Monday, December 29, 2014

Fiiiiivvve Goooooooolllllld(en) Riiiiiiiinnnnngs!

Mr. Philbin took issue with my item last week about "The Little Drummer Boy" being the stupidest Christmas song ever. Not that he disagrees with my assessment of the song, but he notes that "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is even stupider. He adds that I took it to task a bit last year on Epiphany, so clearly I'm not a fan. He concedes that "Twelve Days" is fun to sing, easy for kids, and easy to parody, which makes it popular, but does not make it any less stupid.

 
He has a point, as he always does, and as today is the Fifth Day of Christmas I thought I would address it. There are multiple problems with "The Twelve Days of Christmas," not the least of which is that one must wonder who this true love is and what's with all this loot. And, as I wrote last year: "Does the person get all the things listed once, or everything listed on each day? If the latter, then she’d wind up with 12 drummers drumming, 22 pipers piping, 30 lords a-leaping, 36 ladies dancing, 40 maids a-milking, 42 swans a-swimming, 42 geese a-laying, 40 golden rings, 36 calling birds, 30 French hens, 22 turtle doves, and 12 partridges in 12 pear trees, if my math is right."

And who wants all this crap? What are you supposed to do with it? Start a musical act? Feed poultry to the homeless? The only thing anyone really wants is the five gold (or golden, depending on who you ask) rings, which are the only thing that can be readily converted into cold hard cash.

Short a couple.
At least that song has the excuse of being a folk song, and as Tom Lehrer famously said, "the reason most folk songs are so atrocious is that they were written by the people." "Drummer Boy," on the other hand, was written by an educated and accomplished classical music expert. One's expectations must be higher. Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum indeed!

So while I concede that Mr. Philbin has cause for complaint in his e-mail, I stick to my original assessment. I hope you enjoy your fifth day of Christmas, and if you ever find a good use for the calling birds and whatnot, let me know. I'm just keeping away from pear trees at the moment. Got a new cap for Christmas.
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