The Fab Four: “Jingle Bells” (“Tomorrow Never Knows”)
Today we have a Christmas song that qualifies for Cover Friday, which as it turns out, it is. Is today. That is. Of course, about 90% of all Christmas music counts as “covers,” since the large majority of Christmas music is the same, fairly small number of songs (40? 50?) reinterpreted in myriad ways. In today’s case, however, we have one of those songs, “Jingle Bells,” done almost as a cover of a Beatles song — in this case, “Tomorrow Never Knows.”
Kooky, yes, but The Fab Four, as this Beatles tribute band call themselves, put together two CDs’ worth of highly creative and mostly successful mashups of Beatles songs and Christmas songs back in 2002. We get the lyrics and basic melody of the Christmas songs, put to the playing style, and to some degree, the basic melody, of Beatles songs. Among the many songs they mash together are “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and “Help!”; “The Little Drummer Boy” and “The Sun King”; and “Blue Christmas” and “Revolution #1.” And as you can hear on “Jingle Bells,” they make it work far better than you might otherwise imagine.
Here, they must have started from the “It is snowing” (“It is knowing“) part at the end of the song, because it’s too perfect to have fallen into place after having chosen these two songs to combine. Rather, once they realized how well that part would work, they must have made the rest of it work. And maybe the “Tomorrow Never Knows” drone detracts from the general merry-ness of “Jingle Bells,” but it’s fascinating enough to bear up to repeated listenings nonetheless — and overall, these CDs make for a fun pair of discs to throw on at your next Christmas party.