Sometimes a title occurs to a body in some dreamlike state. And maybe that’s enough. AKA throw enough words against a screen to see what sticks.
The Greatest Game of Christmas Hide ‘n’ Seek There Ever Was
The house was full of cousins
Around the holidays.
Too busy for our buzzin's
Folks said: Go out and play.
We tweaked our plan that week
To whilst the time away:
A game of hide and seek,
A true battle royale.
I hid behind the furnace...
It must have been two hours.
Then stakes got much more earnest
They hid our dog Bowser.
It didn't seem too bleak
(He's in the fold-away).
This game of hide and seek
Started to get real strange.
So when I hid their presents,
They hid my brother Tim,
But then I hid their parents--
To make them say I win.
So never show you're weak
When family comes to stay:
Suggest some hide and seek
And yell Yippee-ki-yay!
This just sounds like some movie pitch or something. I dunno. Might be an idea in there somewhere. Spooky kidsong music for it? Something gothic inspired?
I prefer Scrabble to crosswords, never much cared for the oh-so-clever clues. Full disclosure: i have never completed one of those New York Times puzzles on my own. I do like easier ones. So, this looks like misplaced aggression on my part, i suppose. Or some kind of fantasy. And a bit of agenda.
A Crossword for Christmas
When I say A-cross, I don't mean Christ,
I mean that grid in the New York Times;
It's best Sundays, or holiday-sized...
My crossword puzzle at Christmastime.
Let's keep the 'X' in our newspaper,
Which may fail due to costly labor.
Will Shortz developed us this favor,
For Christmas don't let it disappear.
"Mrs. Claus name" in just five letters,
Seven down is "Holy Monseigneur,"
A question mark means a play on words,
But the title is "Architect-cheer."
Pour the nog and put the timer on.
Let's fill it before the time is gone.
I won't look at crosswordsolver.com.
My morning ritual in ink... and done!
Not exactly snobbish, but this self-certainty might work best with a symphonic lead in and a pop/rock bridge. I’ll leave it to you.
That line from that 1949 song has engendered some debate: some think it’s about bullying frat traditions, some think it’s about team-building training exercises. But i figured we’d combine those two for a novelty song.
I challenge you to antler toss,
Or polo--played with bowling balls.
Now try corn hole up (a) buck's anus
Or fly your hooves for Quidditch-Claus!
Welcome to the Eighty-Seventh
Reindeer All Star Invitation-al;
Each major or minor event
Gets no honorable mention--y'all.
So check your stats and bet the odds
We love all competitions.
Except that one that was outlawed
...something to do with A-1 sauce.
This ain't your dad's Monopoly,
These feats of strength for all to see;
There's no time outs to be calling
With just one champion to be.
So get your hinds off my racecourse:
My best time is oh point oh four.
Your record jump will not beat ours--
With your ass we will mop all floors.
We're all a bit competitive,
But then we all are relative.
These games are not recreative
Because there's no alternative.
The first rule of reindeer games...
Is you don't bitch about reindeer games...
To the death...
To the death...
To the death...
to the pain....
I tried (a little) NOT to get all redneck with vernacular and phonetic corruptions of language. But this might needs be psychobilly in musical genre. Or punk metal. Ad libs of call-outs may be added as whimmed (Donner’s going down! Vixen with all the fixin’s! Dash-yer hopes!… like that).
Misheard lyrics can be funny. Not that i’m big fan or anything. Just thought i’d play around a little and see if any of this comes across. Sing along, you know the tune!
‘Twas Elf Davey’s Crispness
Auntie's furred damselfish mush
Mike's troubled bravery
A cartridge in an arm'ry
Fond of secant above Cost Plus
To purple pugs
Up a part o' speech commentary
Prawns have thirst ambergris must
Metro league guarantee
Too thirsty Dougs
With a part'san, name of Perry
Awning forced dazed of concuss
My rye loaf game theory
Few comes to shove
Yonder faith die off cripples
Mein Kampf of slavery
For better (or) worse
Ganja synth day old crispness
Mistrust all Gemini
Sis, please, I'm lying
Why not, because
A particular skill set, see?
Gonna sever Chekhov's critics
O whereof knavery?
