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Video: Paul Simon Performs 'Getting Ready For Christmas Day' On 'Colbert Report'

Song is from his new album 'So Beautiful or So What'

December 17, 2010 9:50 AM ET

Paul Simon stopped by The Colbert Report last night to perform "Getting Ready For Christmas Day," a holiday-themed song that'll be the first track off his forthcoming album So Beautiful Or So What, out in April.

The song's breezy feel belies its lyrics, which touch on the lousy economy and the narrator's nephew being stationed in Iraq. The song's chorus is built around a sample of American preacher J.M. Gates marrying images of the holiday with those of death during a 1941 sermon. A striking animated video for the track echoes the lyrics' themes.

Free Download: Paul Simon, "Getting Ready For Christmas Day"

Before performing, Simon sat down to talk with Colbert about the dark themes of "Getting Ready" compared to other seasonal songs, and how he came to incorporate Gates into the track.

Paul Simon - Getting Ready for Christmas Day [The Colbert Report]

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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