The Twelve Days of Christmas 2022 – Day 4

With a trip to the Emerald Isle, we find ourselves reading a poem set to music in the form of Miss Fogarty’s Christmas Cake. Despite the obvious symbols of Christmas goodies being gingerbread, candy canes, sugar cookies, and other minty chocolate goodies, nothing could be less Christmasy than a cake, lest it be a bunt.

Yes that’s right, the famous bunt cake. Strange in its design and depth of rectangle bread-like shape, and covered in strange toppings all leaving a strange “Is this bread, or is this a cake?” inquiry. Well, looking into this Irish melody, you can tell the ingredients are really interesting, and the effect on the eater is metaphorically rather dicy.

So think twice before you take a piece of this delectable festive bunt. And by the way, can this Miss Fogarty be trusted? I mean really, who is she anyways? Instead you can open your ears instead of your mouths, and listen to a less risky journey about an otherwise unknown Christmas bunt cake in this Christmas song. 

Miss Fogarty’s Christmas Cake

As I sat in my window last evening
The letter was brought round to me
A little gilt-edged invitation sayin’
Gilhooley come over to tea
Each Christmas, the Fogartys’ sent it
So I went just for old friendships sake
And the first thing they gave me to tackle
Was a slice of Miss Fogarty’s cake

And there were plums and prunes and cherries
There were citrons and raisins and cinnamon, too
There was nuts, and cloves and berries
And a crust that was nailed on with glue
There were caraway seeds in abundance
Such that work up a fine stomach ache
That could kill a man twice after eating a slice
Of Miss Fogarty’s Christmas cake

Miss Mulligan wanted to try it
But really it wasn’t no use
For we worked in it over an hour
But a piece of it wouldn’t come loose
Till Kelly came in with a hatchet
And Murphy came in with a saw
But Miss Fogerty’s cake had the power
For to paralyze any man’s jaws

And there were plums and prunes and cherries
There were citrons and raisins and cinnamon, too
There was nuts, and cloves and berries
And a crust that was nailed on with glue
There were caraway seeds in abundance
Such that work up a fine stomach ache
That could kill a man twice after eating a slice
Of Miss Fogarty’s Christmas cake

Miss Fogarty proud as a peacock
Kept smiling and talk’n away
Till she tripped over Flanagans brogans
And she spilt the patin in her tea
Aye Gilhooley she says you’re not eat’n
Try a little bit more of me cake
Oh no Miss Fogarty says I
Any more and my stomach would break

And there were plums and prunes and cherries
There were citrons and raisins and cinnamon, too
There was nuts, and cloves and berries
And a crust that was nailed on with glue
There were caraway seeds in abundance
Such that work up a fine stomach ache
That could kill a man twice after eating a slice
Of Miss Fogarty’s Christmas cake

Maloney was hit with the colic
O’Donald’s a pain in his head
Mc’Naughton lay down on the sofa
And he swore that he wished he was dead
Miss Bailey went into hysterics
And there she did wriggle and shake
And all of us swore they were poisoned
From eating Miss Fogarty’s cake

And there were plums and prunes and cherries
There were citrons and raisins and cinnamon, too
There was nuts, and cloves and berries
And a crust that was nailed on with glue
There were caraway seeds in abundance
Such that work up a fine stomach ache
That could kill a man twice after eating a slice
Of Miss Fogarty’s Christmas cake

Yes it would kill a man twice after eating a slice
Of Miss Fogarty’s Christmas cake

The Twelve Days of Christmas 2022 – Day 3

For those living in the Northern Hemisphere and English speaking world, the holiday season is filled with at least a hundred classic movies. More are created each year, and the list grows, but we always return to the ones that bring us nostalgia and happiness of simpler times. Enter, Burl Ives and the epic puppet animation tv special of 1964: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

A reindeer is born a little different than the rest, and is joined by the squeaky voiced elf Hermey who aspires to be a dentist, and the gruff Yukon Cornelius who represents all the hopes and dreams of the gold rush. The sultry and unique voice of Burl Ives compliments the children’s drama with other songs like “A Holly Jolly Christmas.” A visit from the Abominable Snow Monster, which of course adds furhter conflict to he mix, is frankly terrifying for kids.

