I was up Christmas morning with my family, laughing and dancing to some old school Christmas tunes, including the passionate squeals of James Brown's "Let's Make this Christmas Mean Something This Year." It was on a mix CD of much-older-than me Christmas jams given to me from one of my co-workers (Thanks Mary Sharon!)
That song is easily one of my favorite songs on the CD because y'all know how bad James Brown is and he's especially baaaaaaaad on that song. I mean how else can you describe the Godfather of Soul anytime he performs. (If you want, check it out.)
Sometimes, his songs had an empowering message. Sometimes, he didn't have a whole lot of words to say. Either way, he could scream and wail those lyrics to the point to where you felt it in your bones. Then, when he danced, he made you wanna move those bones.
On this particular song, he goes in and out of song, talking about how much Christmas means to him and then breaks into song during the chorus. It's so funny because one minute he's screaming his lungs out and the next minute he's talking so calmly and sweetly.
"That's just James Brown. He can do all that and hardly break a sweat," my dad said.
Yesterday morning, the song had just ended when my sister turned on the computer and we read in pure shock that the Godfather was gone. On Christmas Day. I mean, how ironic is that?
Rev. Jesse Jackson couldn't have put it any better:
"He was dramatic to the end — dying on Christmas Day," said the Rev. Jesse Jackson, a friend of Brown's since 1955. "Almost a dramatic, poetic moment. He'll be all over the news all over the world today. He would have it no other way." -AP
Now, that particular Christmas song is the only thing that keeps playing in my head whenever I hear mention of his death: Let's make this Christ-mas mean some-thing, this year.
Even in his death, I guess Mr. Brown did just that for his fans everywhere.
(Photo provided by AFP)