HomeEntertainmentMusicCountry MusicWATCH: Whiskey Myers Covers ‘Merry Christmas From the Family’

WATCH: Whiskey Myers Covers ‘Merry Christmas From the Family’

by Brett Stayton
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NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 10: Whiskey Myers performs at Ryman Auditorium on September 10, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Keith Griner/Getty Images)

Opinions about music are so subjective that picking a single favorite song is nearly impossible and there are no wrong answers. Except when it comes to Christmas songs that is. In that case, Merry Christmas From The Family by legendary Texas country music singer Robert Earl Keen is the undisputed best song there is.

REK debuted the song in 1994 as part of his Gringo Honeymoon album. He released a live version of the song as part of his 1996 album No. 2 Live Dinner. The song was so popular that it inspired a Christmas book by the same name. It also inspired REK to write a sequel to the song titled Happy Holidays Y’all.

Merry Christmas From The Family is so damn good that the thought of covering it is probably intimidating for a lot of artists. The big-time country music duo Montgomery Gentry pulled it off with flying colors back in the day. Their version of the song was so popular that it even entered the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in 2001 despite being just a cover of a seasonal tune. That version introduced a lot of folks outside of Texas to the song.

Now Cody Cannon, the frontman of the hard-rockin’ Texas country band Whiskey Myers has taken a crack at covering the song in a video posted to the band’s Instagram account… He absolutely crushed it, too.

Robert Earl Keen’s Thoughts On The Song

Growing up in Texas, REK said that he never actually saw snow around Christmas time. That’s part of the reason he found it really difficult to relate to any of the mainstream Christmas carols out there. “I didn’t even know what a chestnut looked like until I was 30 years old and saw it in a picture book… It was a different kind of Christmas,” he said. “Every Christmas song I had ever heard didn’t have a lot to do with growing up in Houston where it was most likely 85 degrees and 95 percent humidity.”

The song got so popular amongst music fans, that REK said he had to implement some limitations on how often he obliged people’s requests to play the song. Apparently, none of his other jams encourage fans to sing along so excitedly. Something about playing a Christmas song year-round seemed to devalue the song to some degree though.

“Well, it’s a real popular song with us, I have nine records out and this song just sort of cropped up and became a real favorite and we get requests for it all year round,” he said. “So, I had to create this rule, I call it the ‘Linen Rule’, where we don’t play the song as long as you can wear linen. It saves it and makes it fresh for the holiday season. So we start playing it around Labor Day and we play it on through the holidays. It’s the big number particularly in December that we close with.” 

A Lyrical Exploration Of Merry Christmas From The Family

A song written so perfectly deserves to be appreciated word by word, so let’s take a lyrical exploration of the iconic holiday song. There is nothing else I can write about Merry Christmas From The Family that is better or more entertaining than the song itself, so here it is:

“… Mom got drunk and Dad got drunk
At our Christmas party
We were drinking champagne punch
And homemade egg-nog

Little sister brought her new boyfriend
He was a Mexican
We didn’t know what to think of him
‘Til he sang ‘Feliz Navidad, Feliz Navidad’

Brother Ken brought his kids with him
The three from his first wife Lynn
And the two identical twins
From his second wife Mary Nell

Of course he brought his new wife Kay
Who talks all about AA
Chain smoking while the stereo plays
“Noel, Noel, The First Noel”

Carve the Turkey, turn the ball game on
Mix margaritas when the egg-nog’s gone
Send somebody to the Quickpak Store
We need some ice and an extension chord

A can of bean dip and some Diet Rites
A box of tampons and some Marlboro Lights
Hallelujah, everybody say, “Cheese”
Merry Christmas from the family

Fred and Rita drove from Harlingen
I can’t remember how I’m kin to them
But when they tried to plug their motor home in
They blew our Christmas lights

Cousin David knew just what went wrong
So we all waited out on our front lawn
He threw the breaker and the lights came on
And we sang “Silent Night, oh Silent Night”

Carve the turkey, turn the ball game on
Make Bloody Marys ’cause we all want one
Send somebody to the Stop ‘N Go
We need some celery and a can of fake snow

A bag of lemons and some Diet Sprites
A box of tampons and some Salem Lights
Hallelujah, everybody say, “Cheese”
Merry Christmas from the family…”

If you haven’t heard the original version of the song, then check it out below. The delightful tacky yet unrefined music video for the song is simply amazing.

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