Musical Advent Calendar 2013 – December 22

In 1977, The Band released their album Islands.  Seeing as I was nine at the time, I don’t have a lot of memories of this release.  Also, the album was received rather luke-warmly by fans and media.  But, tucked away on this largely forgotten release, is a song that has risen over the years and has become one of my favorite songs to play around Christmas.

“Christmas Must Be Tonight” was recorded a few years earlier, seemingly for The Band’s 1975 release Northern Lights-Southern Cross (a re-release of that album, years later, would actually include an alternate take of the song), but held back until it’s release in 1977.  Because of the somewhat inconsequential reception of Islands, and the fact that it was in no way a holiday album, the song went mostly unnoticed.  But it is fantastic!  It’s a lovely piece of folk-rock balladry about the night Jesus was born and the people associated with that moment in history.  It’s written as a first-hand account from one of the sheppards who “saw it with my own eyes”, and it’s beautiful.

So today, one of my favorite Christmas songs is up for a listen on the Musical Advent Calendar – “Christmas Must Be Tonight” by The Band


~ by themattmorrisshow on December 22, 2013.

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