Later on we’ll conspire

Answer me this: after receiving gifts on Christmas Day, what is it that children proverbially do with them within 24 hours? Do they (a) break them or (b) give them away?

Fairly straightforward, I think you’ll agree. Now let me put to you a second and superficially unrelated question. When a man loves a woman, as we know, he can’t think of nothing else; he will, indeed, trade the world for the good thing he’s found. But if he should happen to entrust his heart, metaphorically, to someone undeserving of his affections, what is the uncaring female proverbially said to do with it? Does she (a) break his heart or (b) give his heart away to someone else (this could perhaps take the form of fixing him up with a friend)?

I think it’s clear that option (a) is appropriate in both cases. So if one were to write a Christmas song likening these two situations, it would be sheer perversity to write anything other than

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart
And the very next day you broke it

See? See? It makes sense now! Honestly, if they’d got that right in the first place it could have been a big hit.

Update It has been brought to my notice that there are strong reasons to object, even in theory, to the notion of a daily round of Christmas-themed celebration. The obvious objection to a daily Christmas is that this would rapidly have adverse effects in terms of exhaustion, obesity, alcohol poisoning and so forth. However, these effects could easily be mitigated, or even eliminated, by simply varying one’s level of indulgence in Christmas cheer and jollity, over the weeks and months of perpetual Yule. A less tractable problem is presented by the irreducible necessity of preparation. When, under the daily-Christmas regime, would any of us have time to buy food, presents, cards, bottles of winter ale, bags of Bombay mix and other such essential accoutrements of the season? I feel that this objection has considerable force, and would therefore propose that any future songwriter working in this thematic area should write something along the lines of

I wish it could be Christmas every other day

Once again, I think you’ll agree that this would represent a considerable improvement.

Ho ho ho.



  1. Chris Williams
    Posted 30 December 2008 at 17:04 | Permalink | Reply

    “_Threw_ it away”, though, has the double advantage that it’s plausible, and it rhymes and scans better than “broke it”.

  2. Posted 31 December 2008 at 18:18 | Permalink | Reply

    That may be so, but it’s “gave it away”.

  3. Posted 31 December 2008 at 18:58 | Permalink | Reply

    Read the post, eh?

  4. Posted 2 January 2009 at 13:43 | Permalink | Reply

    I did – but “throw” or “threw” appears nowhere in it, hence the reply is to Chris rather than the post, no?

  5. Posted 2 January 2009 at 13:50 | Permalink | Reply

    The post is a joke. Chris’s comment continues the joke.

  6. Posted 2 January 2009 at 18:22 | Permalink | Reply

    Ah, how shall I put this…

    …of course I understood the opening post was a joke – it was obvious.

  7. Posted 2 January 2009 at 19:14 | Permalink | Reply

    In that case the point of your comment completely escapes me. Both the post and Chris’s comment are about improvements to the line actually used in the song.

  8. Posted 2 January 2009 at 20:27 | Permalink | Reply

    Ah well, I’ll be on my way then.

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