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8 Christmas Song Parodies to Sing This Holiday

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You know "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," but do you recall the most famous "Rudolph" parody of all—that one featuring a cowpoke with a very shiny gun? There are many, many more song parodies that use the tunes of familiar Christmas songs. We’ve rounded up just a few others that you might not know, but should.  

1. JOHNNY THE REDSHIRT FRESHMAN

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Johnny Manziel was a redshirt freshman for Texas A&M in the fall of 2012 when he blew past all competition and won the Heisman Trophy, the first freshman ever to win the award. Michael Cordova wrote a little song about it, set to the tune of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

You know Matthews and Michael and Joeckel and EZ
Stewart, DaMonster, and Harris and Nealy
But do you recall the most famous Aggie of all?
Johnny the redshirt freshman strikes a lovely Heisman pose
But if you ever saw him, you would even say OH NO... no no no... YES YES!

The song is short, but it was really popular with Aggies that year.

2. DECK US ALL WITH BOSTON CHARLIE

Walt Kelly drew the syndicated comic strip "Pogo" from 1948 to 1975. Pogo the possum and his animal friends in the Okefenokee Swamp talked a lot of nonsense that hid social and political satire among the laughs. For Christmas, the satire gave way to downright silliness, as the cast sang classic Christmas carols with nonsense lyrics. The best known was “Deck Us All with Boston Charlie,” a take on "Deck the Halls," which ran year after year.

Deck us all with Boston Charlie,
Walla Walla, Wash., an' Kalamazoo!
Nora's freezin' on the trolley,
Swaller dollar cauliflower alley-garoo!

Don't we know archaic barrel
Lullaby Lilla Boy, Louisville Lou?
Trolley Molly don't love Harold,
Boola boola Pensacoola hullabaloo!

There are actually six complete verses to this song; you can find all the lyrics at The Straight Dope, listen to a performance here, and check out some of the relevant comics here.

3. BUZZFEED CHRISTMAS

Randall Munroe at xkcd put new lyrics to a few lines of the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” which is a list in itself, to parody the list makers at Buzzfeed.

4. AUSSIE JINGLE BELLS

“Jingle Bells” isn’t specifically about Christmas—it's really just about riding through the snow on a wintry day. But in Australia, Christmas occurs during the continent's summer season. So the Australian duo Bucko & Champs (Colin Buchanan and Greg Champion) recorded a new version with Australian lyrics in 1993 called "Aussie Jingle Bells.” It became so popular down under that they re-released it on their Christmas album Aussie Christmas with Bucko & Champs in 1996. The lyrics are here if you want to sing along.

5. THE FIRST HARD SELL

Want to express your displeasure about the overemphasis on the shopping part of Christmas? Try out this parody song, attributed to Christopher Hershey, that's sung to the tune of “The First Noel.”

The first hard sell comes sometime in June
When last season's Christmas cards take too much room,
So they put them out in an off-season bin,
For in June they are getting their new shipments in.

Hard sell, hard sell
Hard sell, hard sell
This is the Christmas we all know so well.

About midway in July the lay-away plans
Make their laying-away-in-a-manger demands,
And installment plans begin their attempt to entice
You end up paying twice the original price.

Then early in the fall there's a pre-season bluff
To sell gift wrappings, ribbons and other such stuff
Buy it now! the ads demand, if you don't buy it, you
Will discover we're out of it when you want to.

By the time October comes, every store's lined with snares
With Halowe'en, Christmas and Thanksgiving wares;
What once were festivals that were simple and plain
All have become mere excuses for capital gain

6. WARNER WONDERLAND

Musician Jim Keyes posted a video in which he played “Winter Wonderland” on YouTube several years ago. Warner Music Group had it removed on grounds of copyright infringement. Keyes knew that there’s a way around that: Parody songs are protected from charges of infringement. So he altered the lyrics of “Winter Wonderland” to tell the story of what happened.

7. HAMLET, THE DANISH PRINCELING

Mya Gosling runs the webcomic Good Tickle Brain, where she turns Shakespeare on his head for a laugh. Last year on Christmas Day, she gave us Hamlet, the Danish Princeling, with lyrics to be set to the tune of "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer." In the same post, she also has the parody songs "Good King Henry V" and "Hark the Herald Witches Sing."

8. THE CHEMISTRY TEACHER’S COMING TO TOWN

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Here’s one that might bring a little smile to the face of students studying for finals, set to the tune of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

You better not weigh
You better not heat
You better not react
I'm telling you now
The Chemistry Teacher's coming to town.

He's collecting data
He's checking it twice
He's gonna find out
The heat of melting ice
The Chemistry Teacher's coming to town.

He sees you when you're decanting
He knows when you titrate
He knows when you are safe or not
So wear goggles for goodness sake.

Oh, you better not filter
And drink your filtrate
You better not be careless and spill your precipitate.
The Chemistry Teacher's coming to town.

