I reacted with an apocalyptic eye roll and my daughter asked why. I had to explain how the original version of the song, written for the Judy Garland film Meet Me in St. Louis , holds a perfect balance between mourning and hope.
Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis Songtext
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She reveals that she is pregnant, says she has quit alcohol and drugs, describes her current living circumstances including her stable relationship with a new husband who promises to raise her arriving baby like he would his own son , and outlines the better choices she would make if she "still had all the money we used to spend on dope ". At the song's conclusion, the author confesses to Charlie that she has been lying to him; she does not have a husband, is currently serving time in prison, and will be eligible for parole on Valentine's Day. For a performance in New York on November 21, , Waits introduced the song with the following anecdote:. I was in Minneapolis — it was degrees below zero — I know, you think I'm bullshitting, no, I swear to God, I was wearing just a bra and a slip and a kind of dead squirrel around my neck — he was colder than I was. The police cars would go by and they'd wave They're throwing knives and forks and spoons out into the street — it was deep — so I grabbed a ladle, and Dinah Washington was singing " Our Day Will Come " and I knew that was it. Denise Sullivan , writing for AllMusic , described "Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis" as "[o]ne of Tom Waits' most beloved songs from one of his more obscure albums The song showcases Waits playing a barroom piano melody, weaving words together -- in essence, doing what he does best in one long, bittersweet song. Denise Sullivan, writing for AllMusic , wrote that "her fragile but tough delivery, accompanied by "church" organ gave the song a whole new kitschy, "hooker with a heart of gold" dimension.
A rumor locked into internet message boards has it that Tom Waits lifted the lyrics to "Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis" from a Charles Bukowski poem. That poem is called "Charlie, I'm Pregnant" and, if you trust the commenters, it's right there in an early collection called The Roominghouse Madrigals. This is an admirably barefaced brand of bullshit. The Roominghouse Madrigals exists, and it's really not that hard to track down a copy. There's no poem called "Charlie, I'm Pregnant" there or anywhere else. Waits loved beatnik barflies and Bukowski in particular, but "Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis" wasn't lifted from a dusty old paperback. It's fitting that "Christmas Card…" should have two fictions behind it before the first blue piano chord lounges in though.