Thursday, December 22, 2011

71. memorize the 12 Days of Christmas

Last year, Swistle blew my mind a little bit when she deconstructed first Do They Know it's Christmas, and then Winter Wonderland. I've been paying more attention to Christmas song lyrics this year, partly because of the aforementioned blown mind and partly because I was finally, FINALLY going to memorize the 12 Days of Christmas. Never say that I don't have goals, people.
As per my tradition, my car radio has been tuned to the Christmas music station since the day after Thanksgiving. Every time the 12 Days of Christmas comes on, I do my very best to belt it out, even if I'm in the car with another person and we were deep in conversation. "Hang on!" I'll say, "I have to do something! ON THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO MEEE...."

I got to the point where I THOUGHT I had it memorized, but then recently I was singing along with the radio and I kept getting thrown off and tripping over the verses, like "TWELVE DRUMMERS D- oops, LORDS-A-LEAPING! ELEVEN PIPERS PI-, I mean, DRUMMERS DRUMMING!" And that didn't seem quite right. Because, as I remembered, the first seven days are all the birds, with a nice little time-out for the five gold rings. And then on the eighth day come the maids-a-milking, which makes for a good transition point from animals to humans because it is a human/animal combo verse (maid plus cow). And then the ninth day is ladies dancing, which makes sense because right after that comes the tenth day, with lords-a-leaping. If you've got ladies dancing, you must also have lords-a-leaping, and you should always have MORE lords-a-leaping than ladies dancing. And THEN of course, you round out the group with eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming, because all of this merry-making could probably use a nice pipe and drum-based soundtrack (though I suspect the maids-a-milking probably get a little irked at this point, what with all the noise and dancing and LEAPING that's going on as they are trying to do their chores).

That was the version I memorized, and the one I heard most often on the radio, but now I was getting thrown off. So then I looked it up, and you know what I found out? Apparently, it is totally acceptable 12 Days of Christmas behavior to MIX UP THE LYRICS of the last few objects. You can even SUBSTITUTE some of the people with "fiddlers fiddling" or "ladies waiting," which makes me feel like we're being set up to fail. How can a person memorize the lyrics, if they can just CHANGE at any moment? Well, I'm crossing this item off my list because technically I DID memorize the lyrics; it's just a TRICK SONG.

Further on the subject of Christmas song lyrics, I can't listen to Baby, it's Cold Outside anymore because of the distinct date-rapey vibe (SAY WHAT'S IN THIS DRINK?). I make an exception of the Glee Cast version, because it's actually kinda cute.
And, is it just me, or is anyone else completely terrified by the concept of Frosty the Snowman? The kids build a snowman, put a hat on it, and then it COMES TO LIFE. And then, what? He threatens the kids with a broomstick in his hand, so now they're forced to follow him over the hills (probably farther than their mothers told them they were allowed to go), into town, and through an INTERSECTION. And just as they're getting kind of used to the idea of it being their lot in life to chase him around, he tells them "Sorry, I've gotta peace out" AND leaves them with a menacing "BUT I'LL COME BACK SOMEDAY." So now the poor kids have to go through life wondering which storm will bring the demon snowman back around.
I guess the message here is to always bring your OWN HAT when you're going to build a snowman, don't just use one you FIND. Lesson learned.