A Christmas playlist for the entire family

It’s been a tough year for everyone between the global pandemic, with its lockdowns and shuttered shops, and fears of a major economic recession on our immediate horizon.

Rather than launch the usual anti-corruption diatribe on Christmas Day, I thought I’d take a little inspiration from Joseph Muscat.

No, I’m not running away to Dubai. If the Vegas of the Middle East is anything like the actual Las Vegas, then I couldn’t imagine a more vapid hell of shopping malls, chain restaurants and desperate displays of conspicuous wealth.

No, in the spirit of the deposed Kink, I’d like to offer you my own holiday playlist. A seasonal medley that the entire family will enjoy. Grandma and grandpa can sing along, too — socially distanced, of course.

We’ll have to skip ‘I Saw Rosie Kissing Yorgen Claus’. Some of the later verses are not family-friendly.

But why don’t we lead in with a little ditty everyone knows to warm up?

“Hark! the Labour trolls do sing

Glory to their deposed Kink…”

Now that you’ve cleared your pipes, let’s sing one that’s sure to be no one’s favourite holiday anthem:

“Jingle Bells, Vitals smells

You’re all gonna pay

The asking price was a steal

And the crooks all got away…”

They haven’t got away just yet, you might say. But wait for it:

“Dashing to Dubai

In a VistaJet for free

Out of reach we go

Laughing all the way (Ha ha ha!)”

Whoah there, Rudolph. Hold your reindeer and park that sleigh! Trouble’s brewing with this next song.

That’s right, ‘The Inquiry is Coming to Town’:

“They’re making a list,

Checking it twice,

They’re gonna find out who’s naughty or nice,

The inquiry is coming to town.

They see you when you are lying,

They know when you’ve been fake,

They know that you were on the take,

So clam up for goodness sake!”

We Three Kings of Orient Are’ in an awful lot of trouble.

I guess the Panama Gang should have given those gifts to the people rather than slipping them offshore for themselves.

While that might cause some among you to sing the old Chuck Berry classic, “Run, Schembri, Run, the law ain’t far behind”, others are prepping to head for the hills.

Oh well, I guess exile’s acceptable if you’ve got friends — and you can make sure by buying a few of those:

“Deck Castille with Dalli’s paintings,

blah blah blah blah blah

blah blah blah blah,

Helena’s family just keeps gaining

cha cha cha cha ching

cha ching ching ching.

Faked a swim for her own glory,

Glug glug glug glug

glug glug glug glug,

Helped by friends who run the Army,

Rah rah rah rah rah

Tah dah dah dah.

Making clothing in the prison,

Sha na na na na

Na na na na,

When we join them, then I’ll pitch in,

Ha ha ha ha ha

Ha ha ha ha.”

But what about those of us celebrating the holidays closer to home?

This next one goes out to the Minister responsible for cleansing Valletta of the protest monument to Daphne Caruana Galizia every single night for more than two years:

“Owen their inept lame peer

Had a very slimy pose,

And if you ever saw him

You would even say it shows.

All of the other main peers,

Used to point at him and blame,

They never let poor Owen

Join in any Cabinet games.

Then one foggy protest Eve

Joseph came to say,

‘Owen, with your pose so slight

Won’t you step out front tonight?’”

We all know how that went, don’t we? All that name calling gave the minister and his aide a very bad scare.

Speaking of reshuffles, I just learned the former Minister for Roly Polys will join us later to sing, ‘All I Want for Christmas Is My Old Job Back’.

But before we go there, we’d better sing one for another man who found himself in a new job, the Governor of the Central Bank. It goes to the tune of Frosty:

“Eddie the taxman

Was a tired complacent soul

With a big pay cheque and a non-disclose

And the kitchen in control.

Eddie the taxman’s

Was a sorry tale, they say

He was made by Joe but the voters know

He was in it for the pay.”

Speaking of the shameless and the spineless, I bet you’re wondering what the holidays are like at the OPM.

Wouldn’t you know it, there’s a traditional story about that, too:

“’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Castille

Not a minion was stirring, nor any new deals.

The excuses were hung by Bartolo with care,

In hopes re-election soon would be there.

The ministers nestled all snug in their beds,

Visions of kickbacks danced in their heads.”

If there’s any justice in Old Saint Nick, an awful lot of them should get a lump of coal this year.

But that won’t apply to you, dear reader.

While the Maltese ‘Patriots’ (Għaqda Patrijotti Maltin) might be ‘Dreaming of a White Christmas’, the realities of our increasingly multicultural societies mean we get a chance to share our traditions and exchange stories with people who came from different backgrounds.

We hope you have a nice holiday, whether you’re spending it with immediate family or just raising a glass with loved ones online.

And we hope a few of these dumb songs made you smile despite the frustrations of the past year.

Let’s close it off with one last tune.

Good King….” oh, never mind. I can’t pronounce ‘Wenceslas’, let alone rhyme it with anything.

We’ll go with ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas‘ instead. I’ll skip the repetition and jump straight to the end:

“On the twelfth day of Christmas, Abela gave to me:

Twelve bad excuses

Eleven Neville pushbacks

Ten new empty non-jobs

Nine lawyers SLAPP’ing

Eight corona vouchers

Seven new consultants

Six redacted contracts

Five Golden Passports

Four direct orders

Three dead birds

Two MOUs

and concrete instead of a tree.”



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Mick Quinn
Mick Quinn
1 year ago

Good effort Ryan brought a smile to my face, have a good Xmas, well done.

Richard J. Caruana
Richard J. Caruana
1 year ago

Absolutely brilliant, thank you.

Tony Montananaro
Tony Montananaro
1 year ago

Probably not the best piece of poetry or cultural work we’ve ever seen but definitely an accurate snapshot of very current affairs. Another great article, no doubt!

Blanche Gatt
Blanche Gatt
1 year ago

Haha, what fun!

Away in a big boat, did Yorgen try to run
But the bobbies did catch him and they spoiled all his fun.
Now Yorgen is in prison and his chums are all scared
They’ll be next in the jail block and no mercy’ll be spared.

For he’s got them by the curlies and they know they’re going down
But till then he will taunt them, spreading whispers all around.
And he’ll tease them and displease them, till they panic and split
They’ll break cover under pressure and fall hard on the spit.

And once they are roasting, we can all get some peace
As Yorgen’s scummy buddies are nailed one by one.
So Keith, Joe and Konrat will face justice this day,
And we’ll all join in the singing, hallelujah and hooray!

Joseph Tabone Adami
Joseph Tabone Adami
1 year ago
Reply to  Blanche Gatt

Your comment in verse
speaks volumes, though terse.
It has rhythm and rhyme –
yet who knows if, in time,
your dire prediction
will be fact, not just fiction.

Elaine Sultana Micallef Valenzia
Elaine Sultana Micallef Valenzia
1 year ago

Well done, keep’em coming!

M.R. Ellul
M.R. Ellul
1 year ago

Thank you for the broad smile you brought to my face. Well done!
Season’s Greetings to you all at Shift News.

Victor Vella
Victor Vella
1 year ago

Thanks for the good laugh

Betta Ellul
Betta Ellul
1 year ago

Brilliant! Very entertaining, as well as being very accurate!

1 year ago

Absolutely loved it! Sang along to each and every one of them…. (albeit with a heavy heart that my country has been reduced to this)

Godfrey Leone Ganado

A big well done. Happy New Year.

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