Given that we celebrate Christmas in summer, most of the carols such as “Jingle Bells”, “Let it Snow” and “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” seem somewhat irrelevant to Australians given our usual Christmas heatwaves. Although saying that, Sydney’s weather has been pretty cold of late. So we decided to have a look at the more Australian Christmas carols – and we admit some of these are cringe-worthy.
Kicking it off is the Australian parody of “Jingle Bells”, where we are “Dashing through the bush in a rusty Holden Ute”. Not bad although one has to admit it is pretty stereotypical albeit funny. My main issue is that it doesn’t really sum up what a typical Aussie Christmas is. It doesn’t refer to bbqs, backyard cricket or the beach, and in terms of originality, it has just stolen the music from a classic, so not much going for it there.
Next up we have “Deck the Sheds (with bits of wattle)”, which like “Jingle Bells” above lacks a bit of originality. It would have been better if they replaced the fa-la-la-la’s with lyrics, say with “Crack the VBs open mate” or “pass me another slice of Christmas cake”. It was a good idea, better than “Jingle Bells”, but could have been better.
Moving on to the “Aussie 12 Days of Christmas”, you can’t be disappointed but think its a kids song to help their counting and learn animals. Its the kind of thing that the Wiggles would do, and coincidentally they did do a cover. Other lyrics that could have be accepted include, “…five gum trees, four surfboards, three Carlton Draughts, two lobsters with the prawns roasting on a barbie”. That took us 2 minutes, so imagine how much better it could be, we might have a go later!
A really recent song done by Bob Evans (of Aussie roots music and Jebediah fame) with Adalita (from Magic Dirt) we can only assume is called “Must be Santa Claus”, has smart lyrics and sweet tune, but lacks the cultural Aussie references we were after. Nonetheless its a pretty nice song that would make it onto an Aussie Christmas record easily.
In fact, it is sad to say the only truly original Aussie Christmas song is written by the old Rolf Harris in “Six White Boomers”. It is original and has a catchy tune and clever lyrics. Although none of us have ever seen a white boomer in my life, not at the zoo, not when visiting friends farms, not ever, but given the questionable existence of Santa, we might let that slide. Anyway its pretty clear that if you want to make it as a musician in Australia but have questionable talent, there is a market for original Aussie Christmas tunes and even the good/average/atrocious parody, so get cracking.