Are The Russians Trying To Control Western Christmas Songs?

- jim Young

"Gosh, oh gee, how happy I'd be, if I could only whistle." - Donald Gardner

This is kind of wild. I recently uploaded to YouTube, a short video I made to accompany a Dog On A Root Article entitled “The Ghosts Of Christmas Past”.

The background music in the video included four songs:

  • “My Two Front Teeth” (written 1944) and performed by Spike Jones and his City Slickers in 1947
  • “Nuttin’ For Christmas” (written 1955) and performed by Barry Gordon in 1955
  • “Mele Kalikimaka” (written 1949) and performed by Bing Crosby in 1950 and
  • “Christmas in Killarney” (written 1950) and performed by The Irish Rovers in 2002.

Not that it counts for anything in the world of copyrights, but none of the composers of these songs are alive today. Performers Spike Jones and Bing Crosby are also deceased.

When my video was uploaded to YouTube, I received a “copyright issue” notice.

According to YouTube, “A copyright owner using Content ID has claimed some material in (my) video.”

This would not count as a “copyright strike” against me or my account however, so just what would the consequences of such an infringement be? Apparently, as I soon learned, my video might not appear in some countries.

What diabolical plans do the Russians
have for our Christmas Songs?
Curious as to which song caused the infringement and, suspecting it might be The Irish Rovers’ rendition of "Christmas in Killarney” as it was the only one released in this century, I was surprised to learn it was in fact “My Two Front Teeth” by Spike Jones and his City Slickers, the oldest of this list of songs, that was at the heart of the issue.

The next question that came to mind was “Where will my video be prohibited from being viewed?”

While “The Ghosts Of Christmas Past” video is still visible in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Argentina and Peru, apparently it CANNOT be viewed in Russia!

Really? The Russians hold the copyright claim to “My Two Front Teeth”? Or do they own the rights to the music performed by Spike Jones and his City Slickers?

Both performer Spike Jones and composer Donald Gardner appear to be as American as apple pie so where’s the Russian connection?

Are the Russians trying to gain control of our Christmas Music by quietly purchasing the copyrights to these songs? 

- 30 -


  1. That is just too weird. But it is posted as a "Russian Folk Song" on Youtube Music and, as we all know, if it is on Youtube (or Google) it is true.

  2. I've been a fan of Spike Jones and his City Slicker for as long as I can remember when I started listening to his Christmas songs on 78 rpm at about the age of 3 or 4.


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