Ironic Christmas songs

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Varislintu
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Ironic Christmas songs

Postby Varislintu » 2015-12-21, 17:28

I read an article about how Finns seem to like sad Christmas songs, and it got me thinking about another genre, ironic Christmas songs. Now, I love Christmas, but I actually also really love ironic and "depressing" (sad tone) Christmas songs! I thought I'd post a few well-known Finnish ones, and translate the lyrics to practice my English.

I very much like listening to Christmas songs in other languages, too, so if you know of an ironic or "ironically depressing" Christmas song in your language, please post! :) It would be awesome if you could also translate maybe a refrain or a couple of lines to give an impression of what it's about.


-------


1) Well, you can't have this topic without the staple piece Sika (Pig), by Juice Leskinen. I don't actually know if Juice was a vegetarian, but he could definitely satirise our meat-eating culture quite well. :P (Ham is the crown of the Finnish Christmas buffet.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7SlVvdwGxM

Joulunviettomme alkaa jo toukokuussa
Porsailla silloin on herkut suussa,
se lihoo, se kasvaa se vahvistuu.
Ja sitten kun koittaa marraskuu
niin lapset laulaa: jouluntähti on ehdoton

Our Christmas celebration starts already in May
That's when piglets are stuffing themselves with yummies
It fattens up, it grows and gets strong
And when November arrives,
The children sing: the Christmas star is imperative


Sika, se kuulan kalloon saa
Sika, sen setä teurastaa
Sika, ja setä verta juo
Sika, se joulumielen tuo

Pig, it gets a bullet in the head
Pig, slaughtered by Uncle
Pig, and Uncle drinks its blood
Pig, it brings the Christmas feeling


Minä läävässä lojuvaa karjua katsoin
Kärsivin ilmein, vellovin vatsoin
Jouluna sikaa mä muista en
Vain kinkkua vahtaan himoiten
Ja lapset laulaa: jouluntähti on ehdoton

I look at the hog lying in the sty
With misery on my face, a churning stomach
In Christmas I remember the pig no longer
Instead I yearn for the ham
And the children sing: the Christmas star is imperative


Sika, kun sitä suolataan
Sika, yhdessä kuolataan
Sika, ja isi mielellään
Sika, on vesi kielellään

Pig, when it's salted
Pig, together we drool
Pig, and Daddy is very happy to...
Pig, ... have his mouth water


Jouluruuhkassa ihminen sokkona ryntää
Kadulla adventtisohjoa kyntää
Joku ihmistä katsoo, kääntää pään
Kun ihminen rypee läävässään
Ja lapset laulaa: jouluntähti on ehdoton

In the Christmas rush man rushes blindly
Plowing the Advent slush in the street
Someone looks at man, turns away
When man rummages in his sty
And the children sing: the Christmas star is imperative


Sika, se kohta paistetaan
Sika, sen perää maistetaan
Sika, on sähköuunissa
Sika, on mutsi duunissa

Pig, soon to be cooked
Pig, we'll be tasting its hind
Pig, in the electric oven
Pig, Mother has her work cut out for her


Kato äiti on laittanut kystä kyllä
Sinappihuntu on sialla yllä
Isoveli veistänsä terottaa
Ja luistansa porsaan erottaa
Lapset laulaa: jouluntähti on ehdoton

Look, Mother has prepared ample Christmas food
The pig is veiled in a mustardy veil
Big brother sharpens his knife
And separates the pig from its bones
And the children sing: the Christmas star is imperative


Sika, lopulta tappoi sen
Sika, ympäristö vatsanhappoisen
Sika, voi kuinka isi syö
Sika, isiltä loppuu vyö

Pig, finally killed by
Pig, a stomach-acidic environment
Pig, Oh! how Daddy eats!
Pig, Daddy's running out of belt notches


Joulu täynnä on kinkkua, kylkeä, potkaa,
läskiä, niskaa ja tietenkin votkaa
Kun loppuu aatto ja alkaa yö
Ihminen on sitä mitä hän syö

