James Brown Performs for American Soldiers in Vietnam

Happy Holidays

“And I’ll be grooving at Christmastime.”


“I ain’t talkin’ just to tease. People like you don’t grow on trees. Look here, this is what’s gonna be. I have everything I need around my soulful Christmas tree. Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. I love you. Have good cheer. I love you. Good God. Got my baby, my precious love. Happiness. Good God. Huh. I got plenty of it. Would you believe I got peace of mind? And I’ll be grooving at Christmastime. Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. May you have good cheer. I love you. James Brown loves you, you lucky so and so. Oh. Ow. Soulful Christmas like a sweet melody. I’m a lucky so and so. The bells are gonna ring for me. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. To all of my fans, have good cheer. I love you, I love you. Won’t take nobody else. I can’t stand myself. Huh. Good God. I gotta heart full of love for the whole wide world and a little special love for my soulful girl. I get this feelin’ every night and then I gotta get ready to bring the New Year in.”

—James Brown, 1968

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James Brown – Soulful Christmas
from Funky Christmas. Polydor, 1968 | buy mp3s

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James Brown backstage and on the stage in Vietnam. June, 1968. Photos by Christian Simonpietri/Sygma/Corbis