Track seven from Bitch, Don’t Let Me Die!. This song was made available to stream ahead of the album’s official release as an exclusive by the Detroit Free Press as part of ‘Freep: First Spin’.
Hark! This is the night
Where Big Red Arthur tries to make it right
And I, I was a child
I couldn’t read, but I could see
And this is where, Big Red Arthur
Slides down the chimney and lands on spikes
He lands on spikes (He lands on spikes!)
He will never ever see Christmas!
And every single one of those business men
Who dine on their fois gras tonight
Drop drawers and count to ten
With a finger in your mouth: you bite!
Sometimes you watch the news
And you’ve seen terrible things
Sometimes you’ve got to choose
Which crooks the hangman swings
And I know Big Red Arthur is laughing
As he bids adieu, to this hideous world
Boxing Day, Mum and Dad
Explain police tape
It’s all so sad
Lies, more of the same
And the gifts that we were promised
So I, I walked into town
Threw rocks at windows and passed the time
I passed the time (I passed the time!) (Time!)
And I shall always never forget this
When suddenly a chill upon my neck takes form
As a bird made out of fire and snakes…
And he gives me a strangest peck he says
‘Let’s go out for tea and cakes’
Sometimes you roll the dice, sometimes the dice roll you
Christmas can be so nice but it can be awful too
And somewhere out there!
There’s another Big Red Arthur
Greasing up his body…
To come down the flue!
In September 2015 in an interview with freep.com – Dick Valentine stated about the song:
“Ten years ago we were part of a campaign to have an Xmas number one in the U.K. with our cover of ‘Radio Ga Ga’ by Queen, which I always found amusing because it had nothing to do with Christmas. So 10 years later, we are going for it again with ‘Big Red Arthur.’ This song is loosely based on a word-of-mouth tale I heard about a 10-year old boy in Lancashire who thought Santa was actually Satan because the spelling is so similar … so he set a trap for Santa Claus that utilized rusty spikes and acid.
“However, the victim that night was neither Santa or Satan … but his uncle Arthur, a Santa Claus impersonator in the pedestrian footmall who decided it would be fun to surprise his relatives while he was already in costume. Tragedy and tears all around, but the boy grows up to live a typical miserable British existence and Uncle Arthur is reincarnated as a falcon.
“We may never be Xmas number one in the U.K., but at least this time, we have a real song about Christmas that all miserable English people can relate to. Points for trying!