Christmas is full of ham, ribs, shank,
lard, neck and vodka of course
When Eve ends and night falls
Man is what s/he eats
Det finns ingen
tröst. Därför
behöver du den inte
(Gösta Ågren)

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Re: Ironic Christmas songs

Postby Varislintu » 2015-12-21, 17:46

2) Leevi and the Leavings, the kings of irony and humanism, and their Oikein surullista joulua (A Very Sad Christmas).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUSOElHjROE#t=156

Ding dong joulun kellot soivat radiossa
Ding dong ding dong
Ja vahingossa melkein muistaa
että autuaampaa antaa kuin ottaa on

Ding dong, the Christmas bells ring on the radio
Ding dong ding dong
And you almost recall, accidentally
that more blessed it is to give than to take


Ja me toivotamme
ikävää
synkkää
kylmää
pimeää ja
oikein surullista joulua!

And we wish you
a miserable
gloomy
cold
dark, and
very sad Christmas!


Ding dong kassakone kilkkaa myymälässä
Ja rahaa on
Elämässä koittaa riemunaika
Auvoisa kaikille kun joulu on

Ding dong the cash register chimes in the store
And there's money to spend
Life enters a joyful season
Wonderful for all, is Christmas


(Chorus again)

Ding dong bandoliini soi ja
lapsikuoro laulaa lalalalaa
Nyt on vuoro joulukorttiin kirjoittaa
mitä mieleen juolahtaa

Ding dong the bandoline plays and
the children's choir sings la-la-lah
Now it's time to write on the Christmas card
What's on our mind


(Chorus again.)
Det finns ingen
tröst. Därför
behöver du den inte
(Gösta Ågren)

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Re: Ironic Christmas songs

Postby Varislintu » 2015-12-21, 17:58

3) This one is also by Leevi and the Leavings, but in this video brilliantly performed by Marjo Leinonen. Jouluaattona kännissä (Drunk on Christmas Eve).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=df9HsaQtYZg

Sen voi huomata että sua jännittää
Kun lahjaliiveissä näkyviin nännit jää
Kai sä odotat taas sydän syrjällään
Olenko mä jouluaattona kännissä

It's noticable that you're nervous
The bra I gave you for present leaves your nipples visible
I guess you're waiting nervously to see
If I'll be drunk on Christmas Eve


Ehkä vieraiden ilmeet sua hämmentää
Kun rintaliiveihin ujuttelen kämmentä
Sukulaisetkin pohtivat mielissään
Taasko se on jouluaattona kännissä

Perhaps you're thrown off by the looks from the guests
When I try to push a hand down your bra
Even our relatives are wondering
Drunk again on Christmas Eve?


Sitä aina ei huomaa juodessa
että joulu on kerran vuodessa
Ja Aulikki tädin kotiviinistä
Koko suku jouluaattona kännissä
Jouluaattona kännissä

One doesn't always notice while drinking
That Christmas is just once a year
And Aunt-Aulikki's home wine
Has the whole family drunk on Eve
Drunk on Christmas Eve


On koko väki joukolla leipää jonoteltu
Turkisliikkeen ikkunaan monoteltu
Moni pudonnut on pois tästä leikistä
Ja liian moni jouluaattona kännissä

We've all queued for bread in line
Thrown shoes into the windows of fur coat stores
Many have fallen off the rails
And too many are drunk on Christmas Eve


Jos vain riippuvan jostain köyden nään
Kiedon kaulani ympäri köyden pään
Olenkohan uutenavuotena hengissä
Kun örisen jo jouluaattona kännissä

If I can just find a noose
I'll wrap it around my neck
Wonder if I'll be alive on New Years
When I'm already making drunk gurgling noises on Christmas Eve


(Chorus again.)
Det finns ingen
tröst. Därför
behöver du den inte
(Gösta Ågren)

