State Eleven: Maryland


Since all the cool stuff goes on in D.C. or Bawlimore, the Christmas songs go there. Not statewide.
Christmas in Baltimore…Hey, you know it’s gonna be great!” sings Milkshake, a kids’ rock band (nominated for an grammy in that category (did you know that was a thing?). It makes me sing along, but i don’t feel good about myself afterwards. (It’s a lotta D.C. stuff anyway.)
David DeBoy hit big in Charm City with “Crabs for Christmas” nearly three dozen years ago. As to be expected, he milked his media darlinghood into an album–or several. I’s a big fan of his comic Christmas album. DeBoy captures the drawl and the pall of Chesapeakians, all fatalistic and smirking… you know, like that Richard Belzer guy, or that John Waters guy.
“O Little Town of Baltimore” as a play on namesakes is a bit obvious and some death metal dudes (Reigndeer Revolt) (Really? Is that a corporate take on what the kids want, or is it younguns with more talent than creativity?) have chortled out all the lyrics of the 1868 original, with that single word replacement–and a lot of attitude! But DeBoy walks us through his town lyrically, nostalgically, recalling his childhood in a way that doesn’t make ya wanta clap to the rhythm, but remember Christmas the way it ought to be: innocently.


Now, as i canna find a lovely ‘tube for this masterpiece, here are the lyrics (‘sfar as i can discern through the accent):
O Little Town of Baltimore
O little town of Baltimore
How still we see thee lie
On nights like this,
I reminisce
Of Bawlimore things gone by
For in my memory shineth
Traditions all long gone
Like Natty Bo
They’ve left–although
Their spirits still lives on
We’d all go down
To Highlandtown
And catch movies at The Grand
Or on the block
At 2:00
We’d give Le Star a hand
Then to The Little Tavern
Where everything was fried
We’d leave that joint
Go down the Point
Yeah–but that was before “Homicide”
If you grew up in Maryland
On your TV you’d see
Miss Nancy Lump,
Lorenzo Stomp,
And Miss Rhea and J.P.
You’d sail with Pete the Pirate
While Captain Fury flew
Stu Kerr was there
With Bozo hair
(And I think he was Mr. Fortune, too
And Professor Cool,
Yeah and the Early Riser)
O, little town of Baltimore
What pleasures you did bring
Like Hochschild Kohn
The Colts end zone
And Haussner’s big ball of string
These sights and sounds are gone now
Dissolved in history
But all of these great memories
Live on inside of me.