By Kate Lillie
Originally posted on Global Comment
In today’s little slice of Christmas advent joy, Shaken’ Stevens takes us, and a small child called Samantha, on a journey to Santaland. At first in the video it looks as though Samantha is travelling alone and without parental supervision. She’s even allowed in the cockpit – this airline clearly has pretty lax regulations on that kind of thing, even for the 1980s – but luckily for little Samantha, Shaky turns out to be sharing her bus from the airport. How they manage to arrive on two separate flights to the world’s quietest airport is never explained but if Samantha can suspend her disbelief at the oversized ‘elves’ greeting her as she alights then I’m sure we can do the same.
The elf who’s been assigned chauffeur duty looks suspiciously like the prettier cousin of Worzel Gummidge and Shaky’s Christmas jumper in this video is exceptional, with a raised neck at the back that seems to make it into a proto-hoody. Santa’s assembly line seems to be staffed by wooden elves and hard-working children; looking at the haircuts of the children, you can’t help but feel that Santa should probably have invested some time in recruiting a hairdresser rather than a singer to visit (or possibly a Santa costume maker… just saying) but maybe that would have slowed production down too much.
Luckily for our child labourers, there’s lots of festive merriment in between shifts on the assembly line, with snowball fights, a rather odd-looking snowman who seems to have an apple for a nose – note to costume designers, it is definitely supposed to be a carrot – and lots of general frolicking, which is always a good staple of Christmas music videos.
The video closes with a scene more reminiscent of Dracula or Frankenstein when the children and Santa gather to see Shaky and Worzel’s cousin off in their sleigh (are they stealing Santa’s sleigh? Is it a spare? I suppose we will never know) holding giant sparklers but instead end up looking like angry villagers ready to burn a witch. Surely they liked Shaky’s Christmas jumper? Were they annoyed that he was busy dancing and singing while they were hard at work on the toy production line? Whatever the cause, happily he escapes the deranged children and their terrible haircuts/flaming torches before any serious damage is done and all is well.
Recorded in 1984 but postponed to avoid clashing with Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas, Merry Christmas Everyone was – deservedly – the Christmas number one for 1985 when it was eventually released. This is a perfect portion of Christmas pop – cheerful, lighthearted and festive. Enjoy!