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Songwriting

A Christmas Carol (or three)

Posted on 2007.12.07 at 00:33
Current Mood: lethargiclethargic
Current Music: Sing - Carpenters
The Chicago Tribune had a Christmas carol parody contest during November. They were looking for subject matter that was politically oriented. A friend brought it to my attention and my brain quickly spewed out three entries, all of which I sent in. None of them won anything, although the fellow running the contest (Tribune columnist Eric Zorn) did send me an e-mail suggesting a few lyric changes. I took that as a good sign, reasoning that he can’t possibly give that kind of individual attention to every entrant.

I’ll be interested to see what two compositions were given prizes (it looks like I’m not going to find that out until Zorn’s column on Dec. 16). While I am pretty happy with my entries, I’ve read a bunch of the others and there are some very good lyricists out there who read the Trib, I must say! However, I’m here to toot my own horn, not theirs, so for your edification, I herewith offer my three entries:

Chicago Wonderland
(to the tune of “Winter Wonderland”)
Christmas time, Windy City
That’s why I’m feeling giddy
With presents to get, I leap into debt,
Shopping in Chicago’s Wonderland.

Stroll along with my cohorts
Looking for FAO Schwartz
They used to be here, they’re gone now I fear,
Gone from this Chicago Wonderland.

(Bridge)
After lunch we all can go to Macy’s
And pretend that it’s still Marshall Fields.
Though their Santa looks like John Wayne Gacy
Enjoying hearing all the children squeal.

Then we hit Nieman-Marcus
Watch the nice valet park us
Then we learn that they
Don’t have a valet
Stranded in Chicago’s Wonderland.

(Bridge)
Still we’re glad we came into the city
To forget our worries and our cares.
Put away your sorrow and your pity
And save it for those poor Chicago Bears.

On we search for a good deal,
Water Tower to Woodfield,
Until there’s no doubt, our cards are maxed out,
Shopping in Chicago’s Wonderland.
____________________

The Obama Song
(to the tune of “Feliz Navidad”)
Obama’s so hot!
Obama’s so hot!
Obama’s so hot!
And sad to say, Fred Thompson is not.

(Refrain)
His way of speaking is so dramatic,
I’m thinking I might go Democratic
And though his views are a bit erratic,
He’s got style, he’s got heart!

(Refrain)
The other candidates seem so gnarly
Like they’re the specters of Jacob Marley
Obama looks like he rides a Harley
And he’s not just an old fart!

Obama’s so hot!
Obama’s so hot!
Obama’s so hot!
And while we’re at it, Hilary’s not.
____________________

My final entry is my personal favorite of the three, though I think it performs better than it reads, on account of the melody’s meandering quality.

The Candidates Song
(to the tune of “The Christmas Song” – aka “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”)
Bush can’t run again for president
Time to find us someone new
The elephants and the donkeys have sent
Us quite a sorry motley crew.

Everybody knows-
What each of them is gonna say
To each special interest group
And each one will cruise through our town for a day
And tie up traffic in the Loop

They say Obama’s on his way
He’s picked up lots of key endorsements, so they say
And wouldn’t Hilary completely hate
To have to settle for being his running mate?

Now I’m not offering a “Ho ho ho”
In this classic Christmas tune
Although it’s been said, many times, many ways-
“Please, election, come soon!”

Comments:


(Anonymous) at 2007-12-09 05:19 (UTC) (Link)

Farts On Harleys

I'm guessing Zorn took issue with the John Wayne Gacy reference. I also wondered if the rules specified some degree of Chicago centrism, or if this was your idea.
--ggreen
Chuck
charlesofcamden at 2007-12-09 07:37 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Farts On Harleys

Aye, it's certainly possible he may not have cared for the Gacy reference. Even though I was trying to fashion entries with a chance of winning, that was an example of something that, once I though of, I could not bear the notion of leaving out. As for the Chicago-centrism of the pieces, that was intentional on my part. The rules allowed that the references could be either local or national in scope. In fact, even in my songs on national politics, I made prominent mention of both Hilary and Obama, since they both have strong ties with the Chicago area. But like I said, while I liked my entries, there were certainly some other excellent submissions, so I'm not too bummed at not being the winner.
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