There is one Christmas song that’s just so funny and smart and entertaining it’s on my iPod playlist year-round: “Elf’s Lament” by the Barenaked Ladies. If you come across the original recording — not hard to do — go for that, because it features Michael Buble and sounds awesome (even if you, like me, aren’t all that excited about Michael Buble). There is a video on YouTube in which someone has set the original song to a video made from scenes from the old Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer movie, featuring the elf who wants to be a dentist but who is really a stand-in for any cultural taboo. (Come to think of it, that movie contained a lot of subtext about cultural taboos…) That’s a cute video, too.
But here I present to you the BNL performing this song by themselves, live.
2 thoughts on “12 Days of Christmas Music That Isn’t Awful (Day 7)”
I always loved this one, especially the ridiculously lock-stepped rhymes and the line “hand the fat man a beverage.” Also: hooray for workers’ rights!
I had my freshmen last year work on this song during our poetry unit to identify rhyme scheme and rhythm. It’s not radically different from Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.” Watching the kids’ reaction to the song and then trying to make sense of the architecture was so cute I could have sold tickets and popcorn.