Jethro Tull - A Christmas Song Lyrics

Once in Royal David's City stood a lowly cattle shed,
where a mother laid her baby.
You'd do well to remember the things He later said.
When you're stuffing yourselves at the Christmas parties,
you'll laugh when I tell you to take a running jump.
You're missing the point I'm sure does not need making;
that Christmas spirit is not what you drink.

So how can you laugh when your own mother's hungry
and how can you smile when the reasons for smiling are wrong?
And if I messed up your thoughtless pleasures,
remember, if you wish, this is just a Christmas song.

Hey, Santa... pass us that bottle, will you?

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Jethro Tull A Christmas Song Comments
  1. Coach Chris

    Nothing to do with Christ mass

  2. Stones or Beatles

    Happy day after and Santa pour out the bottle, willya<3

  3. Juan Fernandez

    Maravilla de canción. Jethro Tull, mi grupo favorito..

  4. Matthew McSheffrey


  5. David Maholchic

    Great stuff also love songs from the wood kind of a winter Christmasy album

  6. johnny G


  7. Луиджи Марио

    Спасибо,какая приятная музыка,чудесно!!!!😀🙋🙌🙋

  8. TullesP

    Thanks Merry Xmas to you too. "A time for spiritual uplift, oneness with the universe..... and Donovan" (I. Anderson) :-)

  9. thee4thdoctor


  10. Alfred F. Jones

    Merry Christmas Tull fans.

    Laura Laura

    Merry Christmas (◍•ᴗ•◍)❤

    Niyas Ummer

    Merry Christmas💟

    Franco Accone

    Buon Natale a tutto il mondo

    Puckish Rogue

    Merry belated Christmas!

    Nick Hill

    @Puckish Rogue
    Same to you and Happy New Year.
    I never heard this.
    Why am I getting Christmas songs after Christmas lol.

  11. tim fisher

    What a GREAT album from a GREAT GROUP..found it YEARS ago and to this day..people CAN'T believe they made it.
    Open your EYES AND EARS

  12. Kendall Laughon

    Hey Santa.....Bring us some more Tull, another song!? 🎅

  13. BubbaZen10

    May God bless you all! MERRY CHRISTMAS!! 🎄 (still waitin' on that bottle then mate!)

  14. Mariano Pietrangeli

    Ad ogni vigilia di natale sento questa canzone ormai è una tradizione

  15. SunshynKat354

    Still listening. Great concert back in the day also. Love it!! 🎅🏼🎄🎁

  16. Trent Buckingham

    Who's listening in 2008?

  17. Norman Rowe

    Aqualung Claus, nice! I, as a young man was fortunate to see Ian Anderson and his band Jethro Tull a few times. The Passion Play tour , I saw it at The Forum in Los Angeles, was one of the best concerts I ever saw. What a band! What a time for music! Merry Christmas 2019. See you again.

  18. Peter Wesley Bastone

    awesome...shared to Media Factory Show TV on FB

  19. comeonuirons

    Love this song - start of the Tull purple passage Albums /A / B sides all great stuff - excellent - Driving song etc

  20. Rick Roybal

    Remember the hungry and the homeless. Its Christmas for them too. How lucky we are that we can share so much.

  21. Conny Bartels


  22. Miklos Foth

    one of my favourites Christmas songs (including Robert Fripp's Silent Night)


    'Holiday' maybe why doesn't seem the same. Keep Americanisms out of our Christmas to keep the Christmas spirit.

  24. cricketbat09

    Bloody hell, this would really get the party started. Not.

    JennyO. LuvsFLA

    Classless moron.

  25. Juke Joint

    Two guys had a idea which direction the band should go and Ian won out over Mick, the rest is history...

  26. Lucian Higginbotham

    I would like to thank Metallic for not releasing any christmas songs!!

    Matt Carroll

    Reference caught.

    Coach Chris

    metal is noise

    Lucian Higginbotham

    @Coach Chris I agree!! Been a Tull fan since the early 70's!!

