A Christmas gift to you…

Many of my friends can recall times when I broke into song with a familiar tune, but definitely unfamiliar and very silly words. Most of the time, this attempt at singing occurs after I’ve one too many glasses of wine or beer.

I usually sing it around Christmas time, but have been known to sing it just about any other time of the year, depending on how much lubrication my brain has received.

So I want you to enjoy it this holiday season. Now, if you’ll imagine the Christmas carol tune for “Deck the Halls” just sing these words in place of the normal ones:

Deck us all with Boston Charlie

Walla, Walla, Wash., and Kalamazoo

Nora’s freezing on the trolly

Swaller dollar, cauliflower, Alleygaroo

Don’t we know archaic  barrels?

Lulla bye, Lilly boy, Louisville Lou

Trolly Molly don’t love Harold

Boola Boola Pensacola, hullabaloo

I wish I could claim credit for this, but it is from the long-time comic strip “Pogo,” written by Walt Kelly. The comic strip, which ran from in the 1950s through early 1970s, featured a gang of engaging critters in the Okefenokee Swamp that straddles the Florida-George state line. The head of the group, Pogo, was a somewhat philosophical possum who managed to keep the other characters in line.

The strip mostly dealt with the shenanigans of the group of swamp dwellers, but occasionally delved into political satire, including pokes at former Sen. Joseph McCarthy through a character named Simple J. Malarkey. Creator Walt Kelly once noted that when seeking inspiration, he needed to look no further than politics. “I came to understand that if I were looking for comic material, I would never have to look long,” he said. “The news of the day would be enough.”

At one point, Pogo became a reluctant candidate for President, running in 1952 and again in 1956 on the slogan “I Go Pogo,” a parody of the “I Like Ike” slogan used by Dwight D. Eisenhower’s campaign.

Pogo was also famous for its memorable lines, like “We have met the enemy and he is us,” or “Food for thought is no substitute for the real thing.”

My children used to sing the “Deck us all” song along with me, often on forays to find the perfect Christmas tree in the Gila National Forest. At one point, we started making up a second verse. As I recall, it went something like this:

“See the grazing mule before us… Eat a pancake but don’t bore us.”

It turns out that someone did indeed write equally silly second and subsequent verses, which I stumbled across while writing this post. I won’t provide those lyrics, but you can find them easily on line.

I do need to make sure that I give proper credit for the lyrics I used in this post to the organization that in 1988 appears to have acquired copyright to Kelly’s materials. It is Okefenokee Glee & Perloo, Inc., but attempts to contact them were unsuccessful. The Library of Congress entry about Kelly’s works says “fair use” of the materials is permitted, so I’m hoping that gets me off the hook since words to a song aren’t specifically mentioned anywhere and I don’t make any money on my blog.

If you want to know more about Pogo and Walt Kelly, a former cartoonist for Walt Disney Studios before he began his comic strip, check the link below:


Anyway, grab a glass of egg nog or whatever warms you up during the holidays and belt out the song. Your friends will be both amused and confused.

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