Yesterday, while listening to Little Steven's Underground Garage on Sirius XM Satellite Radio, I was suddenly taken in by a version of "Joy To The World" that I never heard before. The song opened with John Lennon's famous harmonica introduction to The Beatles' first English #1 single, "Please Please Me," before morphing into one of the world's most famous Christmas songs. While the lyrics and melody were true to the original carol the arrangement screamed early Beatles. With my interest piqued I conducted an Internet search where I discovered, The Butties, a Beatles tribute band who released a CD, 12 Greatest Carols, in 2005. All of the songs were arranged in a way The Beatles may have recorded them.
The lyrics and melody of "Let It Snow" fit into an obvious arrangement of "Let it Be." "What Child Is This" is paired with "Michelle," while "O Little Town Of Bethlehem" and "In My Life" work well together. Strangest of all, "A Day In The Life" is used as inspiration for a slowed down version of "Jolly Old St. Nicholas."
According to Amazon the CD is out of print but you can still get it through The Butties' website where you can hear sound clips of all twelve songs.
While lovers of the famous Liverpudlians may own copies of their annual fan club Christmas messages, The Beatles never recorded a Christmas song while together as a band. Therefore, while 12 Greatest Carols is hardly essential, it is an interesting what-might-have-been.