Van Zant via Full Access Magazine
The Southern rock community is one big, happy family. But for the Van Zants, Southern rock really is a family affair.
Oldest brother Ronnie Van Zant founded a little group by the name of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and served as its lead singer until his death in 1977. Of course, as you all know, Skynyrd is far more than just a “little group.” They’re often considered one of the greatest rock bands of all time, with iconic songs such as “Free Bird” and “What’s Your Name.”
After Skynyrd reunited in 1987, youngest brother Johnny Van Zant took the wheel as the lead singer. He continues to serve as Skynyrd’s fearless leader to this day.
Middle brother Donnie Van Zant founded a Southern rock group of his own that also went on to claim a legendary status. That band is .38 Special, known for songs such as “Hold On Loosely” and “Caught Up in You.”
When it came time for Skynyrd to celebrate the holiday season on their 2000 Christmas album Christmas Time Again, they enlisted the help of Donnie and .38 Special on one of the album’s most celebratory tracks.
Called “Hallelujah, It’s Christmas,” the song was co-written by .38 Special members Don Barnes, Danny Cahuncey, and Donnie.
In the song, Donnie sings of the joy that Christmas brings. He also sings about how Christmas unites people all over the world, even if it’s just for one day:
“Singing hallelujah it’s Christmas.
People all sharing their hearts tonight.
Singing hallelujah it’s Christmas.
It’s Christmas all over the world.”
The fun-lovin’ lyrics are accompanied by the energetic guitars you’re used to hearing in both Skynyrd and .38 Special. So really, what’s not to love about this purely Southern Christmas tune?
Scroll on down to the clip below to hear an audio recording of “Hallelujah, It’s Christmas.” From us to everyone in Skynyrd Nation…Merry early Christmas y’all!