10 Days Until Christmas
Today’s Christmas song – one a day until December 25 – is Lou Monte’s “Dominick the Donkey.” Lou made a career out of Italian-American novelty records, most popular in New York and New Jersey. First released in 1960, “Dominick the Donkey” is about how Santa has a donkey because reindeer aren’t so good at climbing the peaks of Italy. The song also implies Santa’s workshop is actually in “Brook-a-leen.”
“Dominick the Donkey” wasn’t well known across all of America until satellite radio and internet streaming and standardized radio playlists took the song beyond Bensonhurst and Bayonne – and into Salt Lake City and St. Pete. Now, “Dominick” in the mix with “Rudolph” and “Frosty.”
Lou Monte had literally dozens of songs sprinkled with bits of Italian and Italian-American culture. “Lazy Mary” – originally “C’è la Luna Mezzo Mare” – is still played at New York Mets home games. Here’s the original single and a clip from a Mets 2017 seventh-inning stretch.