  27. Kunta Kinte

    Put your socks on and find some frogs, feed some mice with chocolate logs, queen ants are laying eggs in the Dolly's head and a brick fell from the moon. 🌜🌛🌙🌙🌙🌕🏃🏃🏃🏃🐹🐹🐹🚀🚀🐸🐸🐸🐸🐸🐸🐨👧🐵🐵🐙🚀🚀🐹🐹🚀🐭🐭🐭🐭🐁🐀🐀🐹🐸🐸🐸🐧🐧🐣🐑🐤🐤🐙🐜🐜🐜🐜🐜🐜🐜🐜🐜👧👵👵🍹📞🐴🐇🐈☕🐻🐱🐅🐅🐢👸👳

  28. pete jones

    Not heard this b4. .I've been a tull fan since 1970 but this one passed me by ..I bought ring out solstice bells on 7 inch vinyl single in 76 ..thanks for posting this

  29. Steve Inna

    Jetro Tull always great .first time hearing this song .merry tullness

  30. MerkinMuffly

    2019, still alive, back again to listen to this classic.


    first time hearing this 2019

    jon erickson

    ROCK ON!

    some guy

    Saw them in 92. It was sweet.


    It just always makes me feel good, and is a true tradition for me at Christmas. This, Greg Lake and Cheech & Chong!! Merry Christmas!

    wolfe david

    me too...…………… 70...…...

  31. mad mechanic

    Gonna play this Christmas Day bout 2100Hr to my nutty friends... .. Lets hope they remember next Christmas Thankyou Iain ...and a Happy Christmas to you and all Old Memories mate

  32. Anony Mouse

    Ir´s not just a Christmas song it´s the best Christmas song!

  33. Mark Solarz

    Another Gem, the building up to the Strings,.............I keep this in mind every Christmas season. Thankyou IAN! There’s a great righteousness to the strings!

    Mark Solarz

    Love the way he says “Drink”

  34. Ronnie Smith

    A Christmas Song
    Jethro Tull
    Once in Royal David's City stood a lonely cattle shed,
    Where a mother held her baby.
    You'd do well to remember the things He later said.
    When you're stuffing yourselves at the Christmas parties,
    You'll just laugh when I tell you to take a running jump.
    You're missing the point I'm sure does not need making
    That Christmas spirit is not what you drink.
    So how can you laugh when your own mother's hungry,
    And how can you smile when the reasons for smiling are wrong?
    And if I just messed up your thoughtless pleasures,
    Remember, if you wish, this is just a Christmas song.

  35. John Surabian

    ! ;-)))! <3

  36. Themanwhocameback2

    Heard a crappy remake on the radio this afternoon. Drove me here. This is so rich musically. Puts the new version to shame (If there were still shame in the world of pop music).

  37. Ole Larsen

    Christianity borrowed the primeval yule-tide. It is allright. But don´t tell us hang the head and feel sorry. Yule-tide (jul) is a fiest of wellfare and wealth, we can afford a fiest in the first part of the winter, and then it shortens the dark winter.

  38. Tom Dnz

    Such a great song that really reminds us of what the holiday is all about

  39. Ken bell

    you cant find this one on a Jukebox


    But in YouTube :-)) Merry Christmas!

  40. Tram Eser

    .. . ..

  41. Heinz Berg Derwisch mit der Querflöte

    A great Christmas Song from Jethro Tull

    Heinz Berg Derwisch mit der Querflöte

    For me the best Christmas Song ever

  42. Harry Bonnett

    If I played Jethro Tull Christmas album in mid summer it would feel like Christmas that's how great it is brilliant

  43. Marco Deo

    NO do not change albums and put this song on a remastered version of - This Was -

  44. Nello Di Nardo

    beautiful and sweet song

  45. mushroomking11

    "Looks like it's time
    For another Christmas Song!"

  46. 2003Cpayne

    The only two songs you need for Christmas are this and Solstice Bells. Or the whole Christmas Album...

  47. Alex McIntyre

    Exelant music voice that's why he love them.

