, alack and alas,
How does he know when it’s him in the looking glass?
® Sylvia Fine
Maybe we’ll see a “Christmas with Danny Kaye” CD released in time for next Christmas. It just won’t include “Why, Mommy?”