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    The Kinks – “Father Christmas”

    In 1977, the Kinks recorded and released an original Christmas song as infectious yet bleak as you’d expect from Ray Davies. “Father Christmas” tells the story of a department-store Santa roughed up by a gang of poor street kids, all relayed over a pleasingly uptempo, sort-of-punk rocker with some festive bells lurking in the mix. Thinking the fake Santa to be real, the kids forcibly inform him that they don’t want toys or any other sort of trifle, strictly money for Christmas, even adding, “Give all the toys to the little rich boys.” They even press for employment for their parents and weapons if possible: “Give my daddy a job ‘cause he needs one. He’s got lots of mouths to feed. But if you’ve got one, I’ll have a machine gun. So I can scare all the kids down the street.” Hard to say if Davies was being a grinch or just projecting some realism onto a holiday that tends to gloss over hardship.

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