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Quote of the Day

“Also, a general question: Does anyone actually like that “12 Days of Christmas”” song? I mean, aside from the drunkenly bellowing “Five GOLDEN RINGS!!!” part. Every time it comes on, I cringe knowing it’s going to be on for six or seven minutes of enforced jollity. It’s like the “Stairway to Heaven” of Christmas carols, the one whose original charm has entirely rubbed off and has managed stick in the canon simply by sheer barnacle-like tenacity. Dump it, I say!”
–John Scalzi

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17 Comments

  1. Recorded versions, no. Live versions, where one or two people are sneaking in occasional alternate verses, yes.

  2. John’s absolutely correct. “12 Days” has all the sheer annoyance of most Christmas carols, but it adds the sin of excessive repetition to the point of stab-my-eyes-with-a-pen boredom.

    Even worse, though, are *parodies* of “12 Days”. The *best* of them are funny if you listen *only* to the last countdown. There is, however, no joke in the world funny enough to be split in twelve parts and then have each part repeated (on average) 6.5 times each. The *worst* of them, though… … I can only pray that the Geneva Convention covers such blatant torture.

    I once made a CD mix, “Christmas in July”-- #17 on this page— by selecting the best “funny and silly Christmas songs” out of about 15 hours’ worth of material. I have listened to more bad Christmas parodies than nearly anyone on the planet. And I did it nearly all of it while driving in a car with no air conditioning in the summer. So when I speak of unfunny Christmas parody, trust me.

    Oh, also, trust John Scalzi. I knew him back in college, and even then he often had the sort of cutting insights that seem so obvious in retrospect.

    • Sweet!

      Care to burn me a copy of #17? =)

      I’m a bit of a fan of the obscure Xmas songs out there, which include my own copies of Twisted Christmas and Dr Demento’s novelty christmas cd… (a few songs of which were on your list πŸ˜‰ )

      It breaks up the monotony of hearing the same boring holiday songs over and over and over and over again.

      • Re: Sweet!

        (Sorry for delay responding.)

        Well, if you send a request to estin@intranet.org (with your SnailMail address) I’ll add your request to the list. πŸ™‚

        (As to when I’ll actually fulfill the request, I don’t know. I’ve extremely behind on making Eclectica copies-- it’s been more than a year since I made any, not so much because the CDs themselves are tough to make but because the accompanying labels are. My color printer is broken and the tracklists are formatted for Excel-- a program I no longer own. So I’m likely to send a copy much quicker if you let me know it’s OK to send the other files along via email, for you to print out yourself instead.)

  3. It’s like hearing a bad joke over and over and over…

    I can’t stand most Christmas music, only because it’s PLAYED TO DEATH this time of the year!! I can handle a song or two day.. but hearing 3 or 4 songs in a row, every hour, over and over, week after week…

    I get sick of the parodies even. If I hear Grandma got run over by a reindeer another time this week…

    • See, i like a lot of Christmas music. It’s one of the things about the season that I love. But some songs I can actually do without. πŸ™‚

  4. I’ve heard some parodies of that song that succeed in being funny and enjoyable, though, by -varying- the repeated lines with each repetition, so that there’s always something new coming along.

    There’s also one that was, I think, by Bob & Doug Mackenzie, that was very engaging in its studied ineptness…

  5. I like “The Twelve Days of Christmas” But I don’t have to listen to it all the time--I’d soon get sick of it if I did.

  6. I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, HATE christmas music. I’m sick of it about 5 minutes after it starts being played everywhere (sometime around mid-november these days).

    I did hear a song called “The 12.5 days of christmas” once that was very cute. It was an acapella rendition that managed to incorporate just about all the carols into 2 minutes.

  7. I like singing “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and most other Christmas songs. I also like singing counting songs in general -- “Green Grow the Rushes,” “Children Go Where I Send Thee,” etc.

    I try to severely restrict my performances, however, because many people don’t agree with my opinion, and I’m always afraid that one of the listeners (or singers) is being bored to tears.

    That said, more follows in my journal.

    • To be fair, while I find “12 Days…” a bit boring, I was mostly amused by the phrase “the ‘Stairway To Heaven’ of Christmas music.” πŸ™‚

      • I like most Christmas carols. A lot of the “Christmas music” I find is not up to standard (most renditions of “White Christmas” don’t come close to Bing Crosby’s, and I could definitely do without versions of any songs sung by a choir of children nowhere near key) and most of it is “winter songs” (not specifically Christmas) anyway. And they are heard too much in every store at this time of year.

        The ones I do like particularly are not strictly ‘Christmas’ but ‘Advent’ — “O Come Emmanuel” for instance.

        “12 Days” (and its parodies) suffers by building in the boredom, I totally sympathise with the girl who ended up sending letters via her lawyer to cease and desist sending her gifts…

        But this year I get to sing in a choir for Chanukkah, which is /lots/ more interesting…

  8. Personally, I love that song.

  9. I love the 12 Days of Christmas. I love Christmas music. I love to sing carols. I love Christmas. So there! πŸ˜€

    • “12 days of Christmas” is not so very well known in Germany. I don’t think there’s a translation -- thus it does not get sung. But generally I like singing carols just like . I like listening to the Bach oratorium to get in the mood, or to Benjamin Britten “Ceremony of Carols”. And I simply adore bawling out “Oh du frΓΆhliche” (oh thou joyful day) at the top of my lungs in a darkened church where the only light comes from the tiny candles everyone is holding.

    • *G* As I commented upthread, I actually like most Christmas music, and don’t even mind this particular one in moderation. I was just highly amused at the phrase “It’s the ‘Stairway to Heaven” of Christmas carols.” πŸ™‚

  10. I find it very hard to listen to without (at least mentally) swapping-in appropriate lines from random parodies….

    And another pot of very strong tea.

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