You mess with Harpo Marx, you get the horns.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Modern Christmas Carols

It's that time of year again, and in-between prepping for 24 hours of A Christmas Story on TBS by trying not to shoot my eye out, I'm thinking about how so many Christmas carols are out of date.

Lest you think I've suddenly turned heathen, I'm referring to the purely secular ones. (I wouldn't change a word of the religious ones ...well, maybe a few dozen less "rum-pa-pum-pums" in "The Little Drummer Boy.") They were written in an earlier age and since then our language and culture have deteriorated faster than a Jerry Springer-hosted family reunion.

Consider "The Twelve Days of Christmas," for example. Okay, I admit "five golden rings" fits just fine these days, and I suspect G. Gordon Liddy and his friends at Rosland Capital can get you a bargain on those. However, "ten lords a leaping?" Obviously, the song is not being blasphemous, since there's only one Our Lord. So, it must be a reference to the House of Lords. Leaping, right? Have you seen most of those guys? Not only would their powdered wigs fly off like startled pigeons if they started bounding about*, but these grizzled old-timers would be in danger of pulling muscles they haven't used since Harold Macmillan was in power.**

What about "Deck the Halls?" First of all, the title sounds like what would happen if Mike Tyson ever ran into Rich and Anthony Michael Hall. The lyrics are something else. "Don we now our gay apparel?"An excerpt from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy? "Troll the ancient yule tide carol?" Does this mean we're supposed to sing the song under a bridge? Don't even get me started on the fa la la la la la la la las.

The youth of today need lyrics that contain references that are no older than six months old, or they'll seem "moldier than that cheese they put in salad dressing, whatever that's called." (Not an actual quote, but pretty true to life, if you ask me.)

So, it's clear some updating is in order for secular carols, if only so those kids from Jersey Shore won't hurt their tender little brains trying to work out words like "apparel," "yule," and " now," (never mind figuring out who Carol is). So, here are a few to try out the next time you go caroling.

The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
A Lady Gaga CD.

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
Two goalie gloves
and a Lady Gaga CD

(And so on, as follows)

Twelve Snookis dumbing
Eleven Yahoo!s hyping
Ten webcams peeping
Nine stars a dancing
Eight bankers bilking
Seven Losers slimming
Six Tebows praying
Five golden things  (Because the dollar will collapse in a catastrophic cataclysm)
Four Angry Birds
Three Words with Friends
Two goalie gloves
and a Lady Gaga CD

Single Bells

Driving through the town
In a 200-horse Chevrolet
To all the bars we go
Drinking all the way (Chug, chug, chug!)
Bells on navel rings
Skinny jeans so tight
The puns we add to our pick-up lines
Make their boyfriends want to fight!

Single bells, single bells,
Single all the way.
Oh! how sad it is to ride
Alone 'til break of day.
Single bells, single bells,
Footloose, fancy free.
Oh! Maybe it's finally time for us
To try E-Harmony.

Caulkin' Around the Christmas Tree

Caulkin' around the Christmas tree
On a Christmas home repair show
Mistletoe hung with cool nail guns
Every ceiling fan must go.
Caulkin' around the Christmas tree,
Hang some dry wall up anew
Later we'll blow up a kitchen wall
To add a nice pass through.

You will get a temperamental
Feeling when you see
Your old bathroom crushed to bits,
By designers who think we're idiots.
Caulkin' around the Christmas tree,
Have a busy holiday
Driving a steamroller furiously
To flatten the whole mess away.

* Americans bounce, but Britons bound.
**For my fellow Americans, that's the same period that The Real McCoy's aired on television.***
*** For my fellow Americans who don't know anything about television, that's 1957-63.

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