The highly anticipated second holiday album from Eagles linemen Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson and Jordan Mailata has hit streaming platforms — and fans are buzzing about one curveball choice.
"A Philly Special Christmas Special," which was digitally released Friday, includes a cover of the novelty tune "Dominick the Donkey." The song was originally recorded in 1960 by Lou Monte, but this time, Kelce takes the reins to sing about Santa's friend, the "Italian Christmas donkey."
"Dominick the Donkey" was never a Billboard Hot 100 hit in its day, but it's become something of a kitschy classic over the decades. The song immortalizes a donkey who helps Santa "climb the hills of Italy" to deliver presents on Christmas. (Reindeer, apparently, can't handle the rocky terrain.) But more so than its lyrics, the jingle is remembered for its animal sounds, including the braying "hee-haw."
Naturally, listeners have been reacting to Kelce's take with shock, delight and plenty of jokes. In one tweet, reposted by Kelce, a user wrote, "It’s a shame this came out after Spotify wrapped because Jason kelce singing Dominick the Donkey in an Italian accent would, without a doubt, be my #1 song of the year."
Other users praised Kelce's range as an emerging recording artist.
The song is apparently already a hit in the Kelce household. The Eagles center posted a clip on X, formerly Twitter, on Nov. 23 of his family gathering to watch the album's accompanying stop-motion short film. Demanding quiet in the house, Kelce asks one of his daughters if she wants to "see the donkey." She instantly perks up and walks to the TV as Kelce prepares to hit play.
As of Friday afternoon, Spotify lists Kelce and his brother Travis' cover of "Fairytale of New York" — retitled "Fairytale of Philadelphia" — as the album's most popular track with over 1 million streams. But that single had a head start, leaving "Dominick the Donkey" plenty of time to climb the charts, just like he climbs the hills of Italy.