Aussie Jingle Bells

It’s hard to believe it’s almost Christmas again, isn’t it? It doesn’t seem like that long ago since we were wrapping gifts and singing Christmas songs last year. 2009’s gone by so quickly. Or maybe I’m just getting older.

I enjoy Christmas but for different reasons than I used to. I’m not religious anymore but I still enjoy the spirit of the season and the message of peace and good will. It’s the little things about Christmas I enjoy most; seeing the lights and decorations in the city, spending time with family and friends. That’s what Christmas is about to me.

To help get into the Christmas spirit this year I thought I’d post a fun Christmas song, like I did last year. This is my take on Jingle Bells, one of my favourite Christmas songs. I rewrote it to reflect a typical hot Aussie Christmas. It turned out quite well in the end.

In researching it I actually learnt a lot about the song. Apparently Jingle Bells was actually written in 1857 for Thanksgiving, not Christmas. Which makes sense when you think about it as modern Christmas celebrations didn’t start until later. Also there are actually four verses to Jingle Bells, which I didn’t know; you rarely hear the last two.

In any case, I hope you enjoy it. And have a wonderful festive season. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Aussie Jingle Bells

Dashing through the house
In an old shirt and one shoe
Running late again
And you need the loo
Front door starts to ring
As the guests arrive
Bringing lots of gifts and pressies
Up the front drive

Oh jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Your family’s gathered round you
On a warm Christmas day (hey!)
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Santa says g’day
Oh what fun it is to spend
Christmas the Aussie way

Now the pressies are unwrapped
We’re sitting by the tree
Lights are all turned on
Looks pretty as can be
We talk about old friends
And have a glass of wine
While the kids play with their toys
Out in the sunshine

Oh jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Your family’s gathered round you
On a warm Christmas day (hey!)
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Santa says g’day
Oh what fun it is to spend
Christmas the Aussie way

Soon it’s two o’clock
We’re by the barbeque
Eating snags and prawns
And drinking beer too
Grandma’s made the cake
It’s a little dry
We try to eat it with one hand
While we’re busy swatting flies

Oh jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Your family’s gathered round you
On a warm Christmas day (hey!)
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Santa says g’day
Oh what fun it is to spend
Christmas the Aussie way

The light is getting dim
It’s almost time to go
We take a family snap
Under the mistletoe
The kids are fast asleep
We’re singing Christmas songs
Don’t you wish Christmas day
Could last all summer long!

Oh jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Your family’s gathered round you
On a warm Christmas day (hey!)
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Santa says g’day
Oh what fun it is to spend
Christmas the Aussie way

Oh what fun it is to spend
Christmas the Aussie way!

Old Favourites

I didn’t realise it had been a week since I’d posted. Ever since I wrote my letter to Clare I’ve been a little distracted but I’m feeling better now; the emotion that it brought up is starting to settle down and I’m feeling more like myself again.

Iโ€™m working on a couple of new posts but for now I thought Iโ€™d post some of my favourite songsโ€ฆ some old gems a few people might have forgotten about. I enjoy new music (love Coldplay) but Iโ€™ve found myself listening to a lot of old favourites recently. I love the period leading up to the late 70s, particularly for the songwritingโ€ฆ it shows that a good song is timeless.

I stumbled across these videos earlier and hadn’t seen most of them before. What’s amazing is they’re still good quality; most are well over 30 years old and the audio quality in particular is very good. They’re also a wonderful throwback to their time; the hair, the clothes… it’s like looking at a piece of history.

By far my favourite is this video of Jimi Hendrix performing Purple Haze in Atlanta. The video is incredible but not as good quality as the others, so if you don’t mind that, click over to have a look. I hope you enjoy the others. I wonder what some of your old favourites are?

My favourite Fleetwood Mac song is Rhiannon and this is a great version; Stevie Nicks is almost possessed. I also found a live performance of I’m So Afraid; the video quality isn’t as good but it’s well worth watching if you’re a Mac fan.

I think this is from 1970 although I’m not sure which concert. Both Sides Now is a lovely song; it has such beautiful, simple lyrics.

Layla would make any list of my favourite songs. This version is from the ARMS Charity Concert in 1983 and has Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck with Clapton.

I blame MQ for Stairway to Heaven; she’s been a Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Page fan for years, I inherited it. I love the song and this is a great live version.

And just to confirm, yes, I am 23. But I feel much older. ๐Ÿ™‚

I love a good mondegreen

It’s no secret that I’m a music junkie. I love listening to something new, particularly while I’m writing. If there’s one thing I hate, though, it’s discovering a new artist and then finding out that everyone has heard them first. I’m not sure why it happens but I’ve discovered some of my favourite artists that way.

That’s why I was thrilled when I heard Feist’s 1234; I had the feeling it might be big, and then Apple used it in their iPod commercials. But it’s kind of ironic because, much as I love the song, I didn’t realise until a few days ago that I had actually misheard the lyric all this time. It was fairly minor; I thought Oh, you’re changing your heart was Oh, changing is hard. But I still feel a bit silly. Good thing I didn’t try to sing it in front of anyone. ๐Ÿ˜‰

It can be embarrassing when you mix up lyrics, but a good mondegreen can be a lot of fun as well. The name comes from a line in The Bonnie Earl o’ Moray which was misheard as “they have slain the Earl of Murray, and Lady Mondegreen” (“laid him on the green”) and many people swear that they sound better than the original.

