Just in time for the holidays, a new animated lyric video for Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards‘ 1978 rendition of Chuck Berry‘s rocking Christmas classic “Run Run Rudolph” has premiered on his official YouTube channel.

The clip features a bird’s-eye — or perhaps reindeer’s-eye — view of a city, as snow falls down on the buildings below, along with the words to the tune. Also during the video, an archival photo of Richards swigging a bottle of whiskey and the image of a metal skull with antlers make appearances. The photo of Richards is the same one that was featured on the cover of the limited-edition “Run Run Rudolph” single issued in conjunction with the 2018 Record Store Day Black Friday celebration.

“Run Run Rudolph” was written by Johnny Marks and Marvin Brodie in 1958, and first recorded and released by Berry that same year. Richards’ version, which was his first-ever solo single, was released in December 1978.

In a 2018 YouTube Q&A, Richards explained why he decided to record “Run Run Rudolph.”

“To me, it’s the hippest Christmas song there is,” he said. “Beautiful lyrics, a beautiful, joyful feeling about it, an it tells the story, short and snappy. And what a great track, the sound of it is amazing.”

He added that longtime Rolling Stones touring piano player Ian Stewart contributed to his cover, while noting that it “was just done out of sheer fun.”

The “Run Run Rudolph” lyric video follows the release last month of the deluxe box-set reissue of Richards’ 1991 Live at the Hollywood Palladium album, which documents a December 15, 1988, show that Keith and his solo band The X-Pensive Winos played in Los Angeles while on tour supporting his debut solo album, Talk Is Cheap.

By Matt Friedlander
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