| || |
An old Christmas tradition
December 23, 2013 - Stephen Browne
“Jingle bells, jingle bells zombies on the lawn They came around on Christmas Eve, can’t wait until they’re gone, They really scared old Santa when they tried to eat his head, It’s really hard to kill them, ‘cause they’re already dead!”
Christmas time is on us again, a time of good cheer, goodwill to men, and good old Christmas traditions such as the Christmas carol parody. As traditions go it’s a fairly new one, or so we believe. One of the more enduring classics of the genre is, “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” by Randy Brooks, first made famous by the husband and wife duo of Elmo and Patsy Trigg Shropshire in 1979.
“Grandma got run over by a reindeer Walking home from our house Christmas eve. You can say there's no such thing as Santa, But as for me and Grandpa, we believe.
She'd been drinking too much egg nog, And we'd begged her not to go. But she forgot her medication, And she staggered out the door into the snow.
When they found her Christmas morning, At the scene of the attack. She had hoof prints on her forehead, And incriminating Claus marks on her back.”
The song became a hit, turning a reputed $40,000 investment by Elmo into millions of dollars, a divorce, and a lawsuit with Sony over royalties for downloads and ringtones. That’s Christmas spirit for you. Songwriter Tom Lehrer said Christmas is a time to get back to what we all deeply and truly believe in, namely money.
“Christmas time is here, by golly, Disapproval would be folly, Deck the halls with hunks of holly, Fill the cup and don't say "when." Kill the turkeys, ducks and chickens, Mix the punch, drag out the Dickens, Even though the prospect sickens, Brother, here we go again.
On Christmas Day you can't get sore, Your fellow man you must adore, There's time to rob him all the more The other three hundred and sixty-four.”
Dr. Demento (a.k.a. Barret Eugene "Barry" Hansen) has for almost 40 years now had a syndicated radio program featuring so-called “novelty” recordings from as far back as there has been recorded music. During that time he has collected enough Christmas song parodies for several CDs. Favorites include the Chipmunks’, “Christmas Don’t Be Late,” which is kind of sweet, and “A Terrorist Christmas” by James and Kling, which you have to be in just the right mood for.
“On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, A knife with a very sharp blade.
On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, Two hand grenades And a knife with a very sharp blade.
On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, Three M-16s Two hand grenades And a knife with a very sharp blade.”
See what I mean? That last is of course a parody of “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” thought by some to be the most-parodied Christmas song ever. One of my favorites which has somehow not made it onto the annual parody playlist was actor Howard Hesseman’s sendup of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” Think of a guy with a Joe Stalin mustache and a Russian cap reciting the song in a low menacing voice and a slight Russian accent. “He sees you ven you are sleeping. He KNOWS ven you’re avake...”
See it and you’ll never feel quite the same way about that song again. So why do we do this? I mean it’s Christmas for goodness sake! Well here’s my theory. Everybody acknowledges Christmas can be a very stressful time. I mean budgets can get tight, the kids want stuff they see on TV and have no conception of expense, and there’s the awful possibility you’ll get a nice gift from someone you got nothing for, or worse something that now seems tacky. Not to mention the prospect of spending time with relatives you might not like so much. Humor is our way of lightening up and laughing the stress away. And who knows, once you lighten up a little you might even be in a mood to count your blessings. Could happen. So Merry Christmas and a Happy Bah Humbug to you all.
No comments posted for this article.
Post a Comment
News, Blogs & Events Web