Last week, Rae posted a parody of the classic 'Twas the Night Before Christmas and it got me to thinking about parodies of one of the most beloved Christmas poems/stories of the last few generations. In advance, I offer apologies to Clement Clarke Moore for what I'm about to do.
First, back in the 1940s and 1950s, there was a disc jockey in Milwaukee that went by the on-air name of Mad Man Michaels. At that time, the ethnic makeup of Milwaukee was very German, very Italian and very Polish. Michaels was of Polish descent and often did comedy bits on the air using fractured English with lots of Polish tossed in. He was also known as The Czarnina Kid and did a radio bit called The Czarnina Kid that was a parody of Dragnet.
He recorded a version of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas that was mostly Polish, using the Polish name for Santa Claus, Gwiazdor. I haven't heard it in years, and last week, I found it posted on the Internet.
A transcript of the poem is useless since few of us speak Polish, but it sure is entertaining to listen to. You can hear it here: Gwiazdor by Mad Man Michaels.
(The flip side of his record was a novelty Christmas novelty song entitled Snack for Santa. The song is also laced with Polish words and references to Polish culture. Click on the title to hear it.)
There are plenty more parodies of Clement C. Moore's delightful story. Click on the titles to see the entire parody. We'll start with the Yiddish version...
The Night Before Chanukah
'Twas the night before Chanukah, boichiks and maidels
Not a sound could be heard, not even the dreidels
The menorah was set by the chimney alight
In the kitchen, the Bubbie was hopping a bite
Salami, Pastrami, a glaisele tay
And zoyere pickles mit bagels-- Oy vay!
The Dieter's 'Twas the Night Before Christmasstarts out...
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all round my hips
Were Fannie May candies that sneaked past my lips.
Fudge brownies were stored in the freezer with care
In hopes that my thighs would forget they were there.
'Twas A Florida Christmas is cute, although the author doesn't understand proper placement of an apostrophe to represent missing letters.
T'was the night before Christmas and all through the town,
no noses were frozen, no snow fluttered down,
no children in flannels were tucked into bed,
they all wore shorty pajamas instead.
A NASCAR CHRISTMAS…
Twas the Race before Christmas and all through the track
Each driver was ready to make his attack.
The tires had been stacked by the pit crew with care
With hopes none of them would run out of air.
The drivers were belted all snug in their seats
Where visions of checkered flags looked mighty sweet.
A Spiro Agnew 'Twas The Night Before Christmas
'Twas the nocturnal segment of the diurnal period preceding the
annual Yuletide celebration, and throughout our place of residence,
kinetic activity was not in evidence among the possessors of this
potential, including that species of domestic rodent known as Mus
musculus. Hosiery was meticulously suspended from the forward edge of the
wood burning caloric apparatus, pursuant to our anticipatory pleasure
regarding an imminent visitation from an eccentric philanthropist among
whose folkloric appellations is the honorific title of St. Nicholas.
The Night before Christmas for Moms
It was the night before Christmas, when all thru the abode
Only one creature was stirring, and she was cleaning the commode.
The children were finally sleeping, all snug in their beds,
While visions of Nintendo 64 and Barbie, flipped through their heads.
...and my favorite, A Visit from Saint Nicholas IN THE ERNEST HEMINGWAY MANNER that was written by James Thurber and published in The New Yorker magazine on December 24, 1927. (It is now in the public domain.) If you like the first few lines, click on the title to see the rest of the parody.
It was the night before Christmas. The house was very quiet. No creatures were stirring in the house. There weren't even any mice stirring. The stockings had been hung carefully by the chimney. The children hoped that Saint Nicholas would come and fill them.
The children were in their beds. Their beds were in the room next to ours. Mamma and I were in our beds. Mamma wore a kerchief. I had my cap on. I could hear the children moving. We didn't move. We wanted the children to think we were asleep.
"Father," the children said.
There was no answer. He's there, all right, they thought.
"Father," they said, and banged on their beds.
"What do you want?" I asked.
"We have visions of sugarplums," the children said.
"Go to sleep," said mamma.
"We can't sleep," said the children. They stopped talking, but I could hear them moving. They made sounds.
"Can you sleep?" asked the children.
"No," I said.
"You ought to sleep."
"I know. I ought to sleep."
"Can we have some sugarplums?"
"You can't have any sugarplums," said mamma.
"We just asked you."
There was a long silence. I could hear the children moving again.
"Is Saint Nicholas asleep?" asked the children.
"No," mamma said. "Be quiet."
"What the hell would he be asleep tonight for?" I asked.
"He might be," the children said.
"He isn't," I said.
"Let's try to sleep," said mamma.
The house became quiet once more. I could hear the rustling noises the children made when they moved in their beds.
Out on the lawn a clatter arose. I got out of bed and went to the window. I opened the shutters; then I threw up the sash. The moon shone on the snow. The moon gave the lustre of mid-day to objects in the snow. There was a miniature sleigh in the snow, and eight tiny reindeer. A little man was driving them. He was lively and quick. He whistled and shouted at the reindeer and called them by their names. Their names were Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, and Blitzen...
There are plenty more out there, if you look hard enough, or just wait patiently and another one will hit your inbox.