When I was a freshman in college, I wanted to be in a Christmas talent show so bad that I sat down and wrote my first song, a Christmas Song, entitled “Oh Santa Claus.” I remember the night that I played it at the talent show. When I finished, the crowd went crazy with applause. I felt like I had created something clever that everyone could relate to. It’s a pretty simple song, but one that my family and friends have seemed to enjoy over the years. It’s the story of a young boy anticipating Christmas, gifts from Santa, and trying to secure that he has been “good all year long.” Check out the video I made along with a studio recording I did just a couple of weeks ago in Raleigh NC.
I remember when I was a kid, the anticipation. Waking up early Christmas morning and going down stairs to take a peak at all of the wrapped gifts under the tree with my sisters. We would sit in the cold living room and try to eye which presents were for us. Sometimes we would go back to bed, and sometimes we would just stay up, wrapped in blankets by the tree until our parents would wake up around 5:00 am or so. We always tried to be good throughout the year, but I’m pretty sure we heard more than once – “hey Santa is watching you!” I tried to capture that in the song. While our presents weren’t extravagant, they were always more than we needed. It was always nice to have something to open, and something that amazingly seemed to align to our needs, interests, and personalities. Here are the lyrics to my song:
OH SANTA CLAUS
Oh Santa Claus, don’t forget about me
Put my presents underneath the tree.
I’ve been a good boy, all year long
Ain’t done a single, single thing wrong.
Now Santa, last week we talked
Up in the K-Mart parking lot.
I told you all I hoped you bring
And through the crowd, I yelled and screamed.
I helped my my Momma, and my Daddy too
Taught my little sister how to tie her shoe.
I fed the dog and I fed the cat
Gave my little brother my baseball bat.
Now Santa, I don’t want much
Just a brand new car and a big Mack truck.
I’ll take an island in the Caribbean
And a big guard dog, make sure he’s mean.
So you may say, why K-Mart, what’s that all about. Well that’s what came to mind when I wrote the song. When I was a kid, K-Mart used to run a commercial that had a catchy little phrase in it “K-Mart is your Christmas store”. I guess that stuck in my head. Recently, I was tempted to put in Macy’s, Target, or even Walmart. Macy’s because of the classic movie, “Miracle on 34th Street”. In the end, I decided to record it the way I wrote it; the way I first performed it many years ago. But hey, give me a call K-Mart, Macy’s, Target, or Walmart and we can make a deal…
I recorded this song at IMURJ studios in Raleigh NC on December 15th, 2017. First came the rhythm guitar parts played on a Taylor 614ce that I bought back in 2000. Then came the guitar solo on a Taylor 710e. I also played the egg shaker on the song to try and give it a Christmas sleigh ride feel – put on some headphones so you can hear that part. Also, that’s me singing three part harmony on the chorus. I recorded the tenor and bass chorus harmony parts as separate tracks after singing the melody. I plan on recording this in the future with a full bluegrass band, but it would be cool to have Flatt Lonesome or the Steep Canyon Rangers and Steve Martin cover it.
I shot this video walking around Wake Forest NC and Abingdon VA where every year you can still see some traditional Christmas window displays. Abingdon is home to the Barter Theatre and not too far from Bristol VA – the birthplace of country music.
I hope that you enjoy the song and I wish all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
— Mark Salyers