Updated: Dec 29, 2021
Here’s a good topic for your post-Christmas hangover: “Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown?”—the John Barry–Hal David Xmas song from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Safe to say this has not grown into a standard.
Has this grown on me since I first heard it? Maybe. Like a rash.
It was worse in the old days of the original, short O.H.M.S.S. album, which was so frustrating to soundtrack collectors for including so little of the terrific score. The song closed side one of the LP, so at least you could just take the needle off.
Here’s a comprehensive article about it, from a Danish James Bond website in 2014.
I have an unreleased version of it with just the children’s choir, that we didn’t have room to include on the expanded 2003 CD. I would not be doing anybody a favor by leaking it. (I never leak unreleased tracks, anyway.)
It’s possible—not likely, but possible—that the song is more interesting than I’m giving it credit for being. It is so obviously saccharine, but also has a certain demented character—the out-of-tune kids, the circular gestures of the melody, the overbearing arrangement—that it could be stuck in the head of a serial killer. But it’s also so inoffensive that it’s like, nah...it’s just annoying.
Here’s a way more enjoyable John Barry song performed by Nina, “The More Things Change,” from, I presume, the same time period. (It was not on the O.H.M.S.S. masters, however.)
If you want to cleanse your brain, listen to this gorgeous John Barry record track, “Who Will Buy My Yesterdays?”
But back to the original topic, the folks at Q the Music Show (the live-band James Bond cover group) at least had fun with it:
Happy Sunday! And Kwanzaa!