A few years ago, I didn't hear it until the morning of Christmas Eve while I was riding around town running last-minute errands. I called My Director, put her on speakerphone, and made her listen along with me. With tears in my eyes I sat in the driveway and listened to rest of the song, singing along hysterically.
|Why did we not own this growing up? No idea.|
Carrying out this irrational tradition of mine is one of the few ways I can transport myself back to my childhood. There was no digital music, compact discs weren't mainstream yet, and we didn't even own the cassette recording of this song for whatever reason. So my brother would set up his Sony boom box (very New Jersey) in the kitchen with a blank cassette tape waiting for it to come on.
Then, the real magic of Christmas...
He would press rewind, we would all take our places, my parents and sisters on the couches, my brother on lead vocals, I on air sax. Then, the play button, followed by some garbled noises from the rudimentary recording device. Finally, you would hear those familiar jingle bells marking the opening of the song. Then, we would lip sync (very 80's). My brother would start, with Bruce's intro:
It's all cold down on the beach.
Winds whippin' down the boardwalk...
|The boardwalk at Casino Pier.|
Seaside Heights 12/2012
My brother was Bruce, which meant I was Clarence. He was Bruce because he's older. I always thought Clarence was cooler than Bruce anyway. I would wait for my part with the anticipation of a child trying to fall asleep on Christmas Eve. But to me, even then, no matter what the calendar said, this was Christmas.
My brother would lip sync his part,
...He knows if you've been bad or good. You better be good for goodness sake.