Banjo Santa

Warren McKnight is the Banjo SantaThe New York Times cityroom blog recently featured a story about a banjo playing Santa from New York. The story is complete with a short video showcasing Santa’s banjo skills, and asking him a few questions about the gig.

Warren McKnight lives in Riverhead (on Long Island), N.Y. and works as an automotive parts salesman. In December he dons his Santa outfit, straps on his banjo, and hits the streets to play some holiday music on his favorite instrument.

He has a full beard and an undeniably jolly disposition, and when he pulls on his red Santa cap, he resembles Kris Kringle from "Miracle on 34th Street," and when he lays open his banjo case for small change and sings and finger-picks holiday ditties like "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," he embodies a certain country Christmas spirit.

I like the idea, but I may have to disagree with McKnight on one point. He was asked which instrument he thought Santa would play, of course he said it would be the banjo. I don’t necessarily disagree with that. It’s his reason I’m not sure I can embrace.

It has to be the banjo for the simple reason: you cannot play a sad song on the banjo.

Tell that to Ralph Stanley!