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Re: Ironic Christmas songs

Postby Varislintu » 2015-12-21, 18:20

4) Hassisen kone: On jouluyö, nyt laulaa saa (It's Christmas Night, so sing). Lovely cynicism and criticism of the bad usages of religion, with twinkles of humanism in this one as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxPMHu-XOnU

Hän meille antoi elämän,
sitä ymmärtää ei voi
poikansa astui maailmaan
ja tuomion pasuunat soi
Myös paratiisin antoi
mutta rummut kumisivat
kun poika tietä viittoi
isämme pojan vain huomasivat,
häntä palvoivat,
tien unohtivat

He gave us life,
which is incomprehensible
His son stepped onto the Earth
and the trombones of Judgement sounded
He also gave us Paradise
but drums were beating
When the Son showed the way
our fathers only saw the Son,
worshipped him,
forgot the way


On jouluyö ja kunniaa
herran ja äiti maan
jouluyö ja kunnia
olkoon vapahtajan

It's Christmas night, and the glory
is of the Lord and Mother Earth
Christmas night and may the glory
be the Saviour's


Jouluyönä hiutaleet
lumivalkoiset hiljaa leijuu
tähdet loistaa
herraa kiittelee
Valhe valuu korvistas
ja pyhyys muovinen
sulaa liekkiin helvetin
ja rukous rasvainen
on valkoinen,
se vie sydämen

On Christmas night snow flakes
of snowy white drift by
Stars shine
thanking the lord
The lie oozes from your ears
and the plastic holiness
will melt in the fires of Hell
And a greasy prayer
is white,
it steals the heart


(Chorus.)

Kuusen kauniit kynttiläiset
hiljaa lepattaa
Jeesus-lapsen kasvot
luo kuulasta valoa
ja tykit sylkee kuolemaa,
jää tuoksu napalmin
kun joulun lapsen nimeen
kaikuu käsky majurin
on jouluyö
ja nyt laulaa saa

The beautiful candles in the tree
slowly flicker
The face of the Jesus-child
glows faintly
And cannons spit death
leaving the smell of napalm
when in the name of the Chistmas child
the majors bark their orders
It's Christmas night,
so sing
Det finns ingen
tröst. Därför
behöver du den inte
(Gösta Ågren)

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Re: Ironic Christmas songs

Postby Varislintu » 2015-12-21, 18:40

Okay, just one more!

5) Juice Leskinen again, with his brilliantly super Jouluvirsi (Christmas Psalm). :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOY421ZXDQQ

Joulunkellot mäikää,
radiossa soittaa Tauno Äikää.
Se ihmismielen herkistää.

Christmas bells ring,
Tauno Äikää plays on the radio
That sentimentalises the mind.


Jouluntähdet tuikkii,
joulukuusivarkaat pakoon luikkii.
Vaan kuuset myymättä ei jää.

Christmas stars twinkle
Christmas tree thieves scurry away
Still the trees will not be left unsold.


Joulumieltä kootaan,
joulupatoihin ja postilootaan.
Ja kuolleet loistaa kynttilöin.

We're putting together the Christmas atmosphere
in Christmas collections and mail boxes.
And the dead are decorated with candles.


Talvipäivän seisaus,
eetterissä sietämätön veisaus
möykäten jatkuu päivin öin.

Midwinter Solstice,
unbearable singing in the ether
making noise day and night.


On tuvassa lunta,
tavaratalossa taivasten valtakunta.
Vielä viikon päästä korvat soi.

There's snow in the hallway,
in the mall lies the kingdom of the heavens
A ringing in my ears still a week later.


On tuvassa lunta,
jokainen karhu ei tarvitse talviunta,
meitä ne kun vartioi.

There's snow in the hallway,
all bears don't need winter hibernations,
as they guard us.


Tilhet pihlajoissa, niin,
ja ylensyöneet sairaaloissa.
Se ihmismielen rauhoittaa.

Waxwings in the rowans, yes,
and overeaten people in hospitals.
That calms the human mind.