So I thought after my mistake with Feist that it’d be fun to post some of my favourite mondegreens. The list is a mix of a couple I’ve misheard myself and others which are common. I wonder if you have any favourites?

  • Purple Haze
    Jimi Hendrix

    Original lyric: ‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky
    Misheard as: ‘Scuse me while I kiss this guy
    (Hendrix used to sing it at some of his concerts, adding to the confusion)

  • (Build Me Up) Buttercup
    The Foundations

    Original lyric: Build me up, Buttercup
    Misheard as: Fill me up, Buttercup

  • Advance Australia Fair
    Original lyric: Australia’s Sons let us rejoice for we are young and free
    Misheard as: Australia, Sunset Ostriches for we are young and free
    (The line ended up being changed to “Australians all let us rejoice”)

  • Truly Madly Deeply

    Original lyric: I want to lay like this forever until the sky falls down on me
    Misheard as: I want to lay like this forever until this guy falls down on me
    (One of mine. Major embarrassment)

  • Tiny Dancer
    Elton John

    Original lyric: Hold me closer tiny dancer,
    Count the headlights on the highway
    Misheard as: Hold me closer, Tony Danza,
    Count the head lice on the highway

  • Bad Moon Rising
    Creedence Clearwater Revival

    Original lyric: There’s a bad moon on the rise
    Misheard as: There’s a bathroom on the right

  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    Original lyric: Mama mia, Mama mia, let me go
    Misheard as: Mama mia, Mama mia, Mexico
    (Another of mine. Does anyone really understand Bohemian Rhapsody?)

  • Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
    The Beatles

    Original lyric: The girl with kaleidoscope eyes
    Misheard as: The girl with colitis goes by

  • Radio Nowhere
    Bruce Springsteen

    Original lyric: Is there anybody alive out there?
    Misheard as: Is there anybody in love out there?
    (One of mine again. It actually gives the song a different meaning)

  • Tangled up in Blue
    Bob Dylan
    Original lyric: We split up on a dark, sad night
    Misheard as: We split on the docks that night

  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
    Original lyric: All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names
    Misheard as: Olive the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names
    (Inspired a children’s book and TV show Olive, the Other Reindeer)

Songs of my life

Have you ever thought about the music in your life? We all have our favourite songs and albums but then there’s the music that we remember because of what it meant to us at certain times in our lives, the soundtrack to our lives.

I wrote a post a while ago about the soundtrack to my life but I thought afterward that it felt incomplete; it was a list of songs I remembered playing during my life but they weren’t all my favourite songs, the ones that really mean something to me.

So I thought I’d do a second list. These are the 10 songs I think best reflect my life, who I am up until now. It was harder to do than I thought but it was a lot of fun too. I wonder what your list would be? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Fall At Your Feet
Crowded House

The finger of blame has turned upon itself
And Iโ€™m more than willing to offer myself
Do you want my presence or need my help?

The Scientist

Running in circles, coming up tails
Heads on the science apart

Big Yellow Taxi
Joni Mitchell

Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot

Under Pressure
Queen & David Bowie

And love dares you to change our way
Of caring about ourselves

Forever Young

Praising our leaders, we’re getting in tune
The music’s played by the madmen

Hard Sun

Bound down and flew away the hours
Of her garden and her sun

Sarah Blasko

You say that our love can’t be a pattern in your palm
You say that our love, you say that our love, is only mapped

Fleetwood Mac

If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well the landslide will bring it down

Waiting On The World To Change
John Mayer

We just feel like we don’t have the means
To rise above and beat it

Where The Streets Have No Name

I’ll show you a place
High on a desert plain
Where the streets have no name

Soundtrack to my life

I’ve been wanting to do an easy post after a couple of heavy ones, so here’s one which has been a lot of fun to think about. It’s the soundtrack to my life – my ultimate playlist. It features two songs from every year since I’ve been born, one pop song and one rock/group song; my kind of music. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I knew there’d be a lot of songs to choose from, so this isn’t really a list of my favourite songs; instead it’s a list of the songs I can remember playing for significant moments in my life, or I’m told were around for ones I can’t remember (apparently I was walking to Into the Groove).

