Bob Wagner Saves Christmas With New COVID Carol | Live Culture

Bob Wagner Saves Christmas With New COVID Carol


'This Is Christmas' screenshot - BOB WAGNER
  • Bob Wagner
  • 'This Is Christmas' screenshot
Christmas is this Friday. And, right on schedule, a jolly red elf has delivered a Christmas miracle.

No, we don't mean Santa — he's presumably tuning up the old sled while waiting for the second round of his coronavirus vaccine from Dr. Fauci.

Rather, the man in the red suit is none other than Burlington guitarist Bob Wagner, best known locally as a core member of Kat Wright's band. On Tuesday, Wagner  delivered an early stocking stuffer called "This Is Christmas." It's the COVID carol we didn't know we needed.

In his video for the song, the red-headed rocker, decked in full Santa regalia, implores us all to stay home this Christmas. Based on the COVID-19 spike observed among TSA agents after Thanksgiving, that's sound advice. And Wagner makes a good case in the first verse:

"Everyone's coming home for the holidays
Though they probably shouldn't.
But you could stay at home, wear a mask, make up some excuse
Just tell ’em you couldn't.
I know you'll miss your family, baby
Yeah, and I'll miss mine.
But can you honestly tell me
That it won't be kind of nice
To rearrange our old routine
And just do something different.
And skip out on your racist uncle
And his bullshit politics.
Because this is Christmas"

Here's the full video:
"So many of us have had to have "the talk" with family and friends this year about not coming home for the holidays to ensure we're 'giving the gift of not-COVID,'" Wagner wrote in an email to Seven Days. "It's derailed longstanding traditions, and it's undoubtedly left some folks alone for the holidays who otherwise would not be — and all that on top of so much isolation this year already.

"And that just sucks, but that's the way it's gotta be," he continued. "This song is my stupid little way of trying to soften the blow on both sides of those talks and do our best to laugh at the absurdity we've all been dealt this year."

In composing the song, Wagner took overt inspiration from Bruce Springsteen. He sings with spot-on Boss swagger, and the song's twinkling orchestration evokes the rock superstar's version of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town."

"I grew up just down the road from the Boss, and once when I was a kid he made me cry when I asked him for his autograph. It was during his very public divorce and a real rough time for him, I think," Wagner recalled. "He's actually a real nice guy but he's kinda had this one coming for a while. So Merry Christmas and good luck to us all this year!"

Also, stay the elf home.

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