Hey wait–that’s not Santa who’s drunk, it’s Daddy!
The big dog of novelty songs for drunk Xmas daddies is John Denver’s “Please Daddy (Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas).” His angelic voice makes this saccharine slice of cheese barely tolerable. Alan Jackson clones this into a hit for a later generation, adding but a nasal twang. Laurie Leblanc makes it swing, honky tonk like. The Original Five stamp bluegrass all over it, and make it a party. Crossfire makes it lounge rock, just about a 6 on the Elvis meter. Sean Na Na makes it surfer rock, with bongos man. Harry Buttocks and the Hemorrhoids make it punk, but sweetly. Hot Socky make it punk, but nasty.
Smiley Bates slurs his Canadian country music all over “Daddy’s Drinking All Our Christmas.” That’s honky tonk music what’ll give you a hangover. Tommy Hester covers this with a bit more crooning, just as much pain.
A man and a couple chords can strum up a story. Rod Picott even adds some violin and a splash of percussion but keeps his “Dad’s Drunk Again on Christmas” simple and moving. It’s not just a song, it’s the funny horror of living in that household.
Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen bring the sentiment home for me with “Daddy’s Drinking Up Our Christmas.” These down home musicians who smoked every brand of country there was (and hit once with ‘Hot Rod Lincoln’ in ’71) know how to effect every affect out of strings and vocals. Drink it in, cousins. (The Christmas Jug Band have a sadder version. Skip it. John Guliak over enunciates his pop version. Skip it too.)