The list’s below and I put them all together over at Project Playlist as well; there are a few Australian singers some people might not have heard before – I definitely recommend Pete Murray and Missy Higgins. And if you’re wondering, I treat Project Playlist as a radio-library; I go there if I want to hear a new song, but once I’ve heard it I’ll buy it from iTunes. So that’s my way around any legalities. ๐Ÿ™‚

Dancing in the Dark – Bruce Springstein
Here Comes the Rain Again – Eurythmics

Into the Groove – Madonna
Don’t You (Forget About Me) – Simple Minds

True Colors – Cyndi Lauper
Livin on a Prayer – Bon Jovi

I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston
Don’t Dream It’s Over – Crowded House

Heaven Is A Place On Earth – Belinda Carlisle
Never Tear Us Apart – INXS

Like A Prayer – Madonna
Sweet Child o’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses

Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinead O’Connor
Janie’s Got a Gun – Aerosmith

(Everything I Do) I Do It for You – Bryan Adams
Fall at Your Feet – Crowded House

Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton
Even Better Than The Real Thing – U2

I’d Do Anything for Love (but I Won’t Do That) – Meat Loaf
Everybody Hurts – R.E.M.

Chains – Tina Arena
Black Hole Sun – Soundgarden

Hand in My Pocket – Alanis Morissette
Where the Wild Roses Grow – Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds feat. Kylie Minogue

Always Be My Baby – Mariah Carey
Wonderwall – Oasis

Torn – Natalie Imbruglia
Bitter Sweet Symphony – The Verve

Crush – Jennifer Paige
I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing – Aerosmith

I Try – Macy Gray
Ana’s Song (Open Fire) – Silverchair

Graduation (Friends Forever) – Vitamin C
Beautiful Day – U2

Thank You – Dido
Yellow – Coldplay

A Thousand Miles – Vanessa Carlton
The Greatest View – Silverchair

Crazy In Love – Beyonce & Jay-Z
Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes

So Beautiful – Pete Murray
Somewhere Only We Know – Keane

The Sound of White – Missy Higgins
Wake Me Up When September Ends – Green Day

SexyBack – Justin Timberlake
When You Were Young – The Killers

Rehab – Amy Winehouse
How Far We’ve Come – Matchbox Twenty

What did he say?

I’ve said before that I’m a bit of a music junkie. I used to love watching the countdowns each week on Video Hits and I usually have something new on my iPod; right now it’s Ben Lee’s new album Ripe and The White Stripes’ Icky Thump. I really got into music about the same time I got into writing and I’ll often write with something on in the background to help me get into the right mood.

Much as I love music, though, I found I had one of those “wait… what did he say?” moments a couple of weeks ago. It’s still bugging me now. I was listening to the radio and a song came on which I hadn’t heard before. It was Timbaland’s new single and at first listen it seemed catchy enough. But then I heard the title – The Way I Are. Ouch! I think I can hear my English teachers screaming from here.

I’ll be honest: bad grammar is a pet hate of mine. If you think The Way I Are sounds bad enough, there are worse lyrics; one that stands out is It don’t matter ’cause I’m the one that love you best, and just what the hell does Thug it out mean?

I’m not saying my grammar is perfect – I know sometimes it’s, like, so not hot. But there are a couple of reasons Timbaland’s song bugs me. First, it’s #2 on the ARIA charts this week and #1 for downloads; it’s selling well and not many people seem to be saying anything about it. Second, I listened to the entire song several times and didn’t hear The Way I Are line in it anywhere. I still don’t now; I had to go to one of the lyric sites and apparently it is in there – Can you handle me the way I are? My point is that the lyric kind of slips by in the song; I don’t think I’d notice it as much if the title was The Way You Are, which is used a lot more in the song.

But the thing which really gets me about the song is this completely unrealistic idea of dating. I don’t want to sound unromantic but I don’t know many people who broadcast that they’re broke to help score a date; first dates are about impressions and no-one said you have to be rich or a millionaire to be attractive, but what about having some dignity? Some class? I think that goes a long way and singing Baby if you strip, you can get a tip doesn’t strike me as classy. But worse, the majority of people buying this song are teenagers; it sets an example that illiteracy and unemployment are acceptable and not a barrier to finding your soulmate. It’s a lovely sentiment but it just doesn’t work in the real world; or perhaps you’re going to pay for dinner with your tips from stripping?

I don’t mean any disrespect if you like the song and I do understand why it’s popular; it’s definitely catchy and has a good beat and a good video; Keri Hilson is simply stunning. What I’ve been wondering then is whether all this comes under poetic licence and I’m just making a big deal over nothing? Artists take liberties with language all the time to heighten the effect of their work, to change a tense or make a lyric rhyme. What’s so different here? Well, to me the difference is that The Way I Are subverts language rather than uses it. There’s little artistic reason I can see for any of the errors; there’s no lyrical reason for I to be used instead of You, for instance. This isn’t Justin Timberlake with Lovestoned or Apple telling us to Think Different; it doesn’t utilise or invent language, it subverts it, and it just bugs the hell out of me.

Of course, it’s just a song; CJ, chill. Whether Timbaland says The Way I Are or not doesn’t really matter in the end. Except that I’m a writer, damn it, and language does matter to me! I think every time we accept abuses like this, we lose a little piece of what we have. But it’s #2 on the charts now and doing well and it just makes me wonder if the whole thing is really just a clever marketing ploy… cynical, I know, but maybe that’s just the way I are. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Edit: Changed Timberland to Timbaland. Thanks to Judy for pointing that out; now I just feel embarrassed! ๐Ÿ™‚