Sunday, 31 December 2017

The Trashmen "Dancing with Santa" lyrics

The usual lyric sites don't have the lyrics to this fine song, so I have typed them up for future reference.

Thanks to Mike W, Frank and Peter for corrections and suggestions.

Capitalised words or phrases are references to other songs/artists, hopefully DBC Reed tell me if I've missed any.
[Spoken intro]

T'was the night before Christmas, all was quiet and still
Except for that house up on Blueberry Hill
The stockings were hung, it seemed all was right
But there were more than just sugarplums dancing that night...

[End of spoken intro]

Down in the basement, a guitar wails
Oh what a sight to see
Dancing Santa and his eight reindeer
Doing the Watusi

There was Little Annie and a Short Fat Fanny
And the wildest of rock'n'roll bands
And by the back door was an English boy
Singing 'I Don't Wanna Hold Your Hand'

Johnny Rivers and Maybellene
And a chick called Peggy Sue
And a-everybody's heard all about The Bird
And he was even there too


With a ho-ho-ho and his big round belly
Shakin' All Over like a bowlful of jelly
You should have seen those reindeer prance
The night they taught old Santa to dance

Well he laughed so hard and he laughed so loud
And he kept on dancing until
He woke all the kids and they had to come up
To that house on Blueberry Hill

Then he opened up his big bag of toys
With something for everyone
And he said kinda sly with a twinkle in his eye
'Well I never had so much fun'


With a ho-ho-ho and his big round belly
Shakin' All Over like a bowlful of jelly
You should have seen those reindeer prance
The night they taught old Santa to dance

Then he jumped in his sleigh and he cracked his whip
And disappeared from sight
But over the tree tops the sleighbells played
A rock'n'roll song that night

And now they say that Santa Claus-land
Is really something to see
'Cause all of his boys are making his toys
To the beat of the Watusi
Yeah, all of his boys are making his toys
To the beat of the Watusi
'Cause all of his boys are making his toys
To the beat of the Watusi [fade]


Mike W said...

I am hunting around for an American cover of Beatles song that predates The Trashmens 1964 Christmas(?) release. If someone can find one then you may have a possible answer.....Next Year.

Happy new year all :)

Mark Wadsworth said...

MW, list here.

Frank said...

"...a chick called Peggy Sue" is what I hear.

Mark Wadsworth said...

F, good one, I have updated.

Mike W said...


I played the song a couple of times before I waded into the list. It seems to me he actually sings: 'on that door is an 'English boy' and then he does a piss take of Paul or John. So it makes sense on its own.Have another listen, see what you think.

Peter said...

It sounds to me like "the Unix Boys singing "I don't want to hold your hand".

This, perhaps?

Mark Wadsworth said...

MW, P, now it gets murky. It might be "English boys", true. And on closer hearing it might be "I don't wanna hold your hand". But the internet says Rupert Holmes didn't start making records until 1969...

Mike W said...

Mark,P, Frank above,

Here is a conjecture if you put aside the transciption problem and assume the lyric is 'English Boys', and they are the Beatles, and the song is released by the T/Men, Christmas, 1964.

It was a real party. The T/men are in fact recounting a pissup that took place in August 1964. We know that the Beatles, the Crickets and Johny Rivers were there from the song.

On the 19th of August, 1964 the Beatles performed at the Cow Palace San Fransisco. And we know about another party on the 25th, because Ringo tells us:

Tuesday 25 August 1964

On another day off from their first US tour, The Beatles paid a visit to Burt Lancaster's house to watch Peter Sellers' film A Shot In The Dark.

I loved meeting Burt Lancaster, too. He was great. The first time in LA, we'd rented a huge house and I turned into a cowboy. I had a poncho and two toy guns and was invited over to Burt Lancaster's, and that was how I went. I was all, 'Hold it up there now, Burt, this town ain't big enough for both of us,' and he said, 'What have you go there? Kids' stuff.' Later he sent me two real guns, and a real holster: he didn't like me playing with kids' guns. I just wanted to be a cowboy.

He had an amazing house. It had a pool outside, but you could swim into the living room if you went under the glass. LA was a mind-blower. We used to walk up and down Sunset Strip; we'd get out of the limo and people would come up to us, but it was still quite cool. It wasn't like a crazy feeding frenzy; there would be a lot of 'hellos'.

Mark Wadsworth said...

MW, good work, seems plausible.

DBC Reed said...

I have a dim recollection that the Beatles were rather rude about the Trashmen.

DBC Reed said...

The wonders of modern telecommunications: by crudely Googling Beatles Trashmen, you get The Trashmen Interview
ClassicBands in which there is confirmation that Ringo was sneery about Trashmen.

Mike W said...

Great find DBC. Well this bit knocks my first theory on the head:

'Did you ever cross paths with The Beatles or The Stones?

A - No. We were in New York at the same time The Beatles were. Ringo Starr said he didn't like us. (laughs) I don't know why.

Q - Where'd you hear that?

A - They actually said it on the radio. He didn't like the group. But it was alright with us. (laughs) We played with The Hullabaloos and The Animals. Groups like that. Sometimes we'd play shows over a weekend in Ithaca, New York for example. They would have Spring and Fall Weekend and they would have ten or fifteen "name" bands coming in there, playing on the campus. At the same time, Link Wray And The Wraymen were playing. The Kingsmen were there. We were there. The Beach Boys were there. All kinds of different groups. You'd play three or four times a day.'

As Mark said above, we are back to 'murky'. How about a party in Ithaca, New York, taking the piss out of the Beatles with the Animals on the Student Union door after a concert there? This also fits Mark's negative transcription (?) and allows for the piss take vocal too.
DBC what did the Animals think of the Beatles at this time? Hullabaloos too mmm. Murkier and murkier.

DBC Reed said...

@MW Dunno what the Animals thought about the Beatles: as then junior partners in the pop bizz, their comments on Beatles were probably not thought very noteworthy but John Lennon was sufficiently influenced by an Animals B side about remembered sights and sounds of Newcastle to start collecting ideas for Penny Lane. (The relevant interview can be found by Googling: Animals Beatles Penny Lane where it is called The in-depth story behind...)
From our point of view as land taxers and all-round good guys, James Penny whose name is commemorated by the song( and the lane)is an interesting case. Chosen to represent slave traders at an inquiry he distinguished himself by boasting that slaves on his ships had fourteen inches of room when chained shoulder to shoulder on the deck.But the kicker in his evidence was that landed property in Liverpool depended on slavery; slavery boosted land values.