Odd things you find in music lyrics.
October 3, 2008 10:44am CST
[i][u]"I'm getting nothing for Christmas", do you remember this Christmas song? Well, I went to look it up and quote the lyrics for another discussion I started. But, when I read the lyrics, I came across a line I hadn't noticed before. Not a big thing, but interesting. [i]"I'm Gettin' Nuttin' For Christmas I broke my bat on Johnny's head; Somebody snitched on me. I hid a frog in sister's bed; Somebody snitched on me. I spilled some ink on Mommy's rug! I made Tommy eat a bug! Bought some gum with a penny slug! Somebody snitched on me! Oh, I'm gettin' nuttin' for Christmas. Mommy and Daddy are mad. I'm getting nuttin' for Christmas, 'Cause I ain't been nuttin' but bad. I put a tack on teacher's chair. Somebody snitched on me! I tied a knot in Susie's hair. Somebody snitched on me! Next year we'll be going straight. Next year we'll be good, just wait! We'd start now, but it's too late. Somebody snitched on me! Oh, I'm gettin' nuttin' for Christmas. Mommy and Daddy are mad. I'm gettin' nuttin' for Christmas. 'Cause I ain't been nuttin' but bad. So you better be good whatever you do. 'Cause if you're bad, I'm warning you! You'll get nuttin' for Christmas!!"[/i] So I read the line about buying gum with a penny slug and it seemed interesting. This was, of course, in a different time. An earlier time. I can imagine gumball machines much like ours today and some kid putting a properly sized metal cut out or 'slug' into the slot to get gum. Essentially, stealing. Anyway, it was interesting to see the words written down because it made me aware that some of the things the kid in this classic song have done are.. hallmarks of an earlier time. I understand that kids used to put frogs in their sister's bed, but I haven't heard that happening recently. It was more of the thing that a boy exploring the woods in the frontier would find small repulsive animal life forms with which to tease their sisters. I know that writing used to be done with ink wells and a quill. But my daughter might one day sing this song for a Christmas concert and I don't think she'll really understand the .. atmosphere from the time when the song was written. It just seemed interesting to reflect on.
• United States
3 Oct 08
I never really knew all the lyrics to this song. Until you explained at the bottom of your post I had no idea what that line meant. I think the line "I broke my bat on Johnny's head" is not something I would want my kid singing about.