Trumbull/SA presents: Twas the Night Before Christmas, Philly Style

Note: We’re posting this as a favor to our sister site, Trumbull Island, and because it’s great (even though I have no love lost for Philadelphia). I may have some Christmas stuff of my own later, I may not. Either way – Merry Christmas to all. Enjoy Kobe vs. LeBron.

Three Philly/Christmas greats: Philly Boy Roy, Santa, The Answer

This season means different things to different people. For me, a Canadian transplant living in New York, I mostly just miss Boxing Day. Tonight is Christmas Eve, which I don’t celebrate, though I do celebrate its arrival and the opportunity to listen to my favorite holiday poem, "Twas the Night Before Christmas, Philly Style" by Henry Livingston Jr. and Roy Ziegler.
I wanted to share the poem, which is written out below, on my Web site, but our webmaster reset the password earlier in the week and may or may not be in church, so, long story short, I’m locked out. Esoteric kindly decided to help me out.

For those unfamiliar, Philly Boy Roy is a caller to The Best Show on WFMU out of New Jersey. Some of Philly Boy Roy’s other calls appear on the Scharpling & Wurster CDs, and some on The Best Show Gems. I apologize to all the Mets fans reading for the heavy Philadelphia content, especially Esoteric, but I am certain many of you are taking solace in the fact that 2009 is coming to a close, and if not that, the Knicks’ recent (semi-)inspiring spate of play.

Here is the link to the MP3 – follow along with the lyrics below.

"Twas the night before Christmas, Philly Style"

By Henry Livingston Jr. and Roy Ziegler

Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ Veterans Stadium,

Not a creature was stirring, not even the Philly Phanatic.

‘Nem stockings was hung by the dugout with care,

In hopes that St. Rizzo would soon be there.

‘Nem Eagles was nestled all snug in their bed,

While visions of cheesesteaks danced in their heads.

Patti LaBelle in her kerchief, and I in my Phillies cap

Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the playing field, there arose such a clatter,

I sprang out from the dugout to see what was the matter.

Away from the bed, I flew like a flash,

Tore up the stairs, and grabbed me a bat.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,

Gave the lustre of hoagie buns to objects below.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear

But a gigantic sled, and eight legends, so dear.

With a tough old driver, so mean, and so fair,

i knew in a moment St. Rizzo would be there.

More rapid than ‘nem ’76ers, those heroes they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

"Now, Schmitty! now, Iverson! now Parent and Detmer!

On Hall! on Oates! on Hooters and Rundgren!

To the heart of South Street! to Jim’s Steaks you all!

Now dash away! Dash away! Like Steve Carlton’s fastball!"

Like the basketballs Dr. J would let fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.

So down to South Street, ‘nem legends they flew,

With a sleigh full of toys, and St. Rizzo, too.

And then in a twinkling, I heard on the street,

The sound of my heroes landing on their feet.

As I drew in my head and was turning around,

Down the chimney at Jim’s Steaks, St. Rizzo came with a bound.

He was dressed all in silver and green from his head to his cleats,

And he demanded Jim make him a cheesesteak to eat.

A bundle of footballs and hockey sticks he flung on his back,

And he looked like a cop at the Spectrum, beating a crowd back.

His eyes, how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!

His cheeks were like Phillies helmets, his nose like a can of Frank’s Cherry.

His filthy little mouth was drawn up in a bow,

And his three chins were as white as the snow.

The end of a cigar he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face, and a fat round belly,

That shook when he laughed, like TastyKakes filled with jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right tough old guy,

I laughed at him until he said I was going to die!

A wink of his eye, and a twist of his head,

Soon made me know that I had plenty to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all ‘nem stockings, and called me a jerk.

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

Accepting my bribe, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team he gave a thump,

And away they flew, in the direction of Manayunk.

But I heard him exclaim, as he drove them without mercy,

"Happy Christmas to all, and let’s skip New Jersey!"


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