Sunday, December 04, 2005

Marvin Gaye throws a birthday party

As one might suspect, in yesterday's Christmas shopping travels I found myself bombarded with carols. One in particular caught my attention, "Sleigh Ride," and I sang along in my head:

"...There's a birthday party at the home of Marvin Gaye. It'll be the perfect ending to the perfect day..."

Wait. Marvin Gaye? That can't be right. Marvin Gaye? Holy crap, have I been singing it that way my entire life? Surely not. Obviously that was a random slip because, as everyone knows, the correct lyric is: "There's a birthday party at the home of....." Oh my God. I HAVE been singing it that way my entire life.

I met up with a friend later in the night to go see several bands cover various Christmas carols. I was hopeful that someone there would know who was really having the birthday party. With any luck, maybe "Sleigh Ride" would even be one of the night's selections. Of course, by the time we got there, I couldn't remember for the life of me which Christmas carol I was confused about. So my inquiries went something like this:

You know... there's a party... and Marvin Gaye... only it's not Marvin Gaye, it's someone who sounds like Marvin Gaye... his name, I mean.

Eventually, I remembered that the song I was thinking of was "Sleigh Ride," but that didn't help much - it just led to conversations like this:

-Hey, are they going to a party in "Sleigh Ride?"
-Yeah. (singing) "...it'll be the perfect ending to the perfect day..." Yeah.
-Whose party is it?
-Farmer Brown.
-Farmer Brown isn't throwing a party. He's the one who can marry you.
-Yeah, but I think he's having a party too.
-No he's not. He's in a field. And he's not a farmer. It's Parson Brown.
-How'd you get Marvin Gaye out of Parson Brown?
-It's not Parson Brown. He's not throwing a party, he's in a field or something. Wait, I don't think Parson Brown's even in "Sleigh Ride."

And so on and so on and so on... We never did figure it out.

Got an email from Friend this morning with the "Sleigh Ride" lyrics. I know you're all dying to know, so I'll just go ahead and tell you. The man throwing the birthday party is.... (drum roll) FARMER GRAY.

And Parson Brown is in "Winter Wonderland." But he isn't in a field. A snowman impersonating Parson Brown is in the field. But it's not a field. It's a meadow.

There are two morals to this story:
  1. We all need to brush up on our Christmas carols.
  2. Professional choir members performing "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" with cigarette and beer in hand, jumping and head banging to their accompaniment are infinitely cooler than their stuffy, black-tie counterparts.

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