Anchors for Christmas

Surely most of our readers remember Eartha Kitt?

Or maybe not; the Baron seemed to recall her vaguely, but not this delicious song. However, he knows good music when he hears it. Once when we were visiting our elderly black neighbor, she happened to have on her record player an album of rhythm and blues Christmas music . It featured professionals we’d never heard. The Baron has a good ear, and asked if he could borrow her record to copy it onto a cassette.

Back during the segregated era, before the big crossover in popular music (thank you, Elvis Presley) those Christmas songs were recorded out of the sight and hearing of the white world in which we live. Listening to her Christmas songs made us realize how much we didn’t know.

Much to our friend’s bemusement, the B did make a copy. I’m sure she said “crazy white folks” more than once, and our enthusiasm for that record was probably one of those “CWF” moments.

Technology just keeps a-changin’; Now if we wanted to listen to it, we’d have to re-do it yet again, making a CD from that cassette. Well, the medium may change but that old music, all those thousands of songs over many generations of black people, is sempiternal.

Over her long career Miz Kitty did several versions of “Santa Baby”. This one is probably definitive – or at least the most widespread (though the 1953 version is mighty fine):

And so why, you ask, are Baron and Dymphna putting up this Christmas music so early? Well… JLH has been busy transforming it for us. We wanted to share his sense of humor with you. The original lyrics to Eartha Kitt’s “Santa Baby” are at the bottom of this post. Here’s the updated version from JLH — but do listen to the original first, so you can sing along with his satire:

Anchor Baby

Anchor baby, be calm and don’t kick your mummy’s tummy
Just stay where you are,
And we’ll hurry over the border tonight.

Anchor baby, after a night ride too, on a choo-choo
With you, dear,
And we’ll hurry over the border tonight.

Just think of all the jobs I can’t do —
That’s why I have to count on you.
Next year, we’ll live real well somewhere.
Somewhere where they have good welfare.

Anchor honey, we’ll get a card — it’s not hard,
And it will last us for years.
Anchor baby, we’ll scoot across the border tonight.

Anchor cutie, where to go I cannot tell — Pelosi, De Blasio, Emanuel,
Sanctuary, Baby!
And we’ll slip across the border tonight.

Anchor baby, there’ll be EBT, for thee and me,
But mostly me.
And we’ll scurry ’cross the border tonight.

And it’s important to take note,
That I will surely vote.
I really don’t believe in Trump.
Even an illegal is not a chump.

Anchor baby, never mind my fever and itch, the hospitals are rich,
And they can cure anything.
Anchor baby, we’ll whisk across the border tonight.
Quietly tonight,
Out of sight.

The original lyrics to “Santa Baby”:

Santa Baby

Santa baby, slip a sable under the tree for me
Been an awful good girl
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa baby, an auto space convertible too, light blue
I’ll wait up for you, dear
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Think of all the fun I’ve missed
Think of all the fellas that I haven’t kissed
Next year I could be also good
If you’ll check off my Christmas list

Santa honey, I want a yacht and really that’s not a lot
Been an angel all year
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa cutie, there’s one thing I really do need, the deed
To a platinum mine
Santa cutie, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa baby, and fill my stocking with a duplex and checks
Sign your ‘x’ on the line
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Come and trim my Christmas tree
With some decorations bought at Tiffany
I really do believe in you
Let’s see if you believe in me

Santa baby, forgot to mention one little thing, a ring
I don’t mean on the phone
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight
Hurry down the chimney tonight
Hurry, tonight

There. We covered rhythm and blues, Christmas, and immigration, all in one post.

All this reminds me of the time my mother sat on Santa’s lap down at the country store, annoying Mrs. Claus no end. See, her list was more or less the same as Eartha Kitt’s version, above. Mrs. C was not amused.

10 thoughts on “Anchors for Christmas

  1. Oh, that velvet smooth voice! We’ve always liked her, and have some of her LPs.
    Particularly love “An old fashioned millionaire”.

  2. I will not grouse about anchor babies. The 14th Amendment says that those born or naturalized in the United States and subject to its jurisdiction (which exclude people in diplomatic status or visiting heads of state) are citizens of the USA. The meaning of this was tested in 1896 in US v. Wong Kim Ark, in which the Supreme Court determined that someone born in the USA was a citizen, even if he belonged to a national origin group that the US had determined by both law and policy sought to exclude.

    If we wish to redefine who is a citizen by birth, we will need to amend our Constitution, and that was deliberately made difficult by the framers thereof. Then, we would face the vexing question of what, exactly, makes someone an American?

    • Your question is easely answerd.
      You know The Pledge of Allegiance by heart and you live by it.
      That’s what makes someone an American.

  3. Of course I remember Eartha Kitt, but from later, in her role as Catwoman in Batman, with her melodious voice and trilling come-ons as she lounged and crooked her finger at the hero.

    • It’s hard to believe how long her career lasted and how varied it was. From the late 40s right up to the year or so before her death in 2008, she worked. From Harlem nightclubs as a teenager to voice-overs for the Simpsons. After she spontaneously spoke out against the Vietnam war when asked a question by Lady Bird Johnson (her answer about “our dead children” made Mrs. Johnson cry), the CIA surveillance made her decide to move to Britain. She always felt more comfortable there.

      For someone who was never permitted to know who her father was, whose mother gave her away and was later poisoned (in Kitt’s remembrance of her death), who knew great privation and much physical abuse, she did an outstanding job of carving out a life for herself and her daughter. The ability to be happy must be partly genetic…I hope her daughter does a DNA search in memory of her mother…

  4. Kepha: On a more serious note, as the author said, the song was done in satire. The 14th Amendement was enacted in a much different time and should be reconsidered today.

  5. I remember her from the 1950s. One of my favorites–for all that I’m a Hank Williams-loving redneck. 🙂

    Hunt up her “Under The Bridges Of Paris”.

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