So, Dylan has a Christmas record coming out this year. I know, huh. Dylan and a Christmas record. That will be interesting. I mean, what does he sing? Can you imagine a barbed-wired, six packs a day rendition of O Holy Night? Not exactly Pavorotti we're dealing with here. Dylan has about a four note range. And even though its all about the interpretation, I cringe to even think about it.
But would he go the other way, away from the high Christmas hymns? I can't imagine Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, or I Saw Mama Kissing Santa Claus. That would scare the kids. Maybe a monotone, I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas or Winter Wonderland.
Maybe it will be a collection of originals. Bob spent 30 minutes writing 20 new Christmas songs. Herod Knows Where You Live, Lost My Shoes in Egypt, Not Hard to be Wise in Bethlehem, That Star Won't Hunt, Holy Ghost Came Callin, Jesus was a Department Store Santa. You know, some sideways take on the story that mixes irony and hope without committing too much in the way of belief. Records them all in one take, no rehearsals. I would definitely buy that record, and even start playing it the day after Thanksgiving.
Hope never reads the story straight off the page. Hope isn't what's at the end of how things might work out anyway. The "new thing" isn't simply the unfolding of the story as we know it, which is why a bit of irreverence, some anachronism, and a little typological playfulness is the way to best communicate hope. Sounds like a Dylan Christmas cd to me.