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Snowin' in the Wind? Dylan Christmas album due

LONDON (Reuters) - Bob Dylan is set to release an album of Christmas songs, including "Here Comes Santa Claus" and the carol "O Little Town of Bethlehem," according to music websites.

Rumors of the album first emerged on Isis magazine website, which is devoted to Dylan. It later reported the songs had been recorded in Jackson Browne's studio in Santa Monica, California, in May.

David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, who played accordion on Dylan's chart-topping latest album "Together Through Life," is one of the musicians who took part in the sessions, it said.

"It is a personal project of Dylan himself rather than an idea put forward by his record company," Isis said.

Billboard magazine said it had confirmed the album existed. Other songs included "Must Be Santa" and "I'll be Home for Christmas," it said.

Dylan was originally of the Jewish faith and was a Born Again Christian from 1979-1981, releasing three religious-themed albums.

"At first glance it may sound bizarre, but I don't think Dylan cares much about what his detractors might make of it," Scott Marshall, who has written a book 'God and Bob Dylan: A Spiritual Life' told bullypulpit.com.

"He's both never renounced being Jewish or renounced his experience with Jesus some three decades ago," Marshall said.

Dylan, now aged 68, is currently touring the United States as part of his so-called "Never Ending Tour."

Britain's Uncut magazine meanwhile poked fun at the project, serving up Yuletide puns on Dylan songs such as "A Hard Reindeer's A-Gonna Fall," "Sleigh Lady Sleigh" and "Girl From The North Pole Country."

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