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December 22, 2009

Five Great Christmas Songs #2: Merry Christmas from the Family

Filed under: Five Great...,Holidays,Music — Miss Plumcake @ 7:00 am

Full disclosure: someday I will marry Robert Earl Keen.

I’m not saying I’ll marry him long, but you know, just enough for us both to get some good material out of it before I leave him for his best friend, Lyle Lovett.

When I first moved to Austin ten years ago last November, everything was new and wonderful and it was SEVENTY-TWO DEGREES ON CHRISTMAS DAY.

Back then, I used to get lost on purpose, just to learn the town. Of course, Austin was a lot smaller and cooler back in those days so you could drive for miles without seeing anything other than low rambling mesquite and the occasional palm or prickly pear, wrapped up in white lights.

I was toodling around town in my trusty old chartreuse Volvo station wagon marvelling how I’d never seen so much NOTHING in my life and feeling a little maudlin for Virginia which was snowy and beautiful and didn’t have ANY cactuseseses, light-wrapped or not.

Then this song came on:

and I just burst into tears, which is ridiculous because it’s a funny, funny song. I guess it reminded me of why I moved to Austin. It was the antithesis of the perfectly repressed East Coast Christmases of my youth.

Now the mesquite has been replaced by condos with silly names and my volvo station wagon is one of those sporty numbers. I’ve been to parties with Robert Earl Keen and have enough friends in common that it’s not entirely inconceivable that he might know my name, but I’ll never forget Christmas of 1999 when the world was new –or at least not covered in condos and dog bakeries. Hallelujah, everybody say cheese.

Click to buy the song. You know you want to.


  1. Woo hoo, Robert Earl Keen! He’s a freaking genius! I love this song, it’s too good and he mentions my first name in it, which most people have never even heard of. I also adore “The Road Goes On Forever and the Party Never Ends”. He is pure Texas, a place I love in spite of all the haters that like to think they run the place.

    Comment by mdegraffen — December 22, 2009 @ 12:05 pm

  2. Oh man. That reminds me of Christmases in Savannah.

    Yeah, technically East Coast, but when you have a family account with the local bail bondsman, there ain’t nothin repressed about Christmas. Hell, we were lucky if no one set their big-ass hair on fire lighting their cigarette.

    Comment by Lex — December 22, 2009 @ 1:25 pm

  3. I love the 2009 Austin as much as the 1999 Austin. Now, the 1996 Austin, which is when I moved here, was soooo much cooler.

    Complaining about the changes in our fair city means you are a true Austinite (note: not Austonian, you insane condo developers), I guess!

    Comment by Chiken — December 22, 2009 @ 2:09 pm

  4. I don’t find the 2009 Austin all that much different from the 1999 Austin, but that’s probably because I’ve been here since 1980. Now THAT was a different city entirely. :)

    Comment by Cat — December 22, 2009 @ 3:05 pm

  5. Oh, REK, that man can pull more pathos and humor out of his three note range than most of the “four octave” (my pallid behind it’s four octave!) divas of the modern day. Everyone in my family already owns this song, so no buying today!

    Comment by megaera — December 23, 2009 @ 10:11 am

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