I”m a big fan of Christmas music. I’m also a big fan of Bob Dylan. That doesn’t necessarily mean I would enjoy those two things combined. Or would I? Hmm. Since the holiday season is here and it is Music Monday, I say we go for it.
Bob Dylan recorded a Christmas album in 2009 titled Christmas in the Heart. He gave all the royalties to the charities Feeding America and the World Food Programme. While the idea of Bob Dylan singing Christmas songs was initially, and perhaps understandably, met with skepticism, the album received generally favorable reviews.
This video for the track “Little Drummer Boy” is a unique piece of art. The work of New York based filmmaker and animator Jeff Scher, the video is a visual treat. Scher used a process called “rotoscoping” (I had to look that one up) in which animation is traced over live-action images. For this video, Scher used crayons and watercolors to trace over heartwarming scenes from classic films. The result is pretty fantastic.
As for Dylan’s vocal rendition of the song, well, what can you say? I don’t mind it. Again, I am a Dylan fan and I give him all the credit in the world for attempting to sing beloved Christmas songs, and especially for the altruism of the project. Sure, his voice sounds like that of an aged burnout folk singer. But there’s something quite touching about the whole thing, and Jeff Scher’s marvelous video animation has a lot to do with it.