Severe cancer symptoms
Free fall in verse
With a smart midget canary
Oughta aid Dadaist muse
Milieu lunch gaucherie
Hate made me millions
Safe saucer swinging
Since niece is staying
Get Thee hence
To a party at DoubleTree
Fondue night hit-and-miss nuts
Nitration (of) Benzene
Eyeshades in moleskin
Overran a swordsman
Styx feeds Malayan
Five & Tens
Woo fertile bugs
With a heart aching artery
Tanya tint dado crisscross
My new lobotomy
Abrade a villain
Sentence answers seemly
Chew myrtle dust
Flowcharts were switched with spaghetti
Donder elegant dairy doldrums
Me Too loves gaveling
All level piebald bipeds
Tense horses sleeping
Night makes me handsome
Lay lady lay, Bing
Self serving at summer
Sips cheese in layers
Eye hole kings
Workbench hair plugs
Say not 'Parting's such sweet sorrow'
Con job elf day old crescents
Make do costumery
They'll've drumsticks drama
All even plywood pliant
Timeworn and legal
New Hades fam'ly
Severance for seamen
Fix greased flambe'd beans
When you part fridge from your dairy
I’m not kidding, you have got to sing this word salad. To read it is to dismiss it–or go mad. This is parody of carol, what i call caroldy. (If you’re really not sure which carol, just go on to the next thing, really.) …oof, i tried.
You sit to write a song, you look bored. You get up and wander around the ol’ domicile, you get ideas. Are they any good? Who knows!
Where Do You Store Your Ornaments?
After college I moved out with second hand stuff,
Never seemed to have food or plates or chairs enough,
But as the years grew long my shelves weren't up to snuff:
All my Christmas decorations jammed up my hutch.
The bulbs were crowded so they cracked,
The balls didn't last in a stack.
Fit that stuff in a box out back
Which molded 'til it all turned black.
Then I married and my decorations doubled;
So drew up some blueprints to construct a new shed.
Then kids started bringing home handmade junk misspelled...
We got taller trees, but were in over our heads.
Nutcrackers crowded 'til they cracked,
Candles didn't last in a stack.
Now so many boxes're out back
Moving them makes a heart attack.
Well, we never slowed up but collected beyond
Enough stuff to bejewel Godzilla AND King Kong.
Once we've our halls and gay apparel all re-donned,
We keep Christmas alive and displayed: All. Year. Long.
Garlands amassed until WE cracked,
The wreaths devour'd money stacks,
But here you know where you are at--
Pull up a sleigh and wear a Santa hat!
NOT based on a true story, God no. But, a family number? Kidsong? Not sure about that. Maybe grunge, or at least garage, would bring out the pissiness.
The obligatory weather alert song.
December Wind Go Take a Hike
How lovely, it's
I have a wish...
And it's for us!
But then the cold
Rears up its scold
And puts my goals
In a chokehold.
Go take a hike;
I'm not thin-skinned
I just don't like... December Wind!
Nor heating grates
Can save my face
From polar fate!
I need a hug,
A liquor jug,
Or tauntaun's gut
to keep me snug
Ste-als my breath,
Cuts skin like flint
'Til all that's left's... December wind!
Through ev'ry leak
I hear a shriek;
Wear frosty streaks
Across my cheeks.
Swaddled in coats
I make a toast
To the North Pole's
Most fatal ghost....
Please take a break
Or frostbite wins!
...I'll never shake... December wind!
Not rap, not really. Not nearly exhaustively long enough for rap. I’m feeling more cowboy country. (Country rap?)
I put more thought than work into this one. Seemed like a clear, writes-itself conceit to me. Many of these criticisms are my own, others just fit the rhyme scheme.
What Your Favorite Christmas Movie Says About You
The holiday seasons rolling around again
And you are going to watch 'Charlie Brown'... again,
Then 'Olive', 'Frosty', "Grinch', 'Rudolph', 'Mickey'--yes sir--
'A Year Without Santa Claus' to see Heat Miser.
You're in a rut each December for what to watch,
And your tradition says about you--such a lot.
If 'Miracle' is your go-to, you're old as dirt.
'Wonderful Life' is soothing for pitiful hurt.
'Chronicles' means you're queer for leather bear 'zaddies.
'The Grinch Who Stole' works best for who partake of weed.
The Hallmark Channel left on means you have no life.
'Love Actually' excuses your adultery.
'A Christmas Carol' unifies the ninety-nine,
Unless it has Muppets, then just enjoy--it's fine.
'Christmas Story' appeals to haters and riffraff.
But, fans of 'Home Alone' might be sociopaths.
'Krampus' and other horror means you hate Christmas.
'Jingle Jangle'/'Spirited' have woke agendas.
'Vacation' cheers the downtrodden's vicious revenge.
'Die Hard' fans want all to know they're Xmas-deranged.