Lämpöänsä valaa,
yöhön joulusauna kun se palaa.
Taas ambulanssit töitä saa.

It spreads its light
the Christmas sauna, when it burns down.
More work for the ambulances.


(Chorus.)

Stressi päälle pakkaa,
äijä hakkaa lapsia ja akkaa,
kun mennä ei voi kapakkaan.

Getting stressed out,
husband beats the kids and wife,
as he can't go to the pub.


Puuro pohjaan kiehuu,
tuhat sotaa maailmalla riehuu.
Näin syntymistä juhlitaan.

The rice porridge burns,
a thousand wars rage in the world.
This is how we celebrate the Birth.
Det finns ingen
tröst. Därför
behöver du den inte
(Gösta Ågren)

suruvaippa
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Re: Ironic Christmas songs

Postby suruvaippa » 2015-12-21, 19:02

The first one that comes to mind immediately for me is definitely Viikate's "Aattoiltana":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLeprq1jGH8

I'm not sure if I should even bother putting a word-for-word English translation, since the Finnish lyrics are already ridiculous enough and I'm awful at translating these kinds of things... :P

Kynttilöistä lähtee hehku, valo lämmin, havun tuoksuinen
Mut tuoksu tulee kauempaa, leijuu takaa toisten ovien
Ja hämärtyvä aattoilta mieleen palauttaa
kuinka kirkkaammin nuo toisten liekit kajastaa

The candles lose their glow, their warm light and scent of branches
But a scent comes from further away, from behind our neighbours' doors
And the darkening Christmas Eve brings back to mind
how much brighter their flames glow


Pimeässä talossa nyt istun ensi kerran yksinään
Ilakointi jäänyt on, ei piiri pieni pyöri ympyrää
Ja missä itse kuusipuu on, johon nyt taas sais
kas, valkoisia enkeleitä oksiin ripustais

In this dark house I sit alone for the first time
(...I'm not even sure what this second line is supposed to mean, typical Viikate...)
And where the spruce tree is, (something)
I would hang white angels on its branches


Lämmitä ei laatikot, ei rusinatkaan luumukiisselin
Riisipuuron jäätyneen nyt verannalta sisään kiikutin
Ja kurkkuun jäänyt mantelikin viimein irtoaa
vaik parempi kun pysytellyt ois vaan paikallaan

The casseroles give no warmth, nor the raisins in the prune kissel ( :roll: )
I bring the rice pudding frozen on the porch back inside
And the almond stuck in my throat finally breaks free
though it would have been better to stay in its place


Yeah... don't ask. :lol:
Native:   (en-us) C1:   (fi) A1:   (et)   (lt)   (es)
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Re: Ironic Christmas songs

Postby linguoboy » 2015-12-21, 19:53

Varislintu wrote:And we wish you
a miserable
gloomy
cold
dark, and
very sad Christmas!
)

This may be the most Finnish thing I've ever seen in my life.

First one that occurs to me is "Christmas at Ground Zero" by Weird Al Yankovic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t039p6xqutU

► Show Spoiler


Something more contemporary: Brett Domino's 2015 Hit Christmas Single, "Everybody Needs to Know It's Christmas". It starts off with a brief lesson in how to write a Christmas pop hit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YUsiwRlz2s

► Show Spoiler


And then another classic: The Ramone's "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Y5GtaTrPHM

► Show Spoiler

Oh, and one more: "Shouldn't Have Given Him a Gun for Christmas" by Wall of Voodoo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rf3_rg-VYvQ

► Show Spoiler
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: Ironic Christmas songs

Postby Varislintu » 2015-12-22, 12:22

suruvaippa wrote:I'm not sure if I should even bother putting a word-for-word English translation, since the Finnish lyrics are already ridiculous enough and I'm awful at translating these kinds of things... :P


