24 December 2006

A Christmas song that hits at the spirit of it all

"Father Christmas" by The Kinks




Okay, forgive the quality of this video...apparently it was lifted from British TV and it dates back almost 30 years on now. The message, though, remains the same after all this time. What we're celebrating at Christmas isn't what we're supposed to at all...but that's not stopped us yet for milking the holiday for all it's worth commerically, year after year. It's a shame this wonderful commentary (like so many of the biting yet real masterpieces that The Kinks cranked out since the early 1960s) never makes it to air...either on television or even radio these days. The message it sends still needs to be heard. (The video, as usual, is from YouTube.)

Truer words were never written than in the third from the last verse (from Leo's Lyrics, as usual, lyrics below): "...but remember the kids who got nothin' while you're drinkin' down your wine." Amen, Brother Davies, amen.

(And for those of you who are too young to know who "Steve Austin" is in the fourth verse, he was the TV character played by Lee Majors on "The Six Million Dollar Man", which was a *huge* hit in the mid-1970s. When I went to first grade, in fact, every boy in my class had the metal lunch box from the show...I can still 'see' them lined up neatly in a row underneath our coats and jackets. And, yes, Lee Majors later was in "The Fall Guy" in th 1980s and is the first ex-husband of Farrah Fawcett...who was called Farrah Fawcett-Majors back in the day. Lord I feel old now, but I know the questions will come otherwise. Suffice it to say that when Ray Davies et al penned this song, the Steve Austin reference was a timely statement about overblown consumerism and kids' toys.)

Makes you wonder if Jesus hit town (not this town exclusively, but any town in the Western world) today, if he'd still recognize, let alone want to celebrate, his birthday.



"Father Christmas"


by The Kinks
from their album titled "Misfits"


When I was small I believed in Santa Claus
Though I knew it was my dad
And I would hang up my stocking at Christmas
Open my presents and I'd be glad

But the last time I played Father Christmas
I stood outside a department store
A gang of kids came over and mugged me
And knocked my reindeer to the floor

They said
Father Christmas, give us some money
Don't mess around with those silly toys
We'll beat you up if you don't hand it over
We want your bread so don't make us annoyed
Give all the toys to the little rich boys

Don't give my brother a Steve Austin outfit
Don't give my sister a cuddly toy
We don't want a jigsaw or monopoly money
We only want the real mccoy

Father Christmas, give us some money
We'll beat you up if you make us annoyed
Father Christmas, give us some money
Don't mess around with those silly toys

But give my daddy a job 'cause he needs one
He's got lots of mouths to feed
But if you've got one I'll have a machine gun
So I can scare all the kids on the street

Father Christmas, give us some money
We got no time for your silly toys
We'll beat you up if you don't hand it over
Give all the toys to the little rich boys

Have yourself a merry merry Christmas
Have yourself a good time
But remember the kids who got nothin'
While you're drinkin' down your wine

Father Christmas, give us some money
We got no time for your silly toys
Father Christmas, please hand it over
We'll beat you up so don't make us annoyed

Father Christmas, give us some money
We got no time for your silly toys
We'll beat you up if you don't hand it over
We want your bread so don't make us annoyed
Give all the toys to the little rich boys

1 comment:

Liz said...

If Jesus came to town...I think he'd probably faint in shock.