11 December, 2010

Advent Calendar in Song: Christmas in Capetown

This track from Randy Newman's 1983 album Trouble in Paradise may be dated in the same way that the Specials AKA's Free Nelson Mandela is (which when I hear it now sounds like an advert for a product that comes with a free Nelson Mandela, or maybe its a buy one get one). Its probing of racial prejudice seems more throwaway than his much better earlier track in this vein Rednecks, but he gets to drop the N bomb again, ironically again, anyway. It does undermine the Christmas song in general even if the satire is untimely, and I enjoy it as much in that vein as when I first heard it.

Given this, it's tempting to plump instead for his successful sideswipe at religion, God's Song (That's Why I Love Mankind), covered notably by Etta James. She interprets the lord's deep and loving sarcasm as a blistering soulful put-down.

God's Song - Etta James / Randy Newman

Man, I have to add this one to my Xmas playlist! But for some funky Christmas, we can't beat James Brown:

Santa Claus, Go Straight to the Ghetto - James Brown

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