Yeah, it's hard! :) I mean, of course a semi-literal translation is easy enough, but there's no limit to how creative and artistic you theoretically could be with lyrics, and so it becomes a battle between skill and laziness. :lol:

suruvaippa wrote:Pimeässä talossa nyt istun ensi kerran yksinään
Ilakointi jäänyt on, ei piiri pieni pyöri ympyrää
Ja missä itse kuusipuu on, johon nyt taas sais
kas, valkoisia enkeleitä oksiin ripustais

In this dark house I sit alone for the first time
(...I'm not even sure what this second line is supposed to mean, typical Viikate...)
And where the spruce tree is, (something)
I would hang white angels on its branches


Ooo, I think that missing line could actually accidentally make a nice creative line if not done very literally:

No more merriment, the merry-go-round goes round no more.

:D
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Re: Ironic Christmas songs

Postby Varislintu » 2015-12-22, 12:48

linguoboy wrote:
Varislintu wrote:And we wish you
a miserable
gloomy
cold
dark, and
very sad Christmas!
)

This may be the most Finnish thing I've ever seen in my life.


:lol: I can imagine, but I have to take your word for it -- I've been singing that song since childhood so I can't tell anymore. :P

linguoboy wrote:First one that occurs to me is "Christmas at Ground Zero" by Weird Al Yankovic:


Never heard this one -- but well, of course what reaches us here from America is only the most mainstream Christmas music. I have to ask, did it become impossible to play this on the radio after 9/11?

linguoboy wrote:Something more contemporary: Brett Domino's 2015 Hit Christmas Single, "Everybody Needs to Know It's Christmas". It starts off with a brief lesson in how to write a Christmas pop hit.


Oh my god! Just the other day I was thinking that thank god! there are no rap Christmas songs on the Christams music radio channel. But this one almost goes there, which shows that it's very easily done. :lol:

I'm taking this word convivial, I like it.

linguoboy wrote:And then another classic: The Ramone's "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)".


Yup, never heard this one either.

linguoboy wrote:Oh, and one more: "Shouldn't Have Given Him a Gun for Christmas" by Wall of Voodoo.


Oh wow, that was actually very much down my alley music-wise. Never heard of this band, so that's a nice discovery. Thanks!

Btw, speaking of what American Christmas music is played here, a couple of years ago our Christmas music channel discovered River (Joni Mitchell). The minute I heard it, I suspected this was going to sink well with Finns. And true enough, it plays in many versions often nowadays. So sad, so depressing! Cutting down trees! :lol: I love it. :mrgreen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpFudDAYqxY
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Re: Ironic Christmas songs

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-12-23, 1:30

I'm not sure whether it's even possible for Christmas songs in Malayalam to be ironic, really. AFAIK Christmas is not secularized in Kerala at all but is about as closely associated with Christianity as Ramadan is with Islam. In fact, I think celebrating Christmas there involves being in church for much of the day. The closest thing I seem to have found so far (on YouTube, anyway...) is a Christmas song sung to the tune of a famous (old, I think) movie song I don't even recognize. :lol:

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Re: Ironic Christmas songs

Postby linguoboy » 2015-12-29, 16:29

Varislintu wrote:Never heard this one -- but well, of course what reaches us here from America is only the most mainstream Christmas music. I have to ask, did it become impossible to play this on the radio after 9/11?

I don't know that this one was ever played on the radio outside of niche formats like Dr Demento. (It appears that it was released as a single but never charted.)

Varislintu wrote:Btw, speaking of what American Christmas music is played here, a couple of years ago our Christmas music channel discovered River (Joni Mitchell). The minute I heard it, I suspected this was going to sink well with Finns. And true enough, it plays in many versions often nowadays. So sad, so depressing! Cutting down trees! :lol: I love it. :mrgreen:

My college roommate was a big fan of Joni. As depressing as this is, I still don't think it's as demoralising as Vince Guaraldi's music for A Charlie Brown Christmas. I mean, who writes Christmas songs in a minor key, for Chrissakes?
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons


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