Loudon Wainwright III, “Suddenly It’s Christmas” & “Thanksgiving”

November 22, 2012

Suddenly, It’s Christmas

Suddenly it’s Christmas, right after Halloweeen.
Forget about Thanksgiving;
It’s just a buffet in between.
There’s lights and tinsel in the windows;
They’re stocking up the shelves;
Santa’s slaving at the North Pole
In his sweatshop full of elves.

There’s got to be a build-up
To the day that Christ was born:
The halls are decked with pumpkins
And the ears of Indian corn.
Dragging through the falling leaves
In a one-horse open sleigh,
Suddenly it’s Christmas,
Seven weeks before the day.

CHORUS:
Suddenly it’s Christmas,
The longest holiday.
When they say “Season’s Greetings”
They mean just what they say:
It’s a season, it’s a marathon,
Retail eternity.
It’s not over till it’s over
And you throw away the tree

Outside it’s positively balmy,
In the air nary a nip;
Suddenly it’s Christmas,
Unbuttoned and unzipped.
Yes, they’re working overtime,
Santa’s little runts;
Christmas comes but once a year
And goes on for two months.

Christmas carols in December
And November, too;
It’s no wonder we’re depressed
When the whole thing is through.
Finally it’s January;
Let’s sing “Auld Lang Syne”;
But here comes another heartache,
Shaped like a Valentine.

Suddenly it’s Christmas,
The longest holiday.
The season is upon us;
A pox, it won’t go away.
It’s a season, it’s a marathon,
Retail eternity.
It’s not over till it’s over
And you throw away the tree.

Thanksgiving

No, it’s not over till it’s over
And you throw away the tree;
It’s still not over till it’s over
And you throw away the tree.

Lord every year we gather here
To eat around this table
Give us the strength to stomach as much
As fast as we are able

Bless this food to our use, Thou
Communication’s useless
Don’t let me drink too much wine
Lord you know that I get ruthless

Let us somehow get through this meal
Without that bad old feeling
With history and memory
With home cooking we’re dealing

Remind us that we are all grown up
Adults, no longer children
Now it’s our kids that spill the milk
And our turn to want to kill them

Look around and recognize
A sister and a brother
We rarely see our parents now
We hardly see each other

On this auspicious occasion
This special family dinner
If I argue with a loved one, Lord
Please make me the winner

All this food looks and smells so good
But I can hardly taste it
My sense of something has been lost
There’s no way to replace it

After the meal, switch on the game
There’s just a few more seconds
But I’m so tired, I need a nap
The guest bedroom bed beckons

I fall asleep, I have a dream
And in it is the family
Nothing bad has happened yet
And everyone is happy

Mother and Father, both still young
And naturally they love us
We’re all lying all alone at night
Watching the stars above us

Lord every year we gather here
To eat around this table
Give us the strength to stomach as much
As fast as we are able


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