Mr. Manager & Katy Kirby – A Salute To Good King Wenceslas: Christmas Joy Forever and Ever Amen (2015)

Mama Bear
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Katy Kirby has been featured once before on this site, with her absolutely stunning cover of the Handsome Family’s “So Much Wine, Merry Christmas,” and could very well be featured one more time should you wish to hunt it down before I get around to it…

This two-track single from 2015 features a collaboration between Nashville’s Mr. Manager & Katy Kirby, each featuring the kind of emotional indie folk that I’m indeed a sucker for. The first song, “Don’t be Sad Molly, It’s Christmas,” is a shared duet convincing Molly to be happy at Christmas. I’m trying to figure out the relationship between the narrator and the subject, but who really cares… we all can draw our own conclusions. There are some wonderful lyrics here:

you walked alone out in the snowflakes
you walked away from all the mistakes
the holiday of joy and heartache
it’s Christmas, sweet Molly please stay

The second track, “Baby, Don’t You Know It’s Christmas Eve,” is much more of a Mr. Manager feature, with Katy providing backing vocals (and likely an instrument or two.) Their intertwined vocal interplay, the beautiful banjo melody, all while pouring out these evocative lines, the whole experience left me staring off into the distance… imagining a past I never lived. (I’m an easy mark.) But check this verse:

I filled this book all to the brim
with songs of our love caving in
but I’ll burn the pages, break the pen
and tonight I’ll write you that love song
the one I’ve promised all year long
oh baby, don’t you know it’s christmas eve?

That “break the pen” line is so simple and so powerful. Simplicity is a weapon that many folks can’t wield, but Mr. Manager and Katy Kirby have some big guns here.

Bottom Line: Both songs are incredibly solid, and I’m sure I’d find differing opinions as to which one reigns supreme. But what a wonderful problem to have.


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