If you listen to these songs long enough, the lyrics get stuck in your head. I've actually started to analyze the meaning of some of these tunes, and I'll tell ya . . . it's starting to annoy me. First of all, what the hell is figgy pudding? And those little bastards singing, "we won't go until we get some", well, guess what kids? I have no fucking figgy pudding, and if you don't go right Goddamn now, you'll be singing All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth, because I'm gonna bust you in the chops with a petrified fruitcake.
My favorite Christmas song of all is The Christmas Song by Mel Torme. I have several versions of this one on the aforementioned iPod playlist; Frank Sinatra, James Taylor, Vince Guaraldi. By now, I've heard it so many times that I've probably over-thought the implications set forth in the lyrics.
Let's take a look, shall we?
The Christmas Song
by Mel Torme
"The" Christmas song, Mel? Really? Isn't that a bit cocky? I mean, I love ya, but there are lots of Christmas songs more popular than this one. Some would consider Jingle Bells to be "the" Christmas song. Others might go with Santa Claus is Coming to Town. The point is, there are lots of classics and it's pretty much a matter of opinion as to which is the quintessential holiday ditty. You'd have been better served to call this "A" Christmas Song, or simply Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, which is what most people think the title is anyway.
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost nipping at your nose
Okay, show of hands, who has ever actually roasted a chestnut?(1) Marshmallows, of course. Hot dogs, absolutely. Jiffy Pop popcorn roasting on an open fire is simply divine. But chestnuts? And Jack Frost nipping at your nose? If you're sitting in front of an open fire popping Jiffy Pop, the searing flame and popping embers will ward off any potential nose-nipping.
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir
And folks dressed up like Eskimos
First of all, I think we're calling them Inuit-Americans now, aren't we? And I've never seen a picture of an Inuit-American dressed in a red sweater with a goofy reindeer on it, or wearing a scarf festooned with puffy balls and jingle bells. "Folks dressed up like friggin' dorks" is more like it. Anyway, yuletide carols are more typically sung by little kids and drunken co-workers than by choirs these days.
Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe
Help to make the season bright
I've always had a problem with the phrase "everybody knows". People are generally stupid, so I don't think we can assume that EVERYBODY knows anything. EVERYBODY doesn't know that you shouldn't drive 45 miles an hour in the fast lane. EVERYBODY doesn't know that if you let TV and video games raise your toddler he's going to be eating paste in kindergarten. EVERYBODY doesn't know that if you fuck around on your hot blonde wife with an endless parade of cocktail waitresses and then proceed to leave voicemails on their cell phones, you'll eventually have to forfeit a bazillion dollars in endorsement money and give up golfing for a while. While some people are indeed aware that turkey and mistletoe help to make the season bright, I wouldn't dare assume that EVERYBODY knows that.
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow
Will find it hard to sleep tonight
Well, sure they will. They've been scarfing candy canes and sugar cookies since Thanksgiving. They'll find it hard to sleep until March.
They know that Santa's on his way
He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh
When I was a kid, we'd always put a long pause after "he's loaded" to make it sound like Santa was on dope. We cracked ourselves up. The question here, though, is this: Is it, in fact, Santa himself who is in charge of the toy-and-goodie-loading? It's always been my understanding that Santa's elves are the ones who do the heavy lifting. Let's give those pint-sized lackeys some credit. They're the ones busting their yuletide butts every year.
And every mother's child is gonna spy
To see if reindeer really know how to fly
We've already established that they "know that Santa's on his way", right? Well, if the kids are buying into the Santa thing, they may as well go the whole way and believe in the flying reindeer without having to go all James Bond and spy on them. Just go ahead and give them the benefit of the doubt.
And what's with the "every MOTHER'S child?" What, fathers don't count anymore? What do moms have to do with Christmas, anyway? They do the shopping, fine, but what woman is going to complain about "having" to shop? It's what women do best!(2) It's the fathers who have the real chore at Christmas, assembling bicycles, hanging the lights, and scraping unpopped Jiffy Pop kernels out of the fireplace.
And so I'm offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two
Apparently, Kirk Douglas and Olivia de Havilland can go screw themselves.(3)
Although it's been said many times, many ways
Merry Christmas to you
Have a great Christmas, you Knuckleheads! You know I love ya!
(1) Put your hand down, Moog, those aren't chestnuts.
(2) Okay, it's what MOST women do best. I'm sure there are exceptions. Relax, ladies.
(3) Kirk Douglas (b. 12/9/16) and Olivia de Havilland (b. 7/1/16) are both 93 years old.