Wednesday 28 December 2011

Topical Christmas ‘Gag’

Christmas doesn’t half make liars of everyone. And I don’t mean “yeah I really wanted that” liars on Christmas day. You know what I am talking about. Jingle Bells.

We all sing along with it. We do – we all have massive Christmas sing-a-longs around pianos in wood cabins singing along like our lives depended on it. We do. We have to agree we do so I can carry on with this really weak joke. So we all sing along to Jingle Bells. But we are liars.

How many of us have actually rode a one-horse, open sleigh? Well I fucking haven’t. But I’ve lost count of the amount of times I have sang about what fun it is. And you have to. YOU LIAR. Let Christmas 2012 be the one where we all get real. Let’s be honest about it. At best we COULD speculate that it would be fun to ride in a one-horse,open sleigh (laughing all the way).

If I was to be a real cynic I might suggest that many of us would not find it fun at all and we certainly wouldn’t be laughing at the terror of a horse galloping through the snow at over 8 m.p.h. with us being dragged along holding on for dear life. Given that I had hysterics on the childrens rollercoaster (small train moving slowly) at Alton Towers.

Now the fun is over with, how about this for a revelation: there are several verses to Jingle Bells. Apart from what you are already familiar with there are these verses (that follow the verses you are familiar with, ASSUMPTION ALERT):

Dashing through the snow
In a one-horse open sleigh
O’er the fields we go
Laughing all the way
Bells on bobtail ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to laugh and sing
A sleighing song tonight!
(chorus)
Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way.
Oh! what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.
Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way;
Oh! what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.
A day or two ago
I thought I’d take a ride
And soon, Miss Fanny Bright
Was seated by my side,
The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seemed his lot
He got into a drifted bank
And then we got upsot.
(chorus)

I haven’t made that up. See: even the singer of the song fell off the fucking one-horse, open sleigh. And poor Miss Fanny Bright. All of a sudden it is song of warning of youthful misadventure. The frivolity we all sing of is merely the set-up. Still, it doesn’t make my hilarious observation about us all lying any less true. It certainly casts a grim shadow over the happy bed of lies we all sing every Noel.

Wikipedia even claims two further verses.

A day or two ago,
The story I must tell
I went out on the snow,
And on my back I fell;
A gent was riding by
In a one-horse open sleigh,
He laughed as there I sprawling lie,
But quickly drove away.
(chorus)
Now the ground is white
Go it while you’re young,
Take the girls tonight
and sing this sleighing song;
Just get a bobtailed bay
Two forty as his speed
Hitch him to an open sleigh
And crack! you’ll take the lead.
(chorus)

You can see why these were cut – and the other one with the fall. What are these? Our poor narrator falling from his one-horse, open sleigh; mocked by some snooty toff, presumably in a much fancier one-horse, open sleigh with diamonds on it. Tory bastard. He doesn’t want the ordinary, working man laughing all the way; no he wants him breaking his back down t’pit (which he will later shut when it suits). Fucking Tories, they can’t even leave a pure Christmas song alone. Invading it, very like a paedophile invades a child’s affections by giving them sweets and the likes.

As for the last verse, if that isn’t a hymn to fucking like Freddie Mercury (I mean the promiscuity not the homosexuality, I don’t not mean homosexual sex either; whatever is fucking I just mean it is fucking a lot). Surely the reference to a big horse is referencing cock and the ‘take the girls’ line is clear enough (while I am not suggesting homo/hetero/bisexual the writer of the song was surely implicating either a male heterosexual or a lesbian; given the period of history the song was written I am afraid it is easy to assume it’s a white, heterosexual man going at ‘it’). Also ‘the ground is white’?? ‘and crack’??? Definite cocaine references. Who wrote this song? Pete Dohery? [No, it was James Lord Pierpont.]

I think what we have learned here is (in the order we learned them):

  • I am hilarious and have an ear for picking up a word or phrase in a popular Christmas song and make a v. funny joke out of it.
  • We are all liars
  • There are more verses to Jingle Bells than a lot of people are aware of
  • Tories are shits
  • The full lyrics are clearly a hymn to sex and drugs.

The Circle of Life

I mainly got DVDs & Blu-rays for Christmas, see below. Watched Rise of The Planet of The Apes today. I have gone out of my way not to watch it so I would be excited about getting it for Christmas. [NB for the purposes of the previous sentence the phrase ‘gone out of my way’ means I never got round to watching it at the cinema through laziness and I didn’t illegally download it 3 weeks ago.]

It is a pretty good entry to the ‘Planet of The Apes’ canon. Expectations were suitably lowered by Tim Burton’s unfortunately shit re-imagining of the original. ROTPOTA isn’t made to fit in with the Burton re-make, though it is supposedly meant to fit in with the existing timelines it doesn’t really (In the originals the chimpanzee who leads the beginning of the apes uprising is born from already developed chimpanzees who have travelled back in time, thus its a kind of self-fulfilling, circular timeline. In this film the intelligent chimpanzee, Caesar – he is called Caesar in each, is created by some experiments on apes to test drugs for humans). I wont go in to the intricacies of the plot to ruin it for people, I will just say it’s well made, a decent story and certainly sets up why humans may be weakened in future films to allow a primate uprising. 4/5.

Fuck yeah

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