Christmas Carol Lyrics

I listen to song lyrics closely.  Sometimes too closely.  With the Christmas season in full swing, I am once again bombarded with all of the typical seasonal song titles.  Some of these lyrics leave me scratching my head.  For instance:  We Wish You a Merry Christmas.  This is a happy little song.  I can picture carolers walking up my driveway singing in perfect harmony with all the good tidings that their heart can muster.  It’s a beautiful scene, right up until the point where they start their demands for Figgy Pudding.

“Oh, bring us some figgy pudding.” “We won’t go until we get some, so bring some out here.”

It’s takes a kind of creepy turn.  Suddenly I’m backed into my house with an ugly fear in my gut.  I don’t even have any figgy pudding.  And they aren’t leaving.  After hours of them singing and demanding and getting more aggressive, I’m forced to serve up some Jell-O pudding—hoping that it will serve as a good substitute.  What started as a happy little Christmas song has turned into a group exercise in extortion.

Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly is a lovely song spreading cheer and joy.  A “bough” is a tree branch.  So this song basically promotes deforestation.  And who decorates the hallway anyways?  And the stockings were hung down the hall just outside of the half bath with care.  Yeah, I don’t think so.  I also have another theory about this song.  I think the writer of this song scribbled this one out and was struggling with the overall length of the rough draft.  “It’s too short.  What to do?  Maybe I’ll just jam in some Fa-La-La’s between each line.  Yeah, that will double the length of the song.  Perfect!”

“I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.”  No, I am not.  While you’re busy dreaming of falling snow, I’m dreaming of global warming and how nice it will be not to have to shovel my driveway ever again.  Ever.  Cincinnati could be the new Florida, with less sink holes.

How about “I’ll be home for Christmas”?  Listen carefully here.  He says that he’ll be home for Christmas.  He promises it many verses over and over.  He even adds “You can count on me.”  And then he hits you with “If only in my dreams.”  Really?  Is that how you justify your ugly broken promises?  As if dreaming about doing what you say makes it acceptable.

“I’ll do the trash and empty the dishwasher.  If only in my dreams.  There, all done and off of the hook!”

“It Came Upon the Midnight Clear.”  I’ll be honest with you about this one.  I don’t really know any more of the lyrics to this song.  Although I usually hear every word of almost every song, this one leaves me confused after just one line and then I just stop listening.  It came upon the midnight clear?  The what?  What is a midnight clear?  I know that midnight is the time between the PM and the AM.  I get that part.  I know that “clear” is typically an adjective implying that you can see through the object.  But a midnight clear?  This makes no sense to me.  Are we trying to describe the weather pattern of this particular night?  It was a clear night, specifically at exactly midnight—and that is when it came.  Perhaps I would know what “it” was if I could get past this opening line.

I have a thought about the song Silent Night.  I’m willing to bet everything that I own that this song was written before The Little Drummer Boy.  Everything on that holy night was amazing, serene, and beautiful—little baby Jesus, the savior of our world resting easy, new mother Mary finally getting a good night’s sleep after carrying the savior in her belly for nine months, Joseph squeezing in a quiet round of poker with the three wise men.  Joseph whispers to avoid waking the Savior, “I’ll see your one Frankincense and raise you two Myrrh.”

Everything was perfect!  Perfect that is, until that little poor boy showed up and started banging away on his homemade drum.  “I’ll play my drum for him.  A bang, bang, bang.”  Baby Jesus starts wailing.  Mary wakes with a start.  The poker table flips over.  The ox and lamb start a stampede.  The manger collapses.

Yeah, the silent night occurred long before that little drummer boy showed up.

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34 responses to “Christmas Carol Lyrics

  1. I always dream of a white Christmas, but living in Seattle I’m more likely to get a gray, wet Christmas….

  2. Love it, your sarcasm is infectious.

  3. Joseph probably wasn’t playing poker. I’m willing to bet, according to Dee’s latest revelation, that he was playing dominoes.

    (I’m really not willing to bet. I don’t bet. I just lie, apparently.) ~Vicki

  4. I have often wondered about some of these lyrics myself. Same thing with nursery rhymes. I think the farmer’s wife needs some anger management. After all, it’s only a couple of little mice. Geez. Get over it, lady.

  5. Questionable lyrics indeed. What about the 12 Days of Christmas? Who wants all those things, I mean, really? Birds and maids and drummers, say what?

  6. Never thought of carols that way! Too funny!

  7. I’ve had that same reaction to the creepy ‘figgy pudding’ thing. I think it harkens back (because ‘harken’ seems like a good Christmas word) to 1870-something, when rogue trick-or-treaters infiltrated a group of carolers.

    Ok, maybe that didn’t happen, but it’s the best explanation I have.

  8. Seriously, dude, you need to be tweeting this stuff. Seriously. (My sides hurt. And it ain’t the cancer!)

  9. that’s why we just sing “jingle bells, batman smells..” There you know what’s what. Also, we listen to all songs snogged on eggnog, then everything makes perfect sense. :)

  10. Oh my goodness…this has left me almost peeing my pants laughing so hard….Thank you!!!

  11. Great Christmas blog, thanks and by the way, I have another one to add to your list of uncomfortable songs. How about the mental image of someone punching you out to get your 2 front teeth. Then they wrap them up and give them to you for Christmas. (“All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth”) Hmmm, pass! Thanks again for the entertaining post. (=

  12. Pingback: Christmas Carols — Again | Voices In His Head

  13. This is hilarious! I’m never going to look at carols the same again. Also, ugh, now they’re stuck in my head!

  14. I have recently had banging in my head (which I thought was thoughtless neighbors constantly playing bass music) until I realized it’s an issue with my inner ear. So 24/7 there is a monkey playing drums erratically in my head. I’m not crazy bc other people online have it, and the internet doesn’t lie. Needless to say, I hate the little drummer boy. Even before this malady. How did he even know to be there? Where were his parents? He wasn’t a wise man. And didn’t it take a couple years for the wise men to arrive there? That’s not very wise. In any event, I now sympathize with anyone who has something in their heads which they can’t escape–including voices.

Thoughts? Go.

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