Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christine the Christmas Tree

Lilly insists on turning on 93.9 WLIT at times, a station that's all Christmas music pro tem, though as a mark of her development into a person that has some sense, she will also turn it off if she hears a song played only a few hours earlier -- which is often, considering the station's unimaginative, heavy-rotation approach. Good for her. Of course, I encourage this behavior with disparaging remarks about the station and its dumbing down of the Christmas music canon.


Just how many versions of "The Little Drummer Boy" are there anyway? I'm hard-pressed to like any of them. The song's always rubbed me a little wrong. A kid wants to beat his drum near a newborn and a presumably exhausted new mother. Sure, kid, they'll like that. Naturally, I'm missing the "Christmas miracle" of the song, in which a newborn and a presumably exhausted new mother appreciate the poor boy's only gift, etc. Call me a cynic.


On the vastly superior 90.9 WDCB on Saturday, I heard a Christmas song I'd never heard before during its old-time radio show Those Were The Days. That's good. I like to do that every Christmas season if I can -- at least one old song previously unfamiliar. Even if it's an awful song like "Christine the Christmas Tree," sung by Jon Arthur fairly late in classic radio, 1955. "Christine the Christmas tree, half as tall as a tree should be," it begins, and tells the story of an anthropomorphic tree who wants to be cut down, but who is bypassed by the woodsmen every year because of her shortness. In its weird way, the song foreshadows Charlie Brown's runty tree, and Charlie the Tuna as well, who is disappointed by missing out on being canned for food. In the end, however, all is well for Christine, because the king and queen come along and decide she would be perfect next to their throne -- that year and ever after (and what kind of preservative are we talking about here?).


I googled "Christine the Christmas Tree" and got six results, three of which have nothing to do with the song. That's not quite the gold standard for obscurity in our time, which would be no results. But it's close. Google "Solar System Simon, Santa's Supersonic Son" -- another song I heard on 90.9 one year -- and you'll get two results, including this one. Seems like it was a real record, perhaps by a fellow hoping that a novelty hit would turn his career around.

6 Comments:

At 1:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been looking for this song. when I was small I loved this song. my name is Christine, by the way.

thanks

 
At 11:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Years -- no, decades -- ago, through an error of my own, I neglected to tell my parents NOT to include my box of 45 rpm records in their garage sale. And that was one of the records. :-(

But for some reason, the lyrics have embedded themselves...

---------------------

Christine, the Christmas tree
Was half as tall as a tree should be.
The woodsmen always passed her by.
At Christmas she would cry.

Christine, the Christmas tree,
The other trees used to laugh,
"Tee hee".
They though she was too small to wear
Silver tinsel in her hair.

(bridge)
One day the king rode through the woods,
The other trees stood
As tall as they could.
Except Christine who wept alone,
The king said she'll fit by my throne.

Now every Christmas time
She proudly sits by the king and queen.
They hung a star on sweet Christine,
The tiny Christmas tree.

---------------------

It seems there was an instrumental bit, and a spoken part too (the king when he first discovered the perfect sized tree).

Don't ask how I got to this blog, a year and a half later. Just surfing around. :-)

-Ted

 
At 11:23 PM, Blogger lfbsp said...

I remember this strange little song from my childhood, for some reason at work today it popped into my head and I had to google it when I got home. Im sure my Mother still has the record. I will have to ask her.

 
At 8:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was so pleased to find that this song has not died a death of mediocrity. I am 70 and have sung this song to my children and grandchildren every Christmas Season, as it was sung to me when I was little. Children learn that everyone is important, even people who think they are small and worthless. Thank you, Thank you and Merry Christmas to all! Kitchie

 
At 12:09 PM, Blogger FrodoPrime said...

is there a link to the actual song as a mp3 or video or the actual music score - for Christine, the christmas tree
Edward

 
At 1:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have my Grandmother's 78rpm copy of Christine the Christmas Tree and play it in my 1948 Jukebox each year during the Holidays.....It makes wonderful memories as I sing along!
Jackie

 

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