I was driving home form upstate just an hour ago listening too Christmas music on some upstate station, waiting for my favorite It’s a Holly Jolly Christmas. I just love when Burl Ives makes alcoholism sound so wholesome when he sings “have a cup of cheer!”
A cup of cheer? When I was a kid I thought he was referring to dish washing detergent. Now I realize he’s referring to getting shitfaced at a family gathering and messing with young female relatives who happened to wander beneath a plant hanging from the ceiling. A cup of cheer? How many heroin addicts tell their friends to “have a hit of cheer.” Or crackheads singing have a line of cheer.
Anyway, a lovely song came on the radio and I couldn’t quite place the voice. Male smooth. Fiftyish. Oh my god it was Barry Manilow singing something about the joy of seeing his savior face to face! Well I have to say it just didn’t work. I didn’t believe it. I mean, no matter now much Barry tried to convince me how happy he would be to meet the King of Kings — ehh!
The only King Barry Manilow ever met was King Kullen when he went shopping for matzo. So I said to myself, that has to be the worse choice of singers for that particular song. But then I remembered Barbra Streisand singing Little Drummer Boy on her Christmas album, wondering what she might bring to the Christ child and I changed my mind.
First of all Barbra is so cheap she’d go empty handed to a baby shower. So was Barbra the worse Jewish singer of Christmas Carols? I believe so, Unless perhaps Neil Diamond made a Christmas album. Overall I’d say the only thing worse that Neil Diamond singing Christmas carols in his raspy Jewish growl would be Golda Meir singing Little Star of Bethlehem.
In addition, I want to say the only thing stranger than a Jew singing Christmas carols is a Jew writing them. I know. I know. Irving Berlin made millions off White Christmas and that was a whole lot of Menorahs.