The year: 1990. The band: dcTalk. The time: Christmas, that most wonderful season in which the hearts of men and women are filled with good cheer and labels are looking for a few holiday tunes to grease the airwaves. The label in question was Forefront, which had just released dcTalk’s Nu Thang to modest success in the then-fledgling Christian hip-hop scene. They wanted a Christmas compilation album and as luck would have it, Toby Mac (who was then going by Toby McKeehan) had already been fiddling around with a few numbers and, so: “Yo Ho Ho.”
The band also dropped the Beastie Boys-esque “The King (Alleluia)” from their first album and a reggae-tinged original number called “Reason for the Season” that let McKeehan’s bandmates Kevin Max and Michael Tait stretch their considerable vocal talents.
But “Yo Ho Ho” is the stand-out. How could it not be? It has the line “Mary was a virgin but laden with child / Yo doc! ponder that for a while”! The art features a Christmas tree with sunglasses! The title leaves the question of whether this is a Christmas song or a pirate song a little open-ended! All keys to a great, festive banger.