[Dixielandjazz] Twas The Night Before Christmas

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Wed Dec 14 18:05:40 PST 2005

With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore.


'Twas the night before Christmas, in OKOM land

No music was playing, not even my band;

The stockings were hung by the bandstand with care,

In hopes that gig contracts soon would be there;

The sidemen were restless, bellied up to the bar,

With visions of C-notes filling up the tip jar;

We all had the blues, and were filled with despair,

Wondering what happened to gigs and who got our share.

When out front of the joint there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my barstool to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what did my wondering eyes see then,

But a sleigh with a  band, of eight famous jazzmen.

With a little old band leader, lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his sidemen they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, Louis! now, Sidney! now, "T" and Freddie!

On, Jelly! on Arvell, on Gene and Eddie!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now play away! play away! improvise all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

So up to the house-top the sidemen they flew,

With the sleigh full of music, and St. Nicholas too.

As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,

Over the music, I could hear a great sound,

The prancing and stomping of each, in time, foot.

When down the chimney came St. Nick in a cloud of fine soot.

He was dressed like Cab Calloway, from his head to his toe,

And his clothes were all shiny, oh how they did glow;

A  bundle of papers he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

He was chubby and plump, a right hip old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

But with the wink in his eye and a twist of his head,

And fist full of beads, I had nothing to dread;

Out of his pack and into his fist,

He drew hundreds of contracts priced well over list;

For just as much gigging as we wanted to do,

For the whole coming year plus the next one too.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his men gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

OKOMers all, please be of good cheer,

May your gig books be full this coming New Year.

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