The Smithereens are saving Christmas (and who better)! Just when you think it "can't get no worse," to quote John Lennon, Jersey's favorite band, "The Smithereens," is releasing a new single called "Christmas Morning."

According to the band's press release, "The song features all four founding members of the band including Jim Babjak/guitars, Dennis Diken/drums, Mike Mesaros/bass, and the late Pat DiNizio/vocals. It's available on both digital download and 7 inch green 45 rpm vinyl record."

"Christmas Morning" was written by Babjak and he chatted with me via email about the song.

"This song was in our vaults since 1994 and it will be the first time it’s available on a (green) vinyl 45 single, or a download," Babjak wrote to me. "It’s the original version of 'Christmas Morning' with all four original band members."

Babjak also said in the band's press release about the song, "For me, Christmas has always been a time of peace and reflection. Even just for one day, all will be right in the world. And in this time of Covid-19 and political divisiveness, the song couldn’t be more vital. The song expresses musically and lyrically a timeless feeling of hope and calm, that '…waking up on Christmas morning, everything’s okay on Christmas Day.’”

While many have sat around and gained weight during this pandemic, Babjak told me he has used put this "down" time to good use.

"I’m using this time to be more productive and I’ve changed my daily routine in a positive way. Eating better, exercising, and loving family and friends more than ever. I’ve also written 17 new songs and lost 28 pounds!"

Babjak does miss playing, though. Among the guest lead singers filling in for the great Pat DiNizio, who passed away in 2017, have been Marshal Crenshaw, Susan Cowsill, and Robin Wilson of the Gin Blossoms.

"I miss it very much. I miss the interaction with a live audience. The joy I get from seeing smiling faces and people singing along to our songs is priceless. When we come back to a new normal, it will be better than ever."

Look for the Smithereens to be very much a part of that new normal. As their press release says, "In 2019, The Smithereens were inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame and now in 2020, they are celebrating their 40th anniversary as a band. New music and touring to come in 2021!"

As far as I'm concerned, New Jersey could never be normal, old or new without "The Smithereens."

“'Christmas Morning,'” according to the press release, "will be released on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020 on the band’s Tollie Records. The digital download will be available on iTunes and streaming on Spotify and Pandora. The special 7-inch green vinyl 45 RPM single will be available via Amazon and The Smithereens’ website,"

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.

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