This weekend marks the 80th anniversary of the Abdication of Edward VIII. My Dad said that at his school they modified the traditional carol to
Hark the Herald Angels sing
"Mrs Simpson's pinched our King"
Fast forward 30 years or so, and at my school we were singing
We four Beatles of Liverpool are, John in a taxi, Paul in a car
George on a Scooter, honking his hooter
Following Ringo Starr
Modifying carols has been going on for centuries - which of us can honestly say we've never sung
While shepherds washed their socks by night all seated round the tub
A bar of fairy soap fell down , and they all began to scrub
There's the ancient Basque Carol, known as Gabriel's Message which talks about that early spice girl "Most highly flavoured Lady Gloria"
And the little fat gentleman who pops up in the middle of Silent Night alongside the manger
Round John Virgin [Mother and Child]
Poor old Mary has to share the stable with loads of visitors - in God rest ye merry, Gentleman there is one rather sinister visitor
The Witch, his mother Mary
Of course, some of those at the nativity, who came upon the midnight clear, did at least help with the housework over Bethlehem
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hoovering wing
But even the modern carols have some wonderful lines in them. Who can sing 'Come on and celebrate' without remembering all the presents still to be wrapped up?
Come on and Celebrate, Celebrate and Sing
Sellotape and String for the King
And when we come and join the celebration, the magi are there, returning from their Easyjet Holiday...
Wise men journey, led to worship by a star
Kneel in homage,
Bringing precious gifts from Lanzarotte
And those poor chaps out there on the cold hillside have clearly remembered the Keep Well, Keep Warm mantra, for the Calypso Angel challenges them " Shepherds, swiftly from your soup, arise, to see the Saviour of the World"
Oh dear, I suspect I have probably ruined many Candlelight Carol Services now, as those who have not heard these before may be overcome with giggles. Oops!