Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Since the first time I heard it in California in 1985 [ed's note: I know it was '85, because I wrote the date I bought his "Hiporama of the classics" on the inside cover], this is my favorite Christmas story of all time (it's all in the rendition, friends). Take ten and a half minutes to listen to this. For once, I am being serious. You know how the story ends, but Lord Buckley makes that ending sing hosannahs to the heavens. Th...e Lord (a title he annointed himself with) is one of those writers and performers whose work is shot through with his love of all of us, high, low, and in between. . .
A Hip Christmas Carol
by Lord Buckley
"Yes, me, I'm Scrooge and I got all Marley's barley,
and I'm the baddest cat in all dis world.
I been studyin' all my life how to Scrooge people,
and I guarantee I done some fine work in dat direction.
"I shorely is, sir."
"See dat you keep busy.
Don't want no danglin' wanglin' around here.
Keep everybody tight.
And tell dem two cats come in here want to get some money
I ain't givin' no money away.
"Dey messin' wit Scrooge.
I'm takin' it in. I ain't puttin' it out.
"Well, keep it clear. People comin' around here
wantin' my gold dat's all, tryin' to pry into my vault.
Every time I turn around somebody's tryin' to snap...
"Tell my nephew I don't want to have no dinner wid him
an' if he never comes in here again dat'll be too soon."
"I'll tell de cat."
"See dat ya do.
"I don't understand dese people who are after my gold.
I close up dis here place and den dey ...
"What, what? Yeah, let me tell you somethin else -
You think that you gonna get off Christmas day?"
"Well I was hopin', sir, dat you'd let me knock off just a little while
for Christmas Eve cause I want to go home and cool da goose."
"Well if you gonna get off Christmas Eve
you gonna have to work aaalllll day Christmas.
You hear me?"
"I hear ya, sir. I'm wid it."
"Well I guess I'll go on home here."
So Scrooge takes off and he cuts on down the street.
And the snow's blowin' and da winds is wooooooooin',
and Scrooge is goin' along in his loose soul
and his loose clothes and his hard cash box
and his big money mind goin' on in his wig
and he ding ding ding up da stairs
and he open his door and he gets inside
and he puts a double lock on da door
cause he a little bugged tonight.
He bein' sayin' "Humbug" so long, "Humbug dis," an' "Humbug dat,"
he done give himself a natural Humbug.
He's got da bug hummin' in him, see.
So he double-lock da door.
And he sit dere and all of a sudden
dere's an old bell layin' over dere in the corner
and da bell goes, "ding-ding-ding-ding"
and Scrooge say, "Whassat?"
Dang- dong. "Whassat?"
Bell started ringin' "DING DONG DOONG DOONG"
Pretty soon all da bells all over the house started ringin'
"Ding Ding Dang Dang Dong
Ring Dong Boom Boom, Ding dong,
And he hear somethin'
like some chain cats are pullin'
all da chains from the chains of time
up the hill 'a strife ringing' and dinglin'
wid his whole head ringin' and dingin' wid dem chains.
In come a cat, da wildest lookin' cat ya ever see in his life.
Real gone cat.
And Scrooge does a real wild take
"I know who dat stud is - dat's Marley!
I know dat's Marley!
What's he doin' here? Say, Marley?"
"Yes, it's me."
"Man, you sure chained up dere,
man, you got chainsville all over you dere!"
"Well, I put em on myself, dat's da way I lived it.
I chained myself. I hung myself up wid all dese chains, you know,
bein' parsimonious, ya understand what I mean?
I can't get 'em off now.
I been luggin' dese chains all over da country
for the past seven years."
"Dat's a long time.
What's you want wit me dere, Marley Marley?
cause I got your barley."
"I don't mess wid no barley no more.
I wish I'd given it all away when I had it
and I'm gonna tell you somethin' else, too,
I'm a spook, you know dat."
"You tellin' me. I know dat.
You a spook, man, an' I wanna get straight."
