Silk purses from sow’s ears


We finish up the week’s holiday scribbling (previously: 1, 2, 3, 4) with a boar’s head carol, one of the oldest Christmas traditions there is. When super-intelligent aliens take over the planet and interrogate humanity about our customs, I imagine that the boar’s head will come up around Day 23 or so.

SUPER-INTELLIGENT ALIENS: OK, that’s all we need to know about the Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts. Moving on. Now, this whole boar’s head thing….

HUMANITY: Oh, yeah. The boar’s head—for Christmas.

SIA: That would be the infant-in-a-feeding-trough holiday.

H: That’s the one.

SIA: Now, you’d cut the head off a pig…

H: Yep.

SIA: And you’d put it on a plate…

H: Yep.

SIA: And then parade it around the room and sing to it.

H: Yep, that’s pretty much it.

SIA: And why would you do this?

H: Well, I mean, we had to, didn’t we? That boar is vicious, with those tusks and all. And he’s constantly eating all the crops, isn’t he? We worked hard raising those crops. We had to kill him.

SIA: So it’s revenge, basically.

H: Yeah, I suppose.

SIA: Which you then made into a Christmas thing.

H: Yeah.

SIA: Like Die Hard, but with a pig.

H: Come on, man, you put it that way, it sounds stupid.

Voice and piano, with violin and cello obbligato. Why? Because I can. (Maniacal laughter, &c.) For my brother Dan and his new bride Jenn. (And Jessie, too.) Musically, this one is pure cop show. Not the “Dial ‘M'” cop show-as-slang-for-cool—I mean it sounds like the theme to a 1970s cop show. Sing it while riding on the hood of a speeding car.

Guerrieri: Nowell, Nowell (PDF, 176 KB; surprisingly appropriate MIDI here)

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