Tuesday, December 6, 2016

From St. Nick To Eartha Kitt In One Fell Swoop Across 18 Centuries

Something goes off inside my head every year at this time and this year is no different.

Two years ago, I wondered about the disconnection between St. Nicholas gift-giving and Christmas. Chip Ahoy provided some answers in the comments to that post. This year, reading about the Saint, I learned what may be the origin of the chimney and stockings tradition. I quote Wiki at length:

In his most famous exploit, Nicholas aided a poor man who had three daughters, but could not afford a proper dowry for them. This meant that they would remain unmarried and probably, in absence of any other possible employment, would have to become prostitutes. Even if they did not, unmarried maidens in those days would have been assumed as being a prostitute. Hearing of the girls' plight, Nicholas decided to help them, but being too modest to help the family in public (or to save them the humiliation of accepting charity), he went to the house under the cover of night and threw three purses (one for each daughter) filled with gold coins through the window opening into the house. 
One version has him throwing one purse for three consecutive nights. Another has him throwing the purses over a period of three years, each time the night before one of the daughters comes of age. Invariably, the third time the father lies in wait, trying to discover the identity of their benefactor. In one version the father confronts the saint, only to have Nicholas say it is not him he should thank, but God alone. In another version, Nicholas learns of the poor man's plan and drops the third bag down the chimney instead; a variant holds that the daughter had washed her stockings that evening and hung them over the embers to dry, and that the bag of gold fell into the stocking. link

What does this have to do with Eartha Kitt?  Ask ricpic:


ricpic said...
Santa baby, just slip a sable under the tree for me,
Been an awful good girl,
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa baby, a '54 convertible too, light blue,
I'll wait up for you dear,
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa baby, I want a yacht and really that's not a lot,
Been an angel all year,
Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

The immortal Eartha Kitt!


20 comments:

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Aren't those stories supposed to be some sort of metaphor?

ndspinelli said...

Interesting, eclectic, post.

edutcher said...

I knew it as soon as I saw the headline.

chickelit said...

Aren't those stories supposed to be some sort of metaphor?

You have a dirty mind, fruitbat. Besides, wouldn't it be up her chimney?

chickelit said...

I think the day after Thanksgiving is too soon to start the Christmas season. People need time to recover, besides, it's not very international of us. I mark the season from St. Nicholas's Day to Epiphany (Jan 6). This makes a perfect month.

Merry Christmas season!

bagoh20 said...

"Activists push to ban ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ because it promotes date rape."

http://hotair.com/archives/2016/12/06/activists-push-to-ban-baby-its-cold-outside-because-it-promotes-date-rape/

Do they ever listen to Hip Hop?

deborah said...

Damn you bago, no means maybe!

deborah said...

Okay, so this year I'd really like to finally make up a cd of Christmas song for family and friends. Some I would copy from cd, some download. If I put all my faves on it would serve pretty much as background music for a Christmas party, etc.

So, crowdsource, how many 3 minute songs would fit on a cd? Any tips?

chickelit said...

@deborah: I made such a CD several years ago. I'll burn you a copy and send it to you if you'd like.

AprilApple said...

Activists continue to try to ban the past-- for a brighter hip hop future.

deborah said...

Thanks so much, chick, but I have specific versions in mind. You know those cheapie Christmas cds that abound at checkout counters and center-aisle bins? I have ones that have now beloved songs. For example, one, Christmas in Manhattan, I think, has a wonderfully jazzy version of Have yourself a merry...and a couple more I can't think of. Another has a great chorus version of the Wassailing song. A song I didn't grow up with, so it's new to me. And of course I'd have Kitt's Santa Baby. Let's see, The Ronnettes(?) Sleigh Ride, Jingle Bell Rock, Andy Williams O Holy Night, The Charlie brown music (several songs), etc. Must get cracking!!

chickelit said...

@bagoh20: To be honest, the whole Christmas repertoire is one big microaggression, what with no mention of Kwanzaa or Mawli an-Nabi, not to mention the whole "whiteness" fetish." It's a wonder we get through it every year.

AprilApple said...

snow is white and it should be banned. I feel triggered.

ricpic said...

Does this post make Eartha Kitt out to be a prostitute? Well, only in the nicest way.

edutcher said...

chickelit said...

Aren't those stories supposed to be some sort of metaphor?

You have a dirty mind, fruitbat. Besides, wouldn't it be up her chimney?


Not if she's standing on her head.

bagoh20 said...

"Activists push to ban ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ because it promotes date rape."

http://hotair.com/archives/2016/12/06/activists-push-to-ban-baby-its-cold-outside-because-it-promotes-date-rape/

Do they ever listen to Hip Hop?


Black depravity is immune because racism.

Trooper York said...

Eartha Kitt is the perfect example of someone who is sort of odd looking but whose mannerisms make her completely sexy. Even LBJ who didn't like his poon tangy got some Texas wood when Eartha visited. Just saying.

ampersand said...

So, crowdsource, how many 3 minute songs would fit on a cd? Any tips?

So why a CD? You can fit about 40 albums on a 4GB thumbdrive.

I don't care for the Holiday songs they play in rotation an local radio stations. There just aren't that many secular Christmas songs, they can pretty much repeat the whole canon hourly. They absolutely refuse to play any religious carols, even songs with tenuous religious connections, like Carol of the Bells.

I borrowed a good deal of Christmas CDs from my public library , downloaded to my computer and a thumbdrive for my car. I don't get though the whole collection though the Christmas season.

deborah said...

Because some are for gifts to peeps stuck at the cd level, and like me in my car.

ampersand said...

You can get between 74 and 80 minutes on a cd, or 26-24 three minute tracks.
BTW if you have a newer TV with a USB port you can play audio from a thumbdrive .

deborah said...

Thanks, amp, very useful.