Sing with me.On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: a Partridge Family DVD.
What? That’s not how it goes? Let me try again.
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: some parts to a Mustang GT.
That’s not it, either? Well, shucks. That last one was from Jeff Foxworthy’s “Redneck 12 Days of Christmas,” and is just one of the many parodies of the classic “Twelve Days of Christmas.” There are so many versions of that one song that we could make a song about it.
Christmas parody songs are one of the true joys of the season for me. The variety of gifts you might get from a rowdy version of the traditional set of 12 includes French toast and calling cards (Bob and Doug Mackenzie), flannel shirts (Foxworthy, again), a transistor radio (Allan Sherman), and, once upon a time, five roast beef sandwiches.
You just sang that, didn’t you?
Two crazier versions, however, come to us from wildly different sources. Bob Rivers gave us perhaps the ultimate list when he sang “The Twelve Pains of Christmas.” Among the pains are: finding a Christmas tree, hangovers, months of bills, and facing one’s in-laws. Rivers’ version is among the funniest and most relatable of parodies.
Be honest, you are more likely to hear a kid screaming, “Daddy, I want some candy,” than you are to ever even see 10 lords a-leaping. It’s just not going to happen. My kid asks for candy every day. I feel you, Bob Rivers.
The other wild version is a reminder that these parodies are not just meant to be humorous but can also help us in finding presents for those people in our lives with different tastes or lifestyles from our own.
So when you hear the Mackenzie brothers singing about back bacon, instead of thinking, “What is back bacon?” you should think, “Who are my Canadian friends who need a gift?”
And when you hear Twisted Sister’s “A Twisted Christmas,” you shouldn’t think, “Why would anyone want that?” but rather, “Hey, I bet Jerry would love to relive his glam days with some nice mascara. That’s No. 11 on Dee Snider’s list.”
Snider would never steer you wrong. I’d be open to getting seven leather jackets for Christmas, but I’d be happy with just one.
I can live without the Partridge Family DVDs, though. Go ahead and keep those for yourself.