  48. l bill

    My church (Catholic no less) wants to do a song about stuffing yourself at Xmas for a Christmas show.  I am so angry about this--with all the people starving we don't need this kind of indiscretion.  I am a musician and I'm learning this song in response.

  49. Charles Byers

    "You'd do well to remember the things He later said." true for me and I imagine true for all.

  50. johnny G


  51. Mitsosmper

    no single song influenced both my wasted and gloriously wonderfull youth asthis one while being in Brighton

  52. Billy Dunn

    Ian Anderson is a Pantheist, and one of Jethro Tull's earliest concerts was at a Catholic Church....

  53. Thomas Ponzio

    Living in the past album 1972

  54. Avalon Cupid

    Only just stumbled upon this! And I absolutely love it!

    Merry Christmas everyone! 🤗🎄

    Irene Hampson

    Merry Christmas! 💚

  55. horrorgami

    back for another xmas for this classic what upppp

  56. Bob Risse

    Pass us that bottle will you?

  57. Evan Sandridge

    sounds like shit

    Brian Shakesby

    don't listen

  58. Fabrício Núbile

    Damn man, Jethro Tull is a banda that makes me feel in so many different emotions, congratulations, one of the greatest band of all times.

  59. Wilhelm Meister

    Santa is Aqualung in that picture!!!😁

  60. Cee Letter

    Every Christmas season I seek this song. The lyrics are beautifully honest. They portray what is wrong about our society.

    True Love Seeking Accomplished

    @TheOrangeRoad What country are you referring to?

    jean-pierre mercier

    you and me both. merry christmas. go find john denver singing his song, "it's about time." the rare live version. it's here on YT.


    Right up there with Greg Lake , and
    'I Believe In Father Christmas'.

    6String Ronin

    Speak for yourself, I volunteered 3 shifts this holiday season to help outreach programs.
    The Spirit of the Season is expressed through our actions. The choice is yours, never wait for someone else to do it.

    phil ryder

    I could not agree more. Tears to the eyes. Beautiful song.

  61. 934johno

    Not in the hall but tupac is in

  62. Rivercommando

    Ho, ho, ho!

  63. Wilhelmien Brons

    WOW SO NICE 🌲🎅🌲🎅🍷

  64. Mr. Trump's Russia Advisor

    who is that, Podesta as Aqualung,  lurking about in a Santa suit?

  65. Randy Cox


  66. Alan Fox

    I prefer ring out solstice bells compared to this.

  67. Martin Dytham

    Love this!

  68. Jalopy john.

    Beats that noddy holder tune for me .happy 2018 earthlings.

  69. low down

    Beautiful Ian I will always be a Tull fan I love your music thanks Ian, rip glenn , this so insightful true in 1970/ true today peace

  70. SonofaColt

    Jethro Tull ...Just A Way Life .

  71. thor Johnson

    great song, great band, something we all need to think about.

  72. Kees van der Wilk

    just great, saw Tull three times in the seventies.. such an outstanding band.

  73. Richard Clifford

    I sang this to my grandmother on Christmas 1989, and she didn't like it!

    Robert Ward

    maybe you can't sing

    Mehitabel Gill

    Next time, sing her "Religion" By Public Image Ltd.

    Duane Berry

    Then she was missing the point. We are all wired to celebrate when we should revere.

  74. elwrongo

    does anyone else hear The Battle of Evermore at the beginning?


    Not really, but I do hear a mandolin, so I know what you mean.

  75. Richard Michael

    ABBA is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Jethro Tull isn't.  WTF

    Don Turner

    A friend and I were just wondering the same a few days ago. After all Hank Williams and Bob Wills are in the "Rock and Roll" hall of fame but Jethro Tull, Grand Funk, Kansas, ELP, the Doobie Brothers, & numerous others are not?...we decided the "Hall of Fame" is just BS

    ron de don don

    Richard Michael; Exactly! WTF!!!

    lou melillo

    Green Day is in They suck no justice

  76. tom toneff

    Great music but lyrics need re-working. "Take a flying leap" expresses a sentiment that I don't think is consistent with what the baby Jesus would later say, and the phrase "when your own mother's hungry" I suppose is trying to evoke poignancy but envisions a condition surely not applicable to most revelers.

