Thursday, December 9, 2010

A kookaburra up a gum tree

Of course, I always knew this, but never thought about it much...

Last week while the Rockefeller Center Christmas lighting was on, they had a singer on from Australia. I forgot who the singer was. They pointed out that while it was cold in New York, it was summer in Australia at Christmas.

(By the way, did you catch the live TV glitch where they started playing the Boyz II Men track when the "Internet sensation" girl from the Philippines was supposed to be singing with the piano accompaniment. Proof of the whole thing being lip-synched. I don't really have a problem with that, I'm just asking if anyone watched.)

So, back to the point. Yes, I knew that it was summer at Christmas, but did you ever think about what their Christmas songs talk about. I mean, "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, jack frost nipping at your nose." In South Africa or Brazil, you're not going to get frost bite on your nose, you're going to get sunburned.

"Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow" sure isn't going to happen. Frosty the ??? Is a sleigh ride through the sand an appropriate summer activity? I guess silver bells really don't have anything to do with cold weather.

Yes, I know, I live in Texas and have experienced many a warm Christmas with temperatures 70 degrees or so. At least we have a greater likelihood of our dreams of a "White Christmas" coming true.

Now, I am Googling some lyrics. This is on an Australian lyric site, but I think these are spoofs. Surely, this is not what they really sing...

Deck the sheds with bits of wattle*, fa la la la, la la la la,
Whack some gum leaves in a bottle, fa la la la, la la la la la,
All the shops are open Sundies, fa la la la, la la la la,
Buy you Dad some socks and undies, fa la la la, la la la la la.

So help me, I promise I had already thought up the bit above about the sunscreen before I found this:

Dashing to the beach
With my boogie board and towel
Look at all the waves
Hear the surfers yell, YEE HAA
Put your sunscreen on
Don't forget your hat
Because you will get sunburnt
If you don't remember that

Chorus
Summer time, Christmas time
Mosquitoes, bindies
BBQ's, sausages
Tomato sauces and flies


Here's another version of "Jingle Bells":

Dashing through the bush
In a rusty Holden Ute
Kicking up the dust
Esky in the boot
Kelpie by my side
Singing Christmas songs
Its summer time and I am in
My singlet, shorts and thongs

Chorus

Oh, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells
Jingle all the way
Christmas in Australia
On a scorching summer's day
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells
Christmas time is beaut
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a rusty Holden Ute

I'm so going to Australia next year for Christmas...

On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
A kookaburra in a gum tree

On the second day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Two cockatoos, and a kookaburra in a gum tree

Three parakeets.........
Four great galahs.......
Five opals black......
Six 'roos a-jumping........
Seven emus running.......
Eight koalas clinging.........
Nine wombats waddling........
Ten dingoes dashing.......
Eleven snakes a-sliding.......
Twelve goannas going.......

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me
Twelve goanna goin, Eleven snakes a-sliding,
Ten dingoes dashing, Nine wombats waddling,
Eight koalas clinging, Seven emus running,
Six 'roos a-jumping, Five opals black,
Four great galahs, Three parakeets,
Two cockatoos, And a kookaburra up a gum tree.
I really do have things I need to accomplish tonight, but join me throughout the coming weeks. I'm going to try to make more posts from other countries although, I would venture to say it will be downhilll from here. I'll leave you know with "Six White Boomers" one of Australia's most popular songs from what I can tell.

Early on one Christmas Day, a Joey Kanga-roo
Was far from home and lost in a great big zoo
Mummy, where's my mummy, they've taken her a-way
We'll help you find your mummy son, hop on the sleigh

Up beside the bag of toys, little Joey hopped
But they had'nt gone far when Santa stopped
Un-harnessed all the reindeer and Joey wondered why
Then he heard a far off booming in the sky

Six white boomers, snow white boomers
Racing Santa Claus through the blazing sun
Six white boomers, snow white boomers
.. On his Aus-tra-lian run

Pretty soon old Santa began to feel the heat
Took his fur-lined boots off to cool his feet
Into one popped Joey, feeling quite OK
While those old man kangaroos kept pulling on the sleigh

Six white boomers, snow white boomers
Racing Santa Claus through the blazing sun
Six white boomers, snow white boomers
.. On his Aus-tra-lian run

Joey said to Santa, Santa, what about the toys
Aren't you giving some to these girls and boys
They've all got their presents son, we were here last night
This trip is an extra trip, Joey's special flight

Six white boomers, snow white boomers
Racing Santa Claus through the blazing sun
Six white boomers, snow white boomers
.. On his Aus-tra-lian run

Soon the sleigh was flashing past, right over Marble Bar
Slow down there, cried Santa, it can't be far
Come up on my lap son, and have a look around
There she is, that's mummy, bounding up and down

Six white boomers, snow white boomers
Racing Santa Claus through the blazing sun
Six white boomers, snow white boomers
.. On his Aus-tra-lian run

Well that's the bestest Christmas treat that Joey ever had
Curled up in mother's pouch all snug and glad
The last they saw was Santa headed northward from the sun
The only year the boomers worked a double run

Six white boomers, snow white boomers
Racing Santa Claus through the blazing sun
Six white boomers, snow white boomers
...On his Aus-tra-lian run

Rolf Harriss (1965)