Saturday, December 14, 2019

Christmas at Denny's

What's the saddest Christmas song ever written? There are kitschy weepers like Christmas Shoes and Faith in Santa. Country big shots like Johnny Cash singing Ringing the Bells For Jim, Loretta Lynn's Christmas Without Daddy and Santa Can't Stay by Dwight Yoakam. I've made a playlist (see HERE), including Prince, John Prine and A Girl Called Eddy's version of The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot.

While searching for sad Christmas songs, I bumped onto 'Christmas at Denny's' by Randy Stonehill. And I think this makes a very good candidate for the title 'Saddest Christmas Song Ever'. If you're unfamiliar with 'family restaurant chain' Denny's, you'll get a pretty good picture of just how sad a place it is during Christmas. Unlike the weepers mentioned earlier, Stonehills song is dramatic and sentimental, but as a seasoned storytelling artist (he's been active since the early 70s, up there with James Taylor) he keeps the balance just right. With lines like: 'and I'm dreaming about/a silent night/holy night/ when things were alrightand I'm dreaming about/how my life could have been/if only, if only, if only', the songs plays all the right heartstrings and glandula.

I saw just a few covers, and this great rendition. This comment below the video, 'I've come here every year around Christmas to listen to you sing this. I've done this for many years now actually & it's become one of my holiday traditions, I guess. You do a fabulous job on this song and sound really good. I realize this video is 10 years old but I'm hoping you still perform this song as you just do it so well', is very relatable.

Love to hear what your favourite Christmas weepers are.


Spirito said...

Christmas Eve Can Kill You - Everly Brothers

Der Bingle said...

"The Cat Carol", performed by Meryn Cadell.

Anonymous said...

Christmas On Times Square - Tom Pacheco (AKA Jimmy The Fiddler)
Christmas In Paradise - Mary Gauthier
I Bought You A Plastic Star For Your Aluminum Tree - Michael Franks
Christmas At The Jersey Lilly Lounge - Loy Blanton
1913 Massacre - Woody Guthrie (Also a version by his son Arlo)
Saint Francis Fire - Idgy Vaughn
Johnny Ace Christmas - Squirrel Nut Zippers
Christmas Morning Blues - Victoria Spivey
Christmas Blues - Dean Martin
Gift Of The Blues - Loretta Lynn
Blue Christmas Lights - Buck Owens
After The Holidays - Margaret Whiting
Little Girl Blue/Good King Wenceslas - Nina Simone
25th Of December - Karla Bonoff
25th December - Everything But The Girl
Christmas Morning - Lyle Lovett
Angel Hair - Sam Baker