"I'm gonna tell you somethin else, too, Mr. Scroogie Scrooge,
Dere gonna be three more gas lightin' spooks comin' in to see you."
"Three more gas lightin' spooks.
Say, one spook's enough.
Can't I have 'em all at one time?"
"No. Dey comin' one at a time.
First one be eleven,
next one be twelve,
next one'll be one."
"Man, if I had known this..."
"Tell you what. You dig, Scrooge, it's what you puttin' down.
You been a real sorry cat all dis time.
You gonna be gassed now by dese spooks."
"Well, dey say if I gotta be gassed..
Ain't gonna cost me no money, is it?"
"Cost you more 'n dat, Scrooge."
"Dey ain't no more den money!"
"You find out."
And Marley split.
And old Scrooge is sittin' dere sweatin' and dinglin' danglin'.
And all of a sudden, man,
he hears some crazy wild kind of a thing goin' on.
He don't know just what it is and all of a sudden . . .
Here comes a great big fat spook,
look like takes a hundred and seventy wings
lift him off over da house top
and he's got de old beat up cat and spandly legs,
and strangly arms and pedicured eyes,
and a whole out of his skull wiggin' up a storm
and he looks at old Scrooge and he says...
Scrooge is standin' dere in the corner
he feel like a disrupted small disregarded
and unclaimed white mice midget-style,
he's sittin' over dere.
And dis spook say, "Come wid me
'cause I is The Ghost of da Christmas Past!"
And Scrooge say, "Do I hafta?"
Say, "You certainly do!"
And he got on the ghost's wing and - brrt - they took off.
And he's flyin' old Scrooge over da top of da mountain
da wind is blowin', da wind is partin' his way,
and he's lookin' down, and seein' all dese crazy scenes goin' on.
He goes over a few more miles
Takes him down to a sun-lit pasture.
And da sun-lit pasture's full of children,
and de're singin' and dancin' and lovin' and goin' and swingin'
and Scrooge say, "Look, look, look! Dat's me down dere!"
"Yeah, dat's you, dat's you."
"I look pretty good"
"Yeah but ya don't look good now,"
He say, "I wanna hip you gotta get yourself ?
He takes him over to another place
and he shows him a pretty little chick
got dimples, three dimples on each chin,
and she got three little dimpled children,
and the next little dimple on da way,
and dere's a real swingin' cat around there,
and it's a happy time,
looks like seventeen carnivals takin' off.
An' Scrooge look at dis chick and say,
"I remember dat chick. I could 'a married her once."
"Yeah, you coulda if you wasn't so tight wid your purse.
You all was thinkin' about yourself, dat's what happened."
Say, "Let me hip you further, Mister Scrooge,
Let me tell you one thing:
you better get everything straight that you wanna
and you better straighten up."
"An' take me home."
"Yeah, I will."
And he's home again.
So man, that was a shaker.
This whole thing, this whole thing is shakin' me up pretty bad.
He say, I want to tell you right now . . .
Here comes another big spook
Ooooohhhh He's a wild lookin' spook.
He's a crazy lookin' spook.
He's a far-out spook, he's a gas-light spook.
He's got a gas light right on the top of his wig
goin' around like one of them dramatic ? pilot lights
in a light house and he's there gassin' up the whole scene.
He say "Come with me. I'm The Ghost of Christmas Present"
And Scrooge look around and sees
the joint is loaded with apples and bananas and oranges and,
and credalies and acralonchs and ripalips
all kinds of crazy wild grapes and crazy Chistmas scenes
and nuts and candy.
And he say, "Come wid me."
Done took off again,
He said "I am The Ghost of Christmas Present."
He say, "I'm gonna show you what's goin' on in dis world
and how to dig Christmas and how to all enjoy
And he took him up to a little old outcast.
And there sittin on a small beat-up rock
was two studs chompin' up on a can 'a beans singin',
"Merry Christmas widch you,
Merry Christmas widch you.
Merry Christmas to the whole world"
And so on and so forth.
