HO HO WHO: Ronnie Hawkins, a.k.a. “The Hawk,” the Arkansas-born rockabilly musician who went on to become one of Canada’s biggest rock stars. For the past several years, he’s been perfecting a Claus aesthetic with long white hair and a full snowy beard.
O LITTLE BAND OF BETHLEHEM: Hawkins adds some country affectation to this 1977 song written by Robbie Robertson of The Band. The Band’s version includes its signature organ interludes but on that track, it sounds dirge-like and gloomy. The twang of guitars and faster tempo brighten Hawkins’ version and more appropriately fit a song with cheesy lyrics like “Come down to the manger, see the little stranger.”
MELCHIOR, CASPAR, BALTHAZAR: Robertson’s original lyrics reference “the old wise men journey from the east,” but Hawkins switches it up, calling out four wise men. While no one’s confirmed exactly how many kings visited Jesus in the days after his birth, it’s commonly known he received three gifts. If a fourth wise guy did show up, what did he bring?
CHEER FACTOR: 7/10. If you’re planning to spend part of your holiday in Calgary, this is your ideal soundtrack, since it’s produced by Canadian soft-rock god Gordon Lightfoot. It also keeps Christ in Christmas, so play it for your red cup-protesting relatives to soothe their souls.