The journey takes us to the Island of Misfit toys, and eventually ends with acceptance and a happy ending. It’s a happy and simple message about discrimination and eventual acceptance. The song is nice, but the film is even better. Look for it on Youtube for a laugh and a window into the childhood classic of millions.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Had a very shiny nose
And if you ever saw it
You would even say it glows

All of the other reindeer
Used to laugh and call him names
They never let poor Rudolph
Join in any reindeer games

Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say
“Rudolph with your nose so bright,
Won’t you guide my sleigh tonight”

Then how the Reindeer loved hiim
As they shouted out with glee,
“Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,
You’ll go down in history!”

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,
You’ll go down in History.

The Twelve Days of Christmas 2022 – Day 2

Continuing on our journey brings us to a Christmas favourite, rooted strongly in my childhood. Such journey includes a stop by Gayla Peevey. The idea of having a hippopotamus in the house is novel, but truth be told, I’d rather have an elephant or giraffe friend, though clearly not in the house as they wouldn’t fit.

A classic and often kitch choice, this song features a very strong and unforgettable bassoon part, clearly the epic strong and obscure sound of the lower double reed family. Long live the bassoon, as well as long live the hippo, which strangely, or perhaps not so strangely, makes a frequent appearance in my social media feeds. Whether it be to eat a watermelon or generally just swimming around, a smile is always brought to your face when the little ears of the hippo shake!

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
I don’t want a doll, no dinky Tinkertoy
I want a hippopotamus to play with and enjoy

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
I don’t think Santa Claus will mind, do you?
He won’t have to use our dirty chimney flue
Just bring him through the front door
That’s the easy thing to do

I can see me now on Christmas morning
Creeping down the stairs
Oh, what joy and what surprise
When I open up my eyes
To see my hippo hero standing there

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
No crocodiles, or rhinoceroseses
I only like hippopotamuseses
And hippopotamuses like me too

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
A hippopotamus is all I want
Mom says the hippo would eat me up
But then teacher says a hippo is a vegetarian

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
The kind I saw this summer at the zoo
There’s lots of room for him in our two car garage
I’d feed him there and wash him there
And give him his massage

I can see me now on Christmas morning
Creeping down the stairs
Oh, what joy and what surprise
When I open up my eyes
To see my hippo hero standing there

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
No crocodiles, or rhinoceroseses
I only like hippopotamuses
And hippopotamuses like me too

The Twelve Days of Christmas 2022 – Day 1

In the spirit of the season, or rather to get me into the spirit of the season, I introduce my Twelve Days of Christmas with musical selections from obscure places and my life. 

To start this, I present to you a childhood staple, Sharon, Lois, and Bram. I had the tapes and its how I learned English at home, though this selection is less English focused. Sometimes I wonder how or why I became a polyglot, and this might be one of those inciting incidents in my life.

Sung in a multilingual version, here it comes… It took awhile to figure out all the languages since I don’t have access to the inlay of the original cassette tape, but I have pretty good ears for languages. ✌️邏

The Twelve Days of Christmas
1. 🇨🇦 A Partrige in a Pear Tree
2. 🇪🇸 Dos palomas blancas
3. 🇫🇷 Trois poussins français
4. 🇯🇵 和の小鳥
5. 🇬🇧 Five Golden Rings
6. 🇮🇱 שש אווזות
7. 🇦🇲 յոթա կարապ լողում էն
8.🇮🇹 Otto ragazze
9. 🇮🇳 नौ ओर ते नाची
10. 🇬🇷 δέκα άνθρωποι πηδούν
11. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Eleven Pipers Piping
12. 🇹🇿 Wapiga ngoma

Happy Holidays!

Homophobia in the most unlikely of places

I live a pretty free life and I have had the privilege to have grown up in, and lived in places that do not (generally) suffer from extreme hatred, sexism, or discrimination. Sure, I have experienced sexism and witnessed it, but on the whole my life experience has been pretty hate-adverse.

So you might wonder why this post is relevant today or in the year 2022 nearly 2023. Well, in the last few weeks I have observed and experienced so much hatred in a place I never expected. I can neither hold it back, nor deny speaking out any longer. Why do I witness homophobia in my country? I am baffled and confused, and have found myself in situations that require me to stop, pull 180s and be dumbfounded.

