I Know Now

Did you ever wish that Credence Clearwater Revival had driven past midnight clear to Detroit and made a Swamp-rock Motown Christmas album? Of course you did—and your prayers have been answered.

Run, do not walk, to your favorite music streaming app and bring up Zach Williams’ I Don’t Want Christmas to End. Crank up the volume and click on “Mary, Did You Know?”—you can come back and listen to the first two songs later, but probably much later, because you’re going to listen to MDYK three or four times in a row, increasing the volume a little (lot) every time. And there will probably be some dancing after the first one. Trust me—I speak from experience. (If you’re still not streaming music, you can listen to it here.)

In my teenage years we called this a $10 song—you bought the whole album just to get that one song, whether the rest of it was any good or not. In this case, the rest of the album is great, but it wouldn’t have mattered—back in the day I would have gladly plopped down $10 for MDYK.

For all those singers and musicians out there who think we need another Michael English-wannabe, we emphatically do not. This is how you cover a song—you don’t try your best to mimic the original note for note, you figure out a way to make it a new song, your song, so that if someone isn’t paying attention, they might not even know it’s the same song. If we wanted to hear English singing the song, we’d listen to English singing the song.

I despair of Christmas albums, for many of the same reasons I despair of worship ones. I don’t remember the last time I added a new one to my Christmas playlist. But this year the playlist might be just this album. And if MDYK gets played two or three or seven times for every one of the other songs, well, how else am I going to get my $10 worth?

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