The Night Before "The Night Before"

The Night Before on XPN

Bah & the Humbugs reunited in 2013 to record an all-new song celebrating 20 years of The Night Before on XPN with Robert Drake. DJ Robert Drake, a fixture of the Philadelphia public radio community, showcases alternative Christmas music, including Bah & the Humbugs, every year on his 24-hour Christmas Eve program. Drake notably and heroically mans the station entirely alone for his marathon 24-hour stint, which runs the entire day of Christmas Eve from midnight to midnight.

The new song, which can be streamed or downloaded below, is a fictionalized account of last-minute preparations by Robert Drake in Philadelphia, and by Santa Claus at the North Pole, as they get ready for their respective December 24th committments.

On December 24th, you can listen to The Night Before on XPN with Robert Drake at 88.5 FM in Philadelphia, or you can stream the program from anywhere in the world on XPN's website, xpn.org/xpn-programs/night-before. WXPN, the non-commercial, member-supported radio service of the University of Pennsylvania, was created in 1945, and has been broadcasting their award-winning program, Kids Corner for over twenty years. WXPN is also home to NPR-syndicated World Cafe.

Download The Night Before "The Night Before"

Listen to The Night Before "The Night Before":

Subscribe to the podcast: http://www.fjordstone.com/bah/bahcast.rss To subscribe to this podcast, copy the preceding URL and paste it into your podcast software. Direct link for iTunes users.

Download the 2013 podcast directly: click here.

Visit the downloads page for more free Bah & the Humbugs MP3s.

The Night Before "The Night Before"


Dateline: North Pole. Time to pack the sleigh.
Load up all the toys. Soon be on our way.
Check the GPS! Check the flying deer!
Check, check, check, check! Everything is here,
Except (what's this?) there's a major kerfuffle:
Five thousand X-Boxes lost in the shuffle!
Code Red Emergency! Call in every elf!
Open every toy sack! Look on every shelf!

cartoon portrait of Robert Drake, champion of Bah & the Humbugs

Meanwhile in Philly, down at XPN,
DJ Robert Drake gets ready once again
For his 24-hour music marathon.
All day on Christmas Eve he keeps the lights on.
All the other DJs get to take the day
To wrap up all their presents and wait for Santa's sleigh.
Just like 19 times before, he's setting up alone.
He checks the Jingle Cam, plugs in his microphone.

Just a few hours left 'til December 24,
You think you've got it all done, but there's always one thing more,
And that's just how it goes on the night before The Night Before.

Santa calls his elves. It's time to gather round.
They're all relieved to hear: the missing toys were found.
They were s'pose to show up in the Monday morning freight
Who knows how they wound up in dumpster 28?
But here's another problem: the headlights of the sleigh
They're dimmer now than ever, too dim to light the way,
And Rudolph can't help us! His nose is out of whack!
Without any headlights, those toys are going back!

Now Robert's pulling records, for the Christmas show in Philly
There's Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Shawn Colvin, and GrooveLily,
The Pogues and The Ramones, and even Kurtis Blow,
Reverend Horton Heat, The Roches, and Keb Mo,
It's a Wonderful Life, and the Jedi's choice, Meco,
Mexicali Brass Band, and Vince Guaraldi Trio.

We'll have Squirrel Nut Zippers and Klezmatics in a pinch,
And five different versions of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch."
There's Bah and the Humbugs, that funny local band,
And Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, both filed under AMPERSAND,
But Brian Setzer Orchestra — where did that one go?
It isn't under B, under S, or under O!
Without their swinging suite, this Christmas will be sour
But where's the missing disk? We only have one hour!!

Just a few minutes left 'til December 24,
You think you've got it all done, but there's always one thing more,
And that's just how it goes on the night before The Night Before,
The night before The Night Before.

Emergency rhinoplasty — it was worth a try.
Eight reindeer have red noses. Now we're fit to fly!
Santa's fairly frazzled. He's pulling out his beard!
"We need to start this sleigh ride. This night is getting weird!"

Like a needle in a haystack, it's as hopeless as can be
Searching all of XPN for one misfiled CD.
By miracle it turns up, in time to save the day.
It was propping a table leg in the World Cafe.

Everyone has, in their times of great need,
A calm guiding spirit who helps them succeed.
At the Pole, it's the chief logistical elf.
At XPN, it's the spirit of the station itself.

cartoon portrait of Santa Claus, nemesis of Bah & the Humbugs, listening to WXPN on his terrestrial radio

And Robert, and Santa, who both were freaked out,
Heard the same hopeful message cut through all their doubt:
"You're doing great! Remember to breathe.
You're all set for showtime, Christmas Eve."

Santa jumped in the sleigh, gave the sleighbells a shake,
Turned the radio on to hear Robert Drake.
"'Cause the music he plays on The Night Before
Makes this trip 'round the world seem like less of a chore.
But first," Santa said, "I'll make a request.
By e-mail? By chat room? No, Twitter is best."
And he shot out this tweet, 'ere he drove out of sight,
"#HoHoHo play some @theHumbugs tonight!"

We finally made it to December 24,
You got it all together just like every time before,
And now the time has come for The Night Before,
The Night Before, The Night Before,
The Night Before, The Night Before,
The Night Before, The Night Before...