And he showin' him the people jumpin' for joy,
see how the cats that ain't got nothin' got somethin' anyway,
and they're all jumpin' for joy singin' "Merry Christmas," and da bells is ringin'.
Now you get yourself straight and see how things is ....
So they fly over da Cratchit's place,
there little old Tiny Tim, He's sittin' over in the corner
crochetin' a little crazy scene,
fiddlin' around, ya know what I mean?
An carryin' on, see,
and they are all talkin' about this here goose,
and dey look down here and this little goose
about the size of a beat up retarded sparrow,
and everybody's ooohin' and aahhhin' all over dis goose,
and day sayin' when are we gonna spread it,
and Tiny Tim say, "God bless everyone,
and even up to and including Scroogy Scrooge.
God bless everyone!" That's what Tiny Tim say.
And old Scrooge got red-eyed.
Took 'im back again.
Sound like the whole side 'a the buildin' open up
and in come a long angular spook
seventeen gas lights and stove pipes
hung together with
jingle jangle bells all over
Scrooge takes a look at this cat,
Says, "Do I have to go with you?"
He says, "You certainly do, 'cause I'm The Ghost of Christmas Future."
He say, "Come wid me."
Say, "Where we goin'?"
"None 'o your business!"
He takes old Scrooge they cut off flyin' around
the moonlight is shinin' down.
They're in the grave-yard.
Oooh a wild OOOOoooohhhh
crazy spooky graveyard
and Scrooge is walkin' around
and finally something stepped out at him
like he was struck with the force of his eye lids,
some sort of an electronic pitchfork,
and he reads on one of them billboards in that grave-yard,
it say, "Dis is Scrooge, the baddest cat that ever lived.
He don't have nothin' he ain't got nothin' and he ain't got nothin now."
And Scrooge looked at it and . . .
They're going to another place,
and there's a cat say "You goin' to the funeral?"
and he say, "Not me, man, I wouldn't go near that cat, dead or alive.
They couldn't pay me to get near that cat."
Say, "What cat is that?"
And suddenly Scrooge is takin' in the coffin factory
and seeing all these coffins layin' around,
and see one coffin,
all the rest of 'em got flowers around
'n 'dis poor little coffin got nothin on it but just some pinewood boards
an' old Scrooge look up and over and he's lookin' at this and that
and look all away 'cause he knows who is in dat coffin.
He's swings on back again and the ghost puts him down
and old Scrooge is shakin' and shiverin'
and he finally falls into a real wild, crazy miser's coma.
And he falls out for how long he don't know
when and he wakes up and
Aaaaahh, the sun was shinin' on the glorious snow
and old Scrooge is feelin' so groovey 'n so wired
and he tip tip tip tip tip toes over to the window.
He open the window, see a little cat, he say, "Hey, boy."
"You know that great big giant king-size bird
down in Doodley's window?"
"You mean the prize bird?"
"No," he say, "I mean that great big king-size bird."
Say, "Go get that bird. Here's a twenty."
He knocks a twenty on him. "Go get dat bird.
And here's ten more for a cab,
an here's five dollar for your sister,
and here's twenty-two-fifty for your uncle's new bicycle.
Tell anyone who wants anything, 'See Scrooge.'
I'm flyin' this here Christmas.
I want to see Cratchit swing out
with a great big swingin' happy dinner.
I'm wid it all da way!"
An' old Scrooge get dressed and he's walkin' down the street,
and Ding Dong, Ding Dong Ding, the bells is ringin'.
Scrooge got a big smile on his face,
and people he's seen for twenty years never said hello,sayin'
"Good morning, Mr. Scrooge."
"What you say, Baby?"
An' he carryin' on, carryin' on, happy as the day is long.
And he finally fell into old Bob Cratchit's place
and he's got Christmas toys and Christmas joys
and Christmas presents for everybody.
And they'd just opened the goose,
and then little Tiny Tim see him comin',
he say, "God bless Mr. Scrooge.
He done did the turn about.
He's the Lord's boy today."
And that's the story of Scrooge.
You can get wid it if you want to.
There's only one way straight to the Road of Love.