'Elf' is (a) millennial's anthem to not grow up.
'Ernest Saves Christmas' did that first... without throw up.
The holiday lineup has come and gone again
And you have stayed true to all your old traditions.
It's not like anything new is going to please,
So leave your personality in the deep freeze.
Or, if you want to really get a bellyful,
Hie to the cineplex for the Oscar hopefuls.
Okay, there are hundreds of Christmas movies. Not going to watch/judge ’em all. And the TV specials are a whole ‘nother category. I can see a rollicking pop tune to underly this. Some rock? Perhaps.
I must be getting tired, so i’m writing about writing. I thought that was funny in my youth, writing an essay about writing an essay. And that was before meta was a thing. Still, write what you know. I guess i know a little about songwriting by this point.
Writing a Christmas Song Like No Other
I think I'll write a number one - Christmas song.
I am, not to be too boastful - an artiste.
I'm sure there's room for 'nother one - can't go wrong.
Just come up with (an) original - masterpiece.
I got ideas about J. Christ - all been done.
Or maybe Santa Claus hisself - not sure what.
I might get some ideas 'bout toys - not a one.
Never thought it'd be this bad, well - shut my butt.
I'm going 'bout this the wrong way - wait a sec.
Got to let the spirits guide me - to that place.
Read the cards and watched the movies - what the heck.
They're all cliched and all drivelly - commonplace.
Some tunes complaining 'bout the snow - all been done.
An animal besides hippos? - not sure what.
Some new thoughts about mistletoe? - not a one.
Elves... and tree lots... and UFOs? - shut my butt.
I'll write the first thing in my heart - improvise.
The Grinch has died... he's now Asian - not so great.
Three dinosaurs... followed a star - word to (the) wise:
Don't force your imagination - guess I'll wait.
Guess I'll sing old songs again - so rightly.
Guess I saw them all along - all wrongly.
I'll not write new verse or refrain... or maybe,
I'll write a song about writing... a song... hey....
Not exactly stream of cocoa-ness, but i’ve certainly beheld worse (published). Some start-and-stop pop music, perhaps. Indie, anyway.
The popular refrain at the in-laws’ (long ago) was Whuddyaget-Whuddyaget-Whuddyaget? But there was always that one spoil sport who would hold up a wrapped box, cock his head to one side, and announce: ‘shaver’ or ‘pajama set’ or ‘garden gnome’ or whatever. Generally speaking, he was right. Made me wonder how often other families had such gifted prognosticators, and how much the ancient art of childhood snooping has been kept alive.
Shake That Present
All under the tree
Where we all can see
Colors and stripes
Can we classify?
Shake it, Don't Break it,
Weigh it, X-Ray it,
Measure it, Treasure it.
Guess wrong and you'll look like shit.
Now what could it be?
You'll guess easily
The size and the shape
Just heft it for weight.
I can't wait to open
You know what I'm hopin'
The gift of my dreams
I can see through the seams!
I've opened that present
It's not what I wanted
Are you sure that's mine?
I'll check one more time!
Simple lines for a simple concept. I stand by (most of) it. Driving rhythm (sorta), so–metal. Or at least hard blues. Gotta go.
Still getting personal for my original songs. But, as the title suggests, this is autobiographical-ish. I don’t dwell much on the past, and can barely remember what i was doing yesterday… So let’s celebrate having nothing much to say!
Why Can’t I Remember My Childhood Christmases?
From Dylan Thomas to Jean Shepherd
Childhood memories roost on ol' Christmas!
But these are obtuse caricatures
Colored outside the lines with (a) warped paintbrush.
I can't remember Christmas at four--
Not what i got or what i even wore.
There may have been a Fred Flinstone car...
My memories are all uncalled for.
The holidays are for the kids-sure!
With their wish lists and Santa's doubled.
It helps them rise up, though immature
And keeps them out of Winter's troubles.
I can't remember Christmas at eight--
How did i sing or pray or cel'brate?
Did i say thank you, or litigate?
I'm sure i ate too many chocolates.
So then they grow up out of Christmas:
Those 'tweens who swear and sin without (a) blush.
These young adults who bear no excuse
For naughtiness learned from Church and Claus.
I can remember Christmas for my child,
When he was docile or in denial.
I always had one more gift for (the) pile;
He won't recall, but it was worthwhile.
Oh, that got a bit touchy-feely. No regrets, but it did end up with a bit of a message. Shall we try some gospel or soul? No? I guess that’d be weird. Kid music?