The only Christmas carol I know that mentions lychee nuts

You know it’s the holiday season when the “all Christmas music, all the time” radio station begins its month-long round of endless carols.  (It’s KOIT, 96.5 for all you Bay Area folks).  Seriously, this station plays Christmas music 24/7.  And I am such a junkie that I actually listen to it.

Admittedly, this concept has its downsides.  The station often plays holiday tracks by singers that I don’t like at any other time of the year, either (sorry, Mariah Carey).  And it’s stretching a point to call the Wham song “Last Christmas I gave you my heart” a holiday carol.  At the very least, the station should not feel obligated to play it on an hourly basis.

But thanks to KOIT, I’ve stumbled upon some real gems of Christmas music.  One of the best is the 1960s forgotten classic “Christmas in San Francisco.” It’s sung by Vic Damone, who does have quite a nice voice. The tune is lovely, too, but the best part of the song are the epically cheesy lyrics, which appear to have been written by someone who has never actually been to San Francisco.  None of it feels remotely authentic. (That said, I do admire any lyricist who works  “lychee nuts” and “barbecued boar” into a Christmas song.)  The carol also talks about people with gifts in the “crispy air.”  I am all for inventive writing, but can air really be crispy?  If you are near a nuclear reactor, maybe, but we don’t have any of those here.

I write all this with great affection, though.  Honestly, I really love the song.  Have a listen and see what you think:

2 responses to “The only Christmas carol I know that mentions lychee nuts