The song was written by Johnny Marks – whose other holiday standards include ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’, ‘A Holly Jolly Christmas’, ‘Silver and Gold’ and ‘I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day’ – and was first recorded by Brenda Lee, becoming a hit following its release in 1958.
For their version, the husband-and-wife duo amp up the energy of Lee’s original, with Fripp playing distorted power chords and Willcox delivering theatrical, soaring vocals. Towards the end of the performance, Willcox pours shaving cream on Fripp’s head before blowing it away with a fan. Watch that via the pair’s YouTube channel here.
Earlier this month, Willcox and Fripp covered The Cardigans‘ 1998 song ‘My Favourite Game’, while November saw the couple deliver versions of ‘Can Your Pussy Do the Dog?’ by The Cramps, ‘Seek and Destroy’ by Metallica, ‘Holy Wars’ by Megadeth and more.
The series began in 2020, with Willcox telling The Guardian in early 2021 that she started the videos to help Fripp deal with COVID-19 lockdowns. Speaking to NME the same year, she explained that the pair were planning on expanding their collaboration, saying they “loved making the content” and were “going to take it a lot further”.
In October, Fripp said the ongoing series had upset some King Crimson fans but that, at age 76, he was unfazed by their criticism. “My wife insists performers have a responsibility to lift people’s spirits in hard times. Do I respect that? My answer is yes, completely and utterly I do,” Fripp said during an interview with the Telegraph.
“My wife said to me, if all we’ve done in two years is help one person through their bad time, it’s all worth it,” the guitarist continued. “So I’m not sure if that meets a criteria of serving what is highest in music, but for me, it’s a real undertaking that I respect. And I am quite prepared to strap on a guitar and rock out to a classic riff in order to achieve it.”
The couple plan to take their Sunday Lunch series on the road in 2023. They announced a joint tour back in June of this year, but have not yet locked in when and where they’ll be playing.