And then there is the packaging. I can't tell whether that's an album cover or a Currier & Ives collector's plate. But Dylan leaves no doubt that this is a straight up Christmas outing. I haven't been this astonished since I saw David Bowie singing duets with Bing. And man, that was a jaw-dropper.
It's weird to see Dylan venturing into Perry Como territory. Will he now join the holiday line-up played endlessly on Star 102 and 98.1, two local radio stations that broadcast Christmas music through the entire month of November and December? My kids entreat me to switch back and forth between the two stations when we're riding in the car. They get filled with the Christmas spirit EARLY, God bless 'em, and want to be surrounded by jingling bells and trumpets, on the way to the store, on the way to school. When both stations are playing nothing but commercials, I merrily and triumphantly switch over to the alternative rock station for a breath of fresh air that isn't frosty or chestnutty.
But I would gladly sit through Mannheim Steamroller and George Michael if it meant I could eventually hear Dylan croaking out, "Do you hear what I hear?" over the air. And how fun it would be to point out to my kids, who are mystified by my love of Bob Dylan, that they have yet another opportunity to hear him, in their beloved genre no less.
When I learned that Dylan is donating 100% of the proceeds from this CD to charities that help the homeless and the hungry, the album made sense to me. Sales of the CD in the United States will go to Feeding America. So I will buy this album! And I will revel in hearing "Here comes Santa Claus" and "O Come All Ye Faithful" sung in Dylan's inimitable style.
I am picturing a candlelit scene on Christmas Eve. "Let's hear some Christmas music!" I say, waving the Currier and Ives cover. I pop in the CD , and soon the dulcet tones of Dylan are ringing through the house. Memories my girls will cherish for years to come.
Update: I just checked out Bob Dylan's web site. All the web pages show the young Dylan. Maybe like me, he can't believe he's getting old. Anyway, you can view his music video of "Must be Santa" on the site. The reason to watch: Dylan in a long-hair wig and a Santa hat. Halfway through, the wig is like, blonde. I'm serious. The disappointment: The background singers are drowning out Dylan's voice. I hope the whole CD isn't that way!
Oh, and if this don't beat all: You can now follow Bob Dylan on Twitter. "If you are so inclined."