Saturday, December 10, 2005

Merry Christmas from Ya Mama n'Em!
The picture you see on the left is my new favorite Christmas CD. Benny Grunch and the Bunch are a great New Orleans band, and they are quite irreverent. Why do I say irreverent? What else would you call a group whose homage to Fat Tuesday is titled "Ain't No Place to Pee on Mardi Gras Day"?

This is probably Benny's fourth or fifth edition of the Yats Christmas CD. The old favorites are always there along with a few new ones. I think everyone in New Orleans sings along with "The 12 Yats of Christmas." Forget the partridge in a pear tree. Benny gives us "da crawfish dey caught in Arabi." Being from St. Bernard means I love "Christmas in Chalmette." What other Christmas song mentions drive-thru daiquiri places? Today I was driving around and singing "Norris the Nocturnal Nutria," a song about a little nutria who is trying to stay up all night to wait for Santa.

Benny does get a little serious on us too. "I Could See the Aluminum Tree Throught the Pitcha Window" is a poignant tribute to the New Orleans Christmas traditions of the 1950s and 60s. "Ya Mama N'Em" is a new song this year, and it is a bittersweet nod to our first post-Katrina Christmas. Not everyone will get to celebrate with their mama n'em.

Speaking of post-Katrina Christmas, Benny does a cute song about St. Bernard and Lakeview, two heavily damaged areas in New Orleans. The song is titled "Temporarily Ain't Dere No More," and it mentions all the great places that once were and will be again.

No, I don't work for Benny Grunch. I don't even know him personally. (Maybe he should pay me, though, for this promotion!) I just love his songs and the way he captures New Orleans life. Check out his website if you'd like at Benny Grunch - Hey, Where Yat?! Y'all at Tell Benny ya mama n'em sent ya!

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