For years now, many Christmas lovers have been looking forward to the holiday season to make merry with family and friends, hang out with people, enjoy good food and of course good music.
Luckily, there is a list of some classic Christmas songs and renditions to get one in the Christmas spirit. Some of these songs have been in the spotlight for their perceived controversial lyrics and “Santa Baby”, a big hit for African-American singer, Eartha Kitt is one of them.
Written in 1953 by Joan Javits, niece of politician Jacob Javits, “Santa Baby” is a “tongue-in-cheek look at a Christmas list addressed to Santa Claus by a woman who wants extravagant gifts such as sables, yachts, and decorations from Tiffany’s.”
The enduring Christmas song, which was among the U.S. Top 10 hits at the time, was one of the favourite songs of Kitt, who was once described as the “most exciting woman on earth”.
Her “Santa Baby” hit has also been described as the sexiest Christmas song of all time and has been covered by a number of artists, including Madonna in 1987, Kylie Minogue, whose version was released in 2000, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift. Yet, it is Kitt’s version that many would always love to come back to.
Noted for her sultry vocal style and slinky beauty, Kitt was born out of wedlock in 1927 in South Carolina to a white father and a mother who was African American.
She began her career in 1942 and appeared in the 1945 original Broadway theatre production of the musical Carib Song.
In the early 1950s, she had six U.S. Top 30 hits, including “Uska Dara” and “I Want to be Evil”. Her other outstanding recordings include the UK Top 10 hit “Under the Bridges of Paris” (1954), “Just an Old Fashioned Girl” (1956) and “Where Is My Man” (1983).
The singer and author
Ten years later, she successfully returned to Broadway in the 1978 original production of the musical Timbuktu!, out of which she received the first of her two Tony Award nominations.
In recent years, her 1953 recording of “Santa Baby” has come under criticism for being materialistic, and implying that the female in the story will give sexual favours in return for the huge amount of gifts
This week, the song was given a feminist twist yet the 1953 classic by Kitt is still the favourite of many people.
Below is the “Santa Baby” song, sang originally by Eartha Kitt: