Wednesday, December 14, 2011

28 Days Of Christmas, 28 of the Best Christmas Songs, 9, 10 and 11... plus The 10 Best Santas and Some Stuff To Fill Out The List!: Song 16, etc...

Not much time today! So much to do! Hustle! Bustle! I wonder why we say bustle when we say hustle! Is it because it rhymes! That last one was a question but I didn't want to stop using! exclamation! points!

Whew. Now I'm exhausted.

Actually, did you know that hustle & bustle is a peculiarly Christmas expression? I didn't even make that up, although someone else might have made it up. According to a blogger at the Philadelphia Biblical University, and what better source is there than that?,

The phrase “hustle and bustle” has been cliche especially during the Christmas season. Not only has it come to characterize the month of December, but it has also become a good descriptor of our lives as Americans and as college students.
That blogger didn't provide any attribution for his assertion that hustle & bustle is a Christmas Cliche (Xmas Xliche? Sure, why not?) But he did provide a link to another Bible Blogger, Michael, who suggests that we "just be."

Just be. It’s a simple concept. Take time to be alone. Enjoy some quality time with God. Go play outside with some friends. Read a book while reveling in a well-brewed cup of coffee. No plans, no intentions, simply living. With that thought I am off to enjoy some Tolstoy before bed.

The concept of just being actually makes me feel itchy. As much as I long to sit back and relax, whenever I'm actually given a chance to do that I tend to run out and spend an afternoon getting free pizza and looking at stuff, hustling and bustling and remembering that was what I was supposed to be talking about.

Hustle & Bustle is what linguists call an "irreversible binomial," a phrase which proves that linguists aren't too up on their linguistics. By irreversible they mean that the phrase isn't usually reversed, but irreversible means can't be reversed. What linguists really mean is that (a) the phrase hustle & bustle is a not-commonly-reversed binomial and (b) they don't really have any qualifications for real jobs but law school was too hard.

According to Wikipedia, a source only slightly less reliable than Bible Bloggers, "hustle and bustle" is an American expression not commonly used in England. Also not commonly used in the UK but claimed to be a common expression in the U.S.? "Bott's Dot," a phrase for a raised, round, nonreflective pavement marker:

In England, they call those Chaucer Saucers.

Well, they should.

Also: Hustle and Bustle should really be two Christmas imps who wreak mischief on shoppers at a swanky New York store, until they are discovered by the department store Santa, who at first is powerless to stop them until he summons up the real powers of Santa Claus and restores order to Christmas.

So, in conclusion, you can see that the hustle and bustle of the holidays is something or other, etc. etc., ad infinitum. Thank you all for coming today.

Here's the Song: You'll Never Find My Christmas, by Bishop Allen.

And the Santa Or Whatever Of The Day Is...

Gizmo, the Mogwai: So many people forget that Gremlins was a Christmas movie, probably because when you think about Gremlins being a Christmas movie, it turns out that Gremlins is a horrifying Christmas movie in which one character (Phoebe Cates, played by Phoebe Cates) hates Christmas because (as I recall) her dad died by suffocating in a chimney pretending to be Santa Claus.

Gremlins is the only Christmas movie marked by the extinction-by-sunlight of a whole horde of bad guys, or at least the only one my memory hasn't blocked out. But it also featured this scene of gremlins breakdancing and almost shooting Phoebe Cates:

And, in the end [SPOILER ALERT!] Gizmo saves Christmas by opening up the blinds at a local mall, because malls have blinds, and burning all the evil Gremlins in the fountain, thereby making sure that all the mall retailers who were counting on a big after-Christmas sale to make ends meet went out of business and declared bankruptcy.

Ah, the 80s!

Prior songs:

15. The Twelve Days of Christmas,
by Bob & Doug McKenzie, plus Bad Santa.

14. When the River Meets The Sea, by John Denver, plus "Doc Bullfrog."

13. All I Want For Christmas, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and The Santa who helped Superman fight Toyman.

12. We Need A Little Christmas, Glee version, and The Holiday Armadillo.

11, 10, 9: The Little Drummer Boy, Johnny Cash; What Christmas Means To Me, Stevie Wonder; What's This, by Julia Nunes and Ian Axel, and "The Santa From A Nightmare Before Christmas".

8. Taste The Coast, by Admiral Fallow

7. Dringo Bell, Mediaeval Babes

6. Born Is The King (It's Christmas) by Hillside

5: Tijuana Christmas by The Border Brass

4. Christmas Griping, REM

3. A Christmas Waltz, She & Him

2. Don't Shoot Me, Santa, The Killers

1. Snoopy's Christmas, The Royal Guardsmen


Grumpy Bulldog, Secret Agent said...

Someone in the comments of my entry on movies yesterday mentioned "Gremlins." So you must read my blog! (or my blog's comments)

I tend to forget about "Gremlins" entirely, except didn't they blow up one in a microwave? I only remember that because they parodied it on "Robot Chicken" where George W got a gremlin and they started running amok through the White House. And at some point in the 80s I had a Gizmo backpack for school.

But I'm sure the prequel/sequel/reboot (in 3D!) is on the way.

Stephen Hayes said...

I've never restricted "hustle and bustle" to Christmas. I've seen much hustle and bustle at airports (and at times other than Christmas)and construction sites. I'll be curious to hear what your readers have to say about this.