Manger Management: Don we now our Key

Donkeys are there, in the manger, when it happened, that Christmas thing. So they get plenty of play.

Dominick the Christmas Donkey” is Italian, Santa’s friend, and a hit for Lou Monte way back when we thought all Italians were funny-talkers.

Ed Ames brings us back to the blessed moment with an echoey symphonic chant, reminding us in “The Ballad of the Christmas Donkey” that The Son gives us all a chance–lookswise anyway.

More donkeys at the birth of Christ! In “Nestor the Long Eared Christmas Donkey” Marty Robbins tells the same ugly duckling story with a bona nova backbeat. Howza, Lord!

Gracie Fields had perhaps the biggest merry mule music with her 1959 “Little Donkey.” This catchy tune sold as sheet music faster than hotcakes. This mono recording may cause loss of equilibrium, but the message will heal you.

But the ass is not the only odd-toed hoped mammal with a reason for the season. And i don’t really mean Ren & Stimpy’s “Yak Shaving Day” (shudder).  Nor even the crafty parodeus “Save a Horse, Ride a Reindeer” by the Whiskey Santas (really?).

No, no, no.I’m referring to that staple of 3rd grade winter singing festivals “Santa’s Using Zebras Now.” In order to understand a few lyrics we’ll zone in on Paisley Yankolovich’s unplugged version. He looks as if he might not be allowed within a hundred yards of a school.