LA Times and Mama I Know You Ain't Santa




LA Times Pop Music Editor Randy Lewis named “Mama, I Know You Ain’t Santa” one of “the saddest Christmas songs ever” among legendary songs such as Judy Garland’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” Merle Haggard’s “If We Make It Through December” and other classics.


“It is one of the best songs I have heard in years… especially a Christmas song. I cried!” – Dolly Parton


“This song tells me Tracy loves her Mama like I love my Mama . . . and that’s a lot!!!! A very moving and NEW Christmas tune straight from the heart.” – Carl Jackson, Grammy Award winning artist, musician and producer


“The incredible understanding of a child, who knows the loving responsibility of a go at it alone Mother who provides the true essence of the gift we were all given, Love . . .  I love this song . . . ” – Marty Raybon, Grammy award winning artist and producer


About the SONG

Tracy and Lynne have been friends for over 40 years, having first met at the famous Groundlings Theater in Hollywood.

“Dolly Parton was the inspiration for this poem which I wrote after hearing her sing Me and Little Andy,” says Lynne Stewart. “I performed it at The Groundlings. Tracy loved it and said let’s turn your poem into a song. Tracy was a wonderful writing partner. She’s so disciplined. I just wanted to stop and go out to eat! That poem would still be in a drawer, if it wasn’t for Tracy.”

According to Tracy, “I saw Lynne recite it at The Groundling Theatre, ala Dolly Parton. It made me cry. I felt lucky she was willing to turn it into a song with me. Collaborating with me is hard because when I think it will be something great I get obsessive and want to work long hours without eating or taking a break. It must have made Lynne crazy, but she stuck with me. Fortunately, Lynne knows how to stay true to the emotional core of a story. So do I. So this final product is the very best of both of us, and we’re deeply proud of it.”

About the WRITERS

Tracy writes and performs full-time in the Los Angeles area with her band, the Reinforcements. She has released three albums: A Place in the Sun, I Just See You, and most recently, a children’s album called I Can Swing Forever, which included a sing-along coloring book created by her daughter, artist Charlotte Dean. Tracy is also an Emmy and Peabody Award winner for co-writing the groundbreaking coming-out episode of Ellen. She was also on the writing staffs of Cheers, The Nanny, and The Drew Carey Show. In 2001, she co-created the long-running ABC comedy, According to Jim.

“Mama . . . ” isn’t Lynne’s first poem to be made into a song. She also co-wrote “Bed of Lies” with Tito Larriva, then lead singer of Cruzados now Tito and Tarantula. Lynne is best known to TV audiences as Miss Yvonne, “The Most Beautiful Woman in Puppetland” on Peewee’s Playhouse. Currently, she has recurring roles as Charlie’s mom on FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Scott Auckerman’s mom on IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang. Film appearances include American Graffiti, Peewee’s Big Adventure, Big Top Peewee and Bridesmaids. Lynne will be in Peewee’s Big Holiday in 2016.


Mama I Know You Ain’t Santa

Mama, I know you ain’t Santa
Santa don’t have a figure like you
And his eyes aren’t red from cryin’ And he don’t stand just under five-two

Mama, that pillow is slippin’
And your pretty blond hair is showing through And ain’t that the necklace I made you?
And I bet Santa don’t have the flu

There’s a clear Christmas sky in Atlanta Millions of stars bright as can be
Mama, I know you ain’t Santa
I’ve seen him up close; I’ve sat on his knee

But Billy don’t know you ain’t Santa How could he, he’s only two
Billy don’t remember Daddy
But, Mama, you and I do

Well, thanks for the skirt you made over And thanks for dying it red
And Billy sure loves that puppy
We’ll never get him to bed

There’s a clear Christmas sky in Atlanta Millions of stars twinkling bright
Mama, I know you ain’t Santa
But I promise I’ll always remember this night

Now, let me play Santa for Billy
You go upstairs and take a rest
‘Cause you make one lousy Santa
But as a mama for Billy and me – you are the best