All I Want For Christmas Is A Beatle – Dora Bryan’s Middle-Aged Lust

An oddball novelty number cashing in on the huge success of the Fab Four.

While some artists were lining up to record Beatles diss tracks in the 1960s, others sought to cash in on the popularity of the Fab Four with gushing fan tracks. Dora Bryan, who would’ve turned 100 today if not for the fact that she is dead, was one such opportunist, with her 1963 release All I Want for Christmas is a Beatle. Ms Bryan was 39 at the time of recording, which not only made her considerably older than any of the Beatles – the oldest of whom was 23 at the time – but also makes her references to ‘mum’ getting her a Beatle a bit odd. Clearly, it’s a bit of role-play and in the days before constant music on TV, I guess she could get away with pretending to be a teenybopper. How her Top of the Pops appearance went is anyone’s guess – the footage seems to be amongst the lost content of that show.

The song was recorded during her spare time from appearing in the play Two of One at London’s Adelphi Theatre and was written by ‘Gladys Benton’, seemingly a pseudonym for producer and arranger Chris Parmenter, who worked for Fontana. The song was not a huge success, even though the Beatles themselves seemed amused by the whole thing – I suppose that back in 1963, the whole stardom thing was still quite new for them and having a novelty record written about them by a proper celebrity was quite flattering.

Still, the song managed to creep into the top 30, which is quite something and shows just how popular all things Beatles were by this time. Dora Bryan did not follow up with more songs about British rock bands, sadly.

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