Dave Brubeck (1920-2012) »« Christmas VS Christmas

What Did You Do In The War (Against Christmas)?

I don’t have time for this… but this song jumped into my skull earlier today, and I couldn’t focus until I chased it out. So here it is. It does have a tune, but it’s a very simple one and I suspect you can come up with a better one on your own (it’s in 6/8 time, about 130 bpm, for mine.)

The context, of course, is the classic song–there are both pro and anti war versions–of the little kid asking “what did you do in the war?” (In my generation, that always ended “daddy” or “grandpa”, but no longer.) I figure, if the war against christmas was a real war, it needed its own version of this song.

What did you do in the War Against Christmas?
What did you do in the War?
Did you ever get shot
By Fox news on the spot
As you battled the crowds at the store?
Did you tell all the elves
Who were stocking the shelves
They’d forgotten what Christmas is for?
Oh, what did you do in the War Against Christmas?
What did you do in the War?

How I remember the War Against Christmas!
How I remember the War!
When me and m’pal Davey
Signed up with Old Navy
And guarded the dressing room door!
We were there at the front
Like a couple of grunts
When the shoppers invaded the floor!
Oh, how I remember the War Against Christmas!
How I remember the War!

Let’s shed a tear for the War Against Christmas
Let’s shed a tear for the War!
We all know the cost
Of the memories lost
Of the simpler Christmas of yore
Now Christmas is here
Nearly half of the year
And it’s looking to take even more
Let’s shed a tear for the War Against Christmas
Let’s shed a tear for the war

What did you do in the War Against Christmas?
What did you do in the War?
Did you stand up and fight
For your Christmastime right
For nativity scenes by the shore?
Though you knew you would lose
Did you faithfully choose
The establishment clause to ignore?
Oh, what did you do in the War Against Christmas?
What did you do in the War?

I swear I had a dozen more verses going through my head as I walked Cuttledog, but this is enough to get it out of my system. As always, feel free to add verses in the comments!

Comments

  1. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Okay, song is fine, but my brain is stuck on the paragraph at the end. I’m imagining a cute little pug with tentacles emerging from around its beak.

    “Who’s a little cthulu? Who’s a little elder god? Who?”

  2. Cuttlefish says

    I don’t care for pugs… the tentacles would be a nice change, though. Actually, there is a picture of Cuttledog somewhere on the interwebs, reading “how to teach physics to your dog”.

    Smart dog.

  3. badgersdaughter says

    I sent my love to the War Against Christmas,
    I sent my love to the War!
    It’s been cold, it’s been hard;
    He maxed out our last card–
    And we’ve never been maxed out before!
    ‘Next the half-set-up tree
    I weep one bitter plea:
    Will he come home to help with decor?
    I sent my love to the War Against Christmas,
    When will he return from the War?

  4. zekehoskin says

    Are you still fighting the War Against Christmas?
    Are you still fighting the War?
    Are you sticking your neck
    Out for President Beck
    And the faith that – by law – we adore?
    The Earth is still young,
    All the atheists hung*
    And history’s really a bore -
    Are you still fighting the War Against Christmas?
    Are you still fighting the War?

    * All right, hanged. I’m boasting.

  5. dlactin says

    The (presumably) pagan “War against Christmas” is sooo ironic, because the festival itself co-opted so many Pagan rituals.

  6. badgersdaughter says

    (another one?)

    Mother, I’m off to the War Against Christmas–
    Mother, I’m off to the War!
    Oh Mother, don’t cry–
    With the angels I fly;
    “God and country”, my duty I swore:
    But I’m weary and sick,
    For old General Nick
    Left a coal in our esprit-de-corps.
    Mother, I’m off to the War Against Christmas,
    Mother, I’m off to the War!

  7. Cuttlefish says

    badgersdaughter, is it wrong that I hear your verses in a Nanci Griffith voice? Cos I do.

  8. Random Reader says

    Long-time lurker here. When I read your lyrics on my way to work today (thank science for smartphones), I found pieces of a melody popping up in my head. It wouldn’t let go, so I completed it and added a few chords. It’s far from being an actual accompaniment, but I still thought I’d share it:
    MP3 Download

  9. badgersdaughter says

    Ha, probably not too wrong, though it’s not MY voice; my accent is as American Standard as your toilet fixtures…. I do live in Texas; Nanci’s from about two hours west of me, and I admit I did allow a bit of country-music melodrama to creep into the verses, ha. I was really going for that old-time “missing the soldier” type of lament common to every balladeer from the Battle of Hastings through the World Wars.

  10. Cuttlefish says

    Random Reader–

    Nice! My melody is simpler (comes from not being a musician), but the scansion (if that’s the right word) is virtually identical. I very much approve!

  11. Cuttlefish says

    badgersdaughter–your verses were note-perfect. Exactly the feel I was going for. Expect to be pulled out of the crowd at Cuttlefest and forced to harmonize with me on stage. We can coin-flip for who gets melody.

  12. Cuttlefish says

    Ah, but Gregory, if I compared myself to Tom Lehrer every time, I’d never post *anything*!

    (or is that your point?)

    What wondrous things Lehrer might have done with The War Against Christmas.

    *sigh*

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