FFWDing to the Best Part: “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” U2 (1987)

The explosion of Amazon packages at my doorstep, the -9 wind chill, and the red cups at Starbucks remind me that Christmas season is upon us. Oh, as does the non-stop onslaught of festive music everywhere one turns. Call me Ebenez–ess(?), but I was pretty tired of “Jingle Bell Rock” on about Nov. 30. Speaking of which, does anyone else feel the need to insert an extra “jingle” in the lyric that goes “Giddy-up, jingle horse, pick up your [jingle] feet…”?  Every year, I screw this up, even though the extra syllables don’t properly scan.

But U2’s version of this particular secular ’60s hit (originated by Darlene “He’s a Rebel” Love) remains among my favorites, despite the fact that it was co-written by a convicted murderer. Joy to the world!  Short, sweet, with a touch of anguish, and that robust Bono intensity we all love (some in larger doses than others).

Best part? 1:39 – 1:47. Bono sings, “If there was a way, I’d hold back these tears, but it’s Christmas Day…”  Sad, right?  Alone and sobbing during the most wonderful time of the year?  And yet, the singer himself is rather clearly trying to hold back laughter.  What was happening in the studio as this line was being sung?  Hijinks between The Edge and foot models? Too many pints of Guinness?


What’s your favorite holiday tune? Maybe I’ll cover it in the next 12 (!) days.


2 thoughts on “FFWDing to the Best Part: “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” U2 (1987)

  1. Any Rattle-n-Hum era U2 is A-OK with me; this even looks like it was filmed as part of that movie, though it’s not in the movie. I really dig Larry’s drum work on this; nice shuffle beat. Also fitting to cover this particular song at this particular time, inasmuch as the boys were super-duper into American R&B in the late 80s, which suited me (and, most would agree, them) much better than their subsequent dalliance with ironic German club music before they circled back around to chiming, echoey earnestness in the new millennium.

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