It’s Finally Here: Brennen Leigh’s “Merry Christmas, Asshole.”
I can’t remember when or where I happened upon a clip of Brennen Leigh performing this song live, whether it was last year or the year before on one of her Hard Candy Christmas tours. But I laughed so damn hard, Pepsi came shooting straight out of my nose. And I wasn’t even drinking Pepsi at the time.
Brennen Leigh has written some doozies in her day. Speaking of it, her “100 Year Old Farmhouse” is currently up for Song of the Year. But this one was actually penned by her regular partner in crime Noel McKay (born on Christmas, incidentally), as well as Becky Warren, who also happened to recently put out a badass album herself (read review).
Completely stupid, and perfectly irreverent for the Holiday season, it’s not being hyperbolic to say say this could be one of those compositions that catches fire somehow and accidentally becomes a Christmas classic. All we needed was a proper studio version of it, which we now have. “It’s been a standard at my live shows the last few Decembers,” Brennen Leigh says. “It’s not suitable for all audiences, but I hope it brings you joy.”
Also playing steel, upright bass, rhythm and lead guitar on the composition is the incomparable Chris Scruggs. Brennen Leigh has also made sweaters, hats, and rompers available emblazoned with “Merry Christmas, Asshole” on them. Or maybe you’ll find her “Bro-Country Ain’t No Country” apparel line more appealing.
Brennen released her latest album Prairie Love Letter earlier this year to warm reception. Hearkening back to her Minnesota and North Dakota roots, the songs all revolve around the prairie land and the stories of its people. A usually more family appropriate performer who a few years ago relocated from Austin to Nashville, this humorous departure still strangely suits Brennen Leigh perfectly.
For more new Christmas songs for 2020, check out Saving Country Music’s Country Christmas Playlist. Brennen Leigh merch can be purchased HERE, and “Merry Christmas, Asshole” can be downloaded on Bandcamp.
David Allan Covid-19
December 17, 2020 @ 8:57 am
Brennen absolutely sleighs this song.
December 17, 2020 @ 9:06 am
I see what you did there. 10 points.
Fat Freddy's Cat
December 17, 2020 @ 9:20 am
Haha! That’s awesome.
Similarly I’d love it if Reverend Horton Heat would record a song I heard him do at last year’s “Horton’s Holiday Hayride”, “Menopause Is Coming To Town”.
December 17, 2020 @ 10:22 am
Well, it looks like my brother’s got a new theme song for the holidays!
December 17, 2020 @ 11:05 am
I’ll take Robert Earl Keen’s “Merry Christmas From the Family.” That song captures a “low class” Christmas with a writer’s sharp eye and parodies it with some affection.
I don’t think this “A-hole” song will become a classic. The reason is that it’s 100% the guy’s an a-hole. There’s no a clue about why the narrator likes him or is drawn to him. Kind of makes her the a-hole…for staying with him.
December 17, 2020 @ 12:31 pm
Agree. Its kind of funny but I just felt “leave him already”
It needs the love/hate dichotomy of Merry Christmas from the family or Fairytale of New York
December 17, 2020 @ 6:31 pm
Not sure we should take a song called “Merry Christmas, Asshole” too literal.
December 17, 2020 @ 6:34 pm
I just like my humour with a believeable backstory. I always tend to overthink things
December 17, 2020 @ 2:44 pm
One of many in a proud, long line of low-class Christmas songs such as Christmas in Prison by John Prine, Father Christmas by the Kinks, and Carla Came Home by Chris Knight.
December 17, 2020 @ 4:55 pm
Prairie Oyster did “Christmas in Jail”. The Oyster had game. Too bad they didn’t make it big in the States. I
I saw them open for k.d. lang in the late 80’s. Great show by both. Let’s just say the audience was a colorful gathering of humanity as well…
December 18, 2020 @ 6:43 am
One of my favorite Canadian acts from the 90s. CMT played them often back when CMT was owned by Gaylord. I remember they had a bunch of videos – One Precious Love, Will I Do (Till the Real Thing Comes Along), Did You Fall in Love With Me).
That’s how I got into them. Everybody Knows spent much of 1991-92 on my 6-CD player.
I’ll check out their Christmas song. Thanks for the tip and for reminding me of that great band.
December 17, 2020 @ 3:56 pm
That’s the bomb. Hats off!
December 17, 2020 @ 5:27 pm
Way to go, Brenny! Perfect!
December 17, 2020 @ 6:20 pm
Is that THE Sunny Sweeney?!? I’m impressed!
December 18, 2020 @ 6:59 am
I LOVE it!