‘Tis The Season For Some Irreverence

Christmas songs. It’s that time of year, and yule hear them more and more as the rest of the month slips by. And, of course, the more one hears them, the more one starts playing with the lyrics. I think it’s called “coping strategy”. Even when you’re browsing in a store where the music is turned down low, you’re guaranteed to here FIVE GOLD RINGS a bunch of times if that song is on, even if you can’t really hear the rest of it.

My name being Mark (Shh! don’t tell anybody!), “Mark, The Herald-Angels Sing” (and why wouldn’t they? Don’t answer that) has long been a favourite.

Another one that kids often enjoy messing with, is:
“While shepherds washed their socks by night
all seated round the tub
The angel of the Lord came down,
And gave them all a scrub.”

Incidentally, I visited Israel a few years ago, and visited the site called The Shepherds’ Fields. There was kind of a dirty little pool in the ground, looked like it had drainage. I suggested that that was where the shepherds washed their socks.

There was a commercial on Sky one Christmas, for Wrestlemania. Back when it was WWF, not WWE. Had it on VHS when I taped off the TNG 2-parter The Best Of Both Worlds. The voice-over on the advert was singing to the tune of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”. I’m sure the anecdote would be more amusing if I could remember the whole thing, but the “For Jesus Christ our saviour was born upon this day” line was (something) “Wrestlemania, it’s live on Boxing Day”. And then the good tidings of comfort and joy turned into “With good hidings, discomfort and pain, plenty of pain”, with a very gloating tone of voice on the “plenty”.

Anyone else think that line in “Once In Royal David’s City”, where “Christian children all must be / Mild, obedient, good as He.” was a big guilt-trip?

Tomorrow, the last Christmas present I plan on ordering for over here, will arrive. When boxes and packages have arrived from Amazon containing presents, I’ve been singing “Christmastime is here”, from the Charlie Brown Christmas.

I remember Have I Got News For You mocking some politician wanting to rename Christmas as Winterval. Well, actually, I remember Winterval, the circumstances behind it are a lot more vague. But there are definitely songs where “Winterval” fits a lot better timing-wise, than “Christmas”.

“Winterval is here”
“Simply, having, a wonderful Winterval”.

In America, there is this cereal that I haven’t tried, called Grape Nuts. There was an amusing advertising campaign that I was exposed to, that I actually enjoyed (quite a feat given how much I’ve come to not-enjoy advertising). Goes on about how they’re not really grapes, and they’re not really nuts.

I mention them because it’s just fun to sing, “Grape-Nuts roasting on an open fire…”

“O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, how lovely are your branches”. A song we often mutilate, in so many ways. Singing to Youngest, “O youngest child, O youngest child, it’s time to change your nappy” (only with his name instead of “youngest child”). Sometimes I sing to a kid and change the “how lovely are your branches”, sometimes I retain it, depending on what seems funnier, or most expected, at the time.

So a few months ago, Middlest was shown a Christmas cactus at her great-grandma’s place. She spontaneously came out with,
“O Christmas cactus, o Christmas cactus,
How lovely are your prickles!”

Funny girl.

When I was a kid, I knew a bunch of other kids who had toys in the Manta Force range. There was a big space ship, which could carry rather a lot of other vehicles on the inside, I don’t think many people had many of the smaller pieces. Being rather more familiar with Father Christmas as a term for the popular notion of St Nicholas, a certain Christmas song became “Manta Force is coming to town”.

I like joking that “White Christmas” is racist. There’s nothing on Wikipedia to suggest that it really is.

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” so very easily becomes “It’s the most wonderful time for a beer”. Which it is, go have one.

And once you’ve had more than your fair share of alcohol, try singing some of the old classics. Like “Good King what’s-his-face”.

Here, have one of those Christmas songs that I don’t think outstays its welcome on radio at this time of year:

And may all your Wintervals be white.

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