Curmudgeonly Christmas carol comment

The women with whom I work started playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving had even arrived. While I prefer to wait until at least after the turkey has been eaten, I know them all too well to believe that this would be a winnable battle.

Apparently there is a mysterious something that drives them to the early expression of holiday spirit.

What gets me are the lyrics to a couple of well-known Christmas songs that I always find especially amusing each year. It’s important to note that what follows is quite possibly colored by my own sarcastic and often facetious sense of humor, not to mention a tendency to over-think things in the nerdiest way possible.

Take, for example “We Wish you a Merry Christmas,” the lyrics of which include:

Now bring us some figgy pudding,

Now bring us some figgy pudding,

Now bring us some figgy pudding,

And a cup of good cheer!

* * *

It later contains the rather petulant lines:

We won’t go until we get some,

We won’t go until we get some

We won’t go until we get some

So bring it out here!

* * *

Perhaps others noticed, but the lack of the word “please” anywhere in there jumped right out at me. Oh sure, it wouldn’t rhyme, but since when is that an excuse for rudeness?

Not only that, but both “us” and “we” make appearances. So, is this the “royal we” or am I to be expected to feed an army of hungry carolers who’ve show up at my doorstep not asking politely, mind you, but rather demanding, to be fed?

First, I have no clue how make a single figgy pudding, let alone enough to feed a crowd, nor would I know where to buy such a thing. Figgy puddings have not exactly been a staple on grocery shelves for a very long time, if they ever even were.

I should add that while I suppose it’s not necessarily the case, a “cup of good cheer” more often than not indicates the contents of that cup include spirits—as in alcohol. So, unless they’re above the legal drinking age, they’ll get no good cheer from me, in a cup or otherwise.

Oh, and then, you’re going to have the nerve to tell me that you won’t go until you get some? And that I’m supposed to bring it out to you?

See, this is why I leave my porch light off during holidays.

Moving on, we have “Holly Jolly Christmas,” the version with which I’m most familiar being that sung by Burl Ives. Yes, I’m old enough to know who he was. And geeky enough to have looked up the fact that his middle names were Icle and Ivanhoe. I imagine that’s why he stuck with his first and last names.

His song contains the intriguing lyrics:

“Oh ho, the mistletoe

hung where you can see;

Somebody waits for you;

Kiss her once for me.”

* * *

First, how do you know exactly who’s waiting for me? Have you been following me, or having me followed?

Anyway, why should I kiss her for you? Maybe I’d prefer to kiss her for myself rather than acting as your proxy. And furthermore, since you didn’t specify the nature of your relationship with her, should it be a quick peck on the cheek or a full-on sloppy French kiss with tongues involved?

If the latter, just how jealous should I be that you seem to know her so well, especially given the fact that you’ve not even said her name? Or have we been involved with several of the same women and this just a generic statement to cover all your bases?

Also, on a mostly unrelated note, I find it rather humorous that a parasitic plant—mistletoe—was chosen as the instigator of so much kissing. Was there some sort of unconscious symbolism involved in pairing love and parasitism?

At any rate, I suppose I’ll be stuck listening to the same Christmas songs until it’s all over next week.

Have a Holly Jolly holiday… but please don’t come to my door expecting anything with figs in it.

Kevin Hower works in production and distribution at the Free Press. He also oversees our technology needs.

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