    Tony Charles

    No, it's all about the rank hypocrisy of Xmas. After all, having said that Xmas spirit is not what you drink, at the end he asks, "Hey! Santa, pass us that bottle will ya." -You see: We must the Zed back into Zmax. ;-) :-D :-p :-o :-) <3

    Don Turner

    Yes indeed and the lyrics are "classic" Jethro Tull. It's not Jesus but "Jethro" that is telling off the stuffed party goer who won't understand but will laugh when told to take a running jump and the mother is symbolic, not referring to the listener's own mother. Sad really, probably "misses" most Tull lyrics if he doesn't get matter... "the train it won't stop going...

    tom toneff

    @Don Turner Oh please, this is not T.S. Eliot. Anderson's lyrics are never opaque, like, say Dylan's. But they are often clumsy. Like here, a song where he is pleading for the "Christmas spirit," the advice to "take a running jump" seems like an unnecessary dose of ill-will. And, if he is, as must be, speaking to the fat and greasy citizens of our "first world" countries, how does the hungry mothers trope fit in, symbolically?

  77. Jayson Williams

    it is so predictable Jethro Tull at Christmas but what's wrong with that? Brilliant!

  78. Dr Ian Vickery

    sad but true...

  79. TheSirjohn2012

    Where is the sweet song of BOUREE in this album.?

  80. taab7

    @carambacara. 'Where a mother HELD her baby" - not 'Laid'

  81. little charlie

    sounds like a classic to me

    Alan Rohner

    The true/real Crimson King...of course, I think a guy named Peter said something like that and look at what that got him.?!

  82. Kikando Na Vida

    unforgivable ! Love this! Living in the past! best album ever!

  83. Reynaldo Bicudo

    Hey! Santa! pass us that bottle, will you?

    Alan Rohner

    Did Santa pass the bottle?

  84. J Karp

    Hey Santa, pass us that bottle will ya!

  85. karmafarm

    Great string arrangement, and a cool asymmetrical phrase structure. Better than anyone else, perhaps, Tull merged the solidity of rock with the sophistication of prog.

    Alan Rohner

    So...that's why I like it so much.?!

  86. Harry Mccabe

    love Jethro Tull's Christmas song !!


    Have you heard Tull's 'Another Christmas Song' from 1989? I actually think that it is a much better song.

  87. James Mason

    Classic Tull! ... fantastic!

  88. stefano tracanelli


  89. CK Martin

    Trying to find more ways to like this

  90. Kintail5

    Another Christmas dandy from just a few days ago!

  91. animalloverabh

    sounds a bit like cello songs nick drake?

  92. john lightholder

    You're missing the point I'm sure does not need making; that Christmas spirit is not what you drink.....

    Tony Charles

    And then after all of that, he whispers, "Hey! Santa, pass us that bottle, will ya." :-) :-D :-p ;-) <3

  93. Ronald Farias

    Best Christmas song ever

    Mehitabel Gill

    the best Christmas song, ever, is Merry Crassmas, by Crass

  94. torgman

    "where a mother HELD her baby"

  95. Joyce Clayton

    Ronnie Tull's x mas song on of the best

  96. Earthling

    It's not that difficult to look up the correct lyrics to this song.

    Tony Charles

    Lead by example, please! Earthling, take us to your leader. :-)


    I first heard this November, 1972, on the LIVING IN THE PAST cassette I had recieved, purchased by my mother, and given to me in Newport Hospital, Newport, Rhode Island., shortly after I was admitted for a severe laceration on my writing, right arm.
    Thanks, Mom!

    Joseph Wood


    Your mom must be AWESOME!!!!

    Skye MacAllister

    But Charles... How is your arm now?


    And then, Charles went on to be a great writer!

  98. Gary Rawlinson

    Best ever ever ever