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Welcome to a special holiday edition of Music Friday, when we bring you great songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Christina Aguilera belts out her rendition of the 1947 classic, “Merry Christmas, Baby,” a song about how a very special piece of jewelry has made this the best Christmas ever.
In first lines of the song, Aguilera — with an assist from Dr. John — sings, “Merry Christmas baby, oh ooh / You sure did treat me nice, oh ooh / You gave me a diamond ring for Christmas / Now I’m living in paradise, oh oh.”
Originally recorded by Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers in 1947, this R&B holiday classic has been covered by a Who’s Who of music-industry legends, including Chuck Berry, Otis Redding, B.B. King, Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen and Melissa Etheridge.
A little known fact about Aguilera’s version, which appeared on her My Kind of Christmas album in 2000, is that one of her heroines, Etta James, was supposed to be a featured performer on the track. For unknown reasons, Aguilera never got to record with James and Dr. John was picked as a replacement.
Nevertheless, Aguilera’s My Kind of Christmas peaked at #28 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart and sold more than one million copies.
Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers’ recording of “Merry Christmas Baby” also was a great success. The song reached #3 on Billboard‘s R&B Juke Box chart during the Christmas of 1947.
Born in Staten Island, NY, in 1980, Christina María Aguilera moved to the Pittsburgh area as a 6-year-old to live with her grandmother after her parents’ divorce. There she earned a reputation as “the little girl with the big voice.” At the age of 9, she competed on Star Search and made it all the way to the semi-finals.
The next year, she auditioned for The Mickey Mouse Club even though she did not meet its age requirements. Two years later, she would land a role on the series with castmates — and future stars — Ryan Gosling, Keri Russell, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake.
With record sales tallying 75 million, Aguilera is recognized as one of the world’s best-selling music artists. She’s been referred to as the “Voice of a Generation” and claims a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Please check out the video of Aguilera’s live performance of “Merry Christmas Baby” on The Late Show With David Letterman. The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along!
“Merry Christmas, Baby”Written by Brian Douglas Wilson and Mike E. Love. Performed by Christina Aguilera, featuring Dr. John.
Oh ohMerry Christmas babyYou sure did treat me nice, oh ooh yeah yeahSaid uh, merry Christmas baby, oh oohYou sure did treat me nice, oh oohYou gave me a diamond ring for ChristmasNow I’m living in paradise, oh oh
I’m, I’m feeling mighty fineGot good music on my radio(Yes you do child)Well I’m, I’m feeling mighty fineGot good music, on, music on my radio, ohWell I, I want to kiss you babyWhile we’re standing underneath the mistletoe
Santa came down the chimneyAbout a half past threeLeft all these pretty presentsThat you, that you see before me, oh
Merry Christmas baby, merry Christmas babyYou sure been good to me, oh, oh oohWell I, I haven’t had a drink this morningBut I’m, I’m lit up like a Christmas treeChristmas tree, oh oh oh, oh yeah
Oh, yeah yeah yeahOh oh ooh, yeah, oh, ooh,Oh oh yeah, yeah, yeah
St. Nick came down the chimneyAbout a half past threeHe left all these pretty presentsThat you see before me
Merry Christmas babyYou sure been good to meHaven’t had a taste this morningBut I’m all lit up like a Christmas tree
Oh, oh, oh ooh, oh oohMerry Christmas babyYou sure been good to meOh oh, oh ohOh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah, oh
Sure been good, to, to, to, meHey, oh oh hey
Credit: Photo by Raph_PH, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.