MUST BE SANTA — IN THE HEART

Bob Dylan’s Christmas In the Heart, track by track . . .

The raucous arrangement here is led by David Hidalgo, of Los Lobos, on accordion.  His Tex-Mex style comes full circle, back to the polkas played in south-Texas German communities which morphed into the Latin-inflected border music of today.

It’s all part of the delirious free-fall through American music that Dylan takes on Christmas In the Heart, into a place where there are no borders between styles, genres, periods.  No borders, either, between high-brow and low-brow taste, deeply religious and secularized Christmas music, fun and faith.  In short, this is a journey into culture as it’s actually experienced, a jumble of modes and moods and images that somehow adds up to Christmas in America.  Dylan is down on his knees at one moment, up on his feet dancing at another.  This is not chaos — it’s life.

He’s dancing on this song, proving that joy to the world doesn’t have to be delivered on an organ in a church, or in a choirboy’s voice.  Further commentary would be useless — you need to get up off the couch and dance to this one.

As the wacky video of the song suggests, it’s one way of shooing the Devil and all his works out the window.

Back to the Christmas In the Heart track list page.

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