Dec 02, 2022
By Joey Arnone
Photography by Jody Rogac
David Byrne has shared a new holiday song, “Fat Man’s Comin’,” exclusively via Bandcamp. The song can be purchased through December 31. All proceeds will benefit Byrne’s nonprofit online news magazine, Reasons To Be Cheerful. Listen to the new song below.
In a press release, Byrne states: “I always wanted to write a holiday song. I wouldn’t call it a Christmas song, as the visitation of Santa (formerly known as St. Nicholas, who mainly did punishing) seems to have evolved to be a more secular consumer moment than a religious or spiritual affair.
“I believe the foundation of this music might have been written at the same time as the collaboration I did with St. Vincent a few years ago, but somehow a literal view of the Santa phenomena was what came out. It wasn’t right for Annie and me—the story of a fat man in rather odd attire who breaks into people’s homes and leaves mysterious packages.
“I’d worked with Jherek before and enlisted him to arrange and record the ‘orchestra,’ which I wanted to sound sort of old-school creepy. The old song ‘Teddy Bears Picnic’ may have been a reference.
“Back then, I thought I’d use the song as a means to raise money for a good cause, but to draw attention to this thing I thought it might need a visual, so I storyboarded a video for the song which eventually ended up getting shelved.
“But maybe helping celebrate another year of Reasons To Be Cheerful might be a good reason to resurrect this song, and let the storyboards allow folks to imagine what the video might have been.
“Enjoy and thanks for listening/watching.”
Read our 2020 interview with Byrne here.