This and 13 other Christmas songs converted to chemistry jokes can be found at Wesleyan University’s Physics department.

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Want to Recycle Your Christmas Tree? Feed It to an Elephant
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Sean Gallup/Getty Images

When the holiday season finally comes to a close, people get creative with the surplus of dead Christmas trees. One San Francisco-based artist transformed brittle shrubs into hanging installation pieces. Others use pine needles for mulch, or repurpose trees into bird sanctuaries. For the average person, sticking it into a wood chipper or "treecycling" it as part of a community program are all eco-friendly ways to say goodbye to this year's Douglas fir. None of these solutions, however, are as cute as the waste-cutting strategy employed by some zoos around the world: giving them to elephants.

Each year, zookeepers at Tierpark Berlin—a facility that bills itself as “Europe’s largest adventure animal park”—feed the elephants unsold pine trees. The plants are reportedly pesticide-free, and they serve as a good (albeit prickly) supplement to the pachyderms' usual winter diets.

A bit closer to home, the residents of The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee rely on local residents to take part in their annual Christmas Tree Drive. In addition to being nutrient-rich, the tree's needles are said to help aid in an elephant's digestion. But beyond all that, it's pretty adorable to watch.

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5 Eco-Friendly Ways to Dispose of Your Christmas Tree
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What’s the environmentally safest way to dispose of your Christmas tree? It’s hard to say. Grown, managed, transported, and recycled efficiently, a real Christmas tree’s environmental impact should be near neutral. Unfortunately, not all Christmas tree plantations are equal in their environmental impact.

The most eco-friendly way is to leave the tree in the ground, where it belongs, so you never have to dispose of it. But then you don't have a Christmas tree in your house to bring festive cheer. One thing you can do is be environmentally smart when it comes to the tree's disposal. After this festive season, why not try one of these eco-friendly methods.

1. CHIP IT.

If you’re lucky enough to have access to a big wood-chipper, you may be able to chip the entire tree. Wood-chip is great as a decorative landscaping material. But if you really want to do great things for the environment (and if you have access to a lot of Christmas trees), you could make a bioreactor to denitrify water. Nitrates are put on farms across the world to help increase crop output, but a considerable amount is washed away into lakes and rivers where it’s disastrous for fish and potentially toxic for people. A wood chip bioreactor encourages the growth of bacteria that break down the nitrates in the drainage water, reducing the amount that gets into the water supply. It's not a simple project, however. To make one, you have to dig a big trench, get the water to flow through said trench, and fill it with wood chips. More info can be found here [PDF].

2. CRAFT IT.


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If your tree hasn’t yet let go of its needles—and you haven’t yet let go of Christmas, get crafty with it. Cut off small branches and bind them around a circle of wire to make an attractive wreath. This looks even better if some of the cones are still attached. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you could set up an essential oil extractor to get a supercharged Christmas scent. If you are already distilling alcohol, you have everything you need (here's how to do it). With a little less effort and equipment, you can make a weaker liquid called hydrosol, which is a fragrant condensate water containing water-soluble parts of the needles.

3. STICK IT.

Many legumes, such as garden peas, are thigmotropic, meaning that they respond to objects they touch, growing in coils along or up them. Needle-free Christmas tree branches have lots of twigs, texture, and knobby protrusions for peas and beans to get a grip on. This allows them to grow upwards strongly toward light. Simply stick a small tree branch in the soil next to each new shoot for a free, effective legume-climbing frame. Another advantage of this technique is that it makes grazing animals less likely to munch those tender green shoots, as they tend to avoid getting Christmas tree twigs spiked up their noses.

4. TREECYCLE IT.


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Come January, it’s cold, the festivities are over, work looms, and you’ve got too much on your mind to be thinking about dead Christmas tree horticulture or crafts. Fortunately, a simple solution is at hand: Most counties and municipalities now provide Christmas tree recycling points where you can take your tree for chipping. Some “TreeCycle” points will even exchange your tree for a bag of wood-chip or chip mulch. OK, this probably means that you’ll have to jam that Christmas tree into your car once more, but as long as you don’t have to drive too many miles out of your way, Christmas tree recycling is a quick and easy environmentally-friendly option.

5. DONATE IT.

After you’ve had your Christmas cheer, why shouldn’t fish have some fun? Several communities have programs in place where they’ll take your old Christmas tree, drill a hole in the base, tie a brick to it, and throw it in a lake. When humans create artificial lakes, they tend to be relatively featureless on the bottom for easy dredging. That’s great for us, but it means baby fish have nowhere to escape predators. Christmas trees provide a nice, temporary place for the fish to hide out and explore.

If, on the other hand, you’d like to see your Christmas tree mauled by a pride of lions, that’s OK too! Some zoos around the world take Christmas tree donations (but please remove all the tinsel first) and allow the animals to play with them.

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