I live in a country that has been one of the forefront leaders in LGBTQIA+ rights over the last 30 year period. Marriage is legal, laws against discrimination exist and are generally enforced, and it is even possible to adopt. Yet, why do I see and hear so much homophobia, especially from the 15-30 year old generation? Let me explain how and where…

I went to see a film, in fact one of the funniest and most true films I have seen in awhile. I could relate, I could laugh, I could cry, and all in one movie. One of the first mainstream gay films with a predominantly LGBTQIA+ cast, Bros is everything I wanted to see, everything I wanted to criticise, everything I wanted to wish for, and yet I’m left shaking my head not by the film, but by patrons in the cinema and in my community.

As you can see by the advertisement poster, it is obviously two men touching each others behinds. The trailers are not shy about it being a romantic comedy about a gay couple. In fact, the byline of the film is:

Bobby is a neurotic podcast host who’s happy to go on Tinder dates and content not to have a serious relationship. That all changes when he meets Aaron, an equally detached lawyer who likes to play the field. Repeatedly drawn to each other, both men begin to show their vulnerable sides as their undeniable attraction turns into something resembling a commitment.

Google

And yet, when the rather small theatre room in a rather large (probably the largest in my country) cinema starts to fill, my heart warmed a bit and at the same time broke. Here is a run down of what I witnessed:

  1. Firstly a few 14-16 year old boys enter. They seem curious and excited; yay for open minded kids!
  2. Then a couple enters. They are chatting away and I’m left wondering how the man will react. He was giving extreme straight-bro energy.
  3. Then comes in some older men and women – nothing to note and all seem happy and ready.
  4. Then a group of three teenage girls enter, all on their Snapchats, not paying attention to each other, taking each others photos and screaming out stuff like “delete it – fuuuuck” and so on – I wondered and thought, interesting.
  5. Then a family with kids came in – I thought wow cool, neat that the whole family will see the film.

The stage is set, and nothing could prepare me for what I witnessed. I was having a great time with my friend. We were laughing every five minutes, getting all the jokes an innuendos and shade, and literally loving the film. It was after the first ten minutes that I started hearing the comments. The girls next to me said “euwww” and “gross” and kept taking photos of the movie and Snapping, clearly not paying attention or understanding half of what was going on. Important to note at this point that the subtitles were alright, albeit a bit awkward with the slang.

Then the family leaves rather discretely. And it hit me – this is the first time I have ever seen someone leave a cinema film during a screening. Then, seemingly the boys started going to the toilet, then a bunch more boys arrived and watched, came and went, and I thought “what is going on?”. We laughed some more, then the girls next to us had enough and muttered under their breaths as they left – good riddance I thought. And then the boys left a few minutes later, right when we were at the climax of the films plot. Needless to say, I was just confused.

Then I looked over to the couple, and the über straight guy was giggling and looking rather awkward, meanwhile his girlfriend was keeled over laughing her ass off. I was happy to see that us in the corner were not the only ones loving it and making it known. I just couldn’t shake the shock that there were so much homophobic behaviour (especially from the young girls).

It was at this point that I remembered walking through the mall, and seeing two men holding hands. A regular type guy saw it, and as they passed, pulled a 180 with a disgusted look, and just stared at them. I was walking behind, and caught glimpse of it, and then turned to gawk at him for his own behaviour. Meanwhile everyone else is just going about their business, phew, the masses are unbothered. Was it that shocking to see, given the widespread acceptance and seeming tolerance?

It got me all a thinking about gay topics in general, and noticing that in the last few years that I’ve lived here, people do still get a little bit uncomfortable when talking about, or being around LGBTQIA+ people or issues. On the whole, I imagine people are not homophobic, but the behaviour I see, and in particular the behaviour of men, certainly seems to say something different. Why is this still an issue in a modern, civil society? How could this reflect a large minority of my society? Do I truly live in such a loving bubble that I don’t regularly observe this fear or hatred?

Sure I understand that a huge percentage of the population is foreign-born, but I thought still that the attitudes were more gentle, more modern, or more adapted, especially in 2022. I guess being gay in theory is okay to these people, but when they end up seeing it, it becomes much more a problem and causes disgust.

At any rate, go see Bros. It’s freaking hilarious and will either confirm, or poke fun at every truth of the gay man existence.

1 2 3 4 5 121