Song 358: Dean Martin, “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” (1959)Posted: December 24, 2013
Dean Martin’s ring-a-ding-ding style, often forced to the point of self-parody, takes some getting used to. I have a hard time listening to him sing serious songs, because no matter the setting, he sounds like he’s goofing around with a drink in his hand.
But what better time to goof around with a drink in your hand than Christmas? That’s why his Christmas collection, Christmas With Dino, is such a delight. Unlike his buddy Frank’s record, which has sanctimonious takes on “Adeste Fidelis” and “The First Noel,” Dino is warm and boozy, like a cup of cocoa with a shot of brandy. Martin sings “Silent Night,” but otherwise the record is a cocktail party soundtrack: “Winter Wonderland,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” the perennially creepy “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”
I’ve always had a soft spot for “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm,” and I think it’s a perfect fit for Dean Martin. The song is so damn jovial in anybody’s hands, but with Martin’s good-times delivery, it’s downright comforting. The arrangement’s a little insipid, but it largely works: the strings hum along and the horns pop in for a word or two. It’s as light and fluffy as the snow coming down outside Martin’s window. I’m allergic to overly cheery holiday songs, and in terms of jolliness, this one’s just about perfect. Now where’s my drink?