Sing it Charlie! Top Mass. politicians croon ‘Sleigh Ride,’ and some of them are … not bad?

"This song goes on forever!"

Look: Gov. Charlie Baker, if he is to sing at all, would probably rather belt out some Blink-182 or the Dropkick Murphys. Maybe something by Aerosmith.

But as he winds down his eight years in the corner office, there was one more tradition the lame duck governor had to fulfill.

NBC 10 Boston’s Alison King, thankfully, brought back her yearly “Political Harmony” segment, where the veteran political reporter has the state’s upper political echelon reach for their upper vocal registers in the name of some good old nonpartisan, holiday cheer.

This year’s selection was “Sleigh Ride,” which has some hearty Massachusetts ties.


The song was composed by Cambridge-born composer Leroy Anderson, with its the first orchestral recording by the Boston Pops Orchestra in 1949.

Lyrics for the version known today — with that iconic first line, Just hear those sleigh bells jingle-ing / Ring ting tingle-ing too — were penned by Mitchell Parish, a Tin Pan Alley songwriter, the following year.

Baker had the honor of leading that phrase for King’s rendition, with Boston Mayor Michelle Wu kicking things off on the piano.

Gov.-elect Maura Healey, Sen. Ed Markey, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, incoming Attorney General Andrea Campbell, and many more of Beacon Hill’s top brass made cameos.

Many of them can carry a tune, if we do say so ourselves. But it’s likely best to consider the “harmony” among this group of legislators more of the warm and fuzzy sentiment rather than of the musical variety.

And eventually, things did come off the rails — erm, runners? — for this sleigh ride.

When U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton’s office fumbles a lyric, a cheery congressman pipes up: “Who cares?”

Cut to Campbell trying the “giddy up, giddy up, giddy up” line.

“There’s three giddy-ups?!” she exclaims.

The legislators then start dicing the song up like they’re taking a hard look at policy in committee.


Congressman Jack Auchincloss at one point quips, “Who wrote this song?”

“This is awkward to the nth power,” state House Speaker Ron Mariano says.

Markey reminds King that in the sixth grade, a nun would not even let him sing.

Even Warren, with her reputation for persisting through the toughest of challenges, seems to throw in the towel: “This song goes on forever!”

Some, ultimately, get to the final refrain, perhaps a bit beleaguered, but smiling nonetheless.

And a cheerful Baker offers a send-off: “Happy holidays!”


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