Christmas carolling with The Shift

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and down at The Shift, not a keyboard was clicking nor a light in the house.

And that, my friends, is why you’re stuck with me. There isn’t anyone else around, so we’ll have to make the best of it.

Don’t worry, I won’t bombard you with yet another litany of corruption stories or direct order scandals. It’s been a tough year between the end of the pandemic, the start of a global recession, a war in Europe and a worsening energy crisis.

We’re going Christmas carolling instead.

I’m reviving that old-fashioned pastime with updated lyrics to some well-worn tunes. It’s a seasonal skewering the entire family will enjoy.

Let’s warm up with a little ditty everyone knows.

“Oh, the traffic outside is frightful

And the press is so damned spiteful,

The central link moves too slow

Let it flow, gotta go, let it flow…”

Now that you’ve cleared your pipes, we’ll try one that’s sure to be nobody’s favourite holiday anthem. This goes out to Robert Abela:

“Dashing through reforms

The EU to outplay,

O’er your rights I go

Trampling all the way…

Knells for freedoms ring

Faking it’s orrajt,

A new iced bun will be dished out

To Labour shills tonight!”

The prime minister should heed the tale of his unfortunate predecessor, sung to the tune of ‘Silver Bells’:

“Concrete sweatbox, watched by pillbox, dressed in awful grey style,

In the air there’s a stench of arraignment,

Lawyers laughing, snitches grassing, cheating file after file,

And on every street corner they fear…

Prison cells, prison cells,

It’s sellout time for the guilty,

Clinging king, hear them sing,

Soon it will be judgement day…”

We’ll skip right over The Twelve Stains of This Mess to sing about the day it all went wrong for the money grubbing Panama Three:

We three kinks of Castille are

Bearing shares sent from afar,

Cast some doubt on

Our accountant

Swallowing a laundering charge.

O leaks like thunder, quite a plight

Leaks that cast it all in light,

Kickbacks leading, still proceeding

Guide us to Dubai tonight…”

It’s a sordid tale of The Three Wise Guys. All they’ll want for Christmas is a new striped suit.

Speaking of easy money, better make hay on that EU citizenship while the haymaking’s good:

“Jingle bells, passports sell

Henley’s gonna pay,

In Castille they sealed the deal,

And the cash is gone astray…”

I can’t resist one last kick at the Kink. This is sung to the tune of ‘Here Comes Santa Claus’:

“Here comes Interpol, here comes Interpol, ending Labour’s reign,

Sedition, rendition without permission, slapping on the chains,

Charges clinging, rats are singing, justice is in sight,

So hide your loot and kiss Michelle, ’cause Interpol comes tonight!”

Moving on. This little ditty goes to the tune of that old Sinatra classic ‘I’ll be home for Christmas’:

“Flying in on business

No VAT receipts for me,

Bank accounts and cash discounts

And some for John Dalli,

I believe you’ll find me

Hatching blockchain schemes,

Flying in on business

If only in my dreams…”

Speaking of schemes, let’s not forget those busy bottom-feeders who give infamy a bad name. To the tune of ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’:

“Oh little town of Marsaxlokk, how still the gas pipes lie,

Below the station’s mighty stack the smuggler’s boats glide by,

Despite the US sanctions, and poor Debono’s plight,

The ATM will wash the bills, Florinda’s done it right…”

How about another regional tune? Here’s one for the ‘Winter Wonderland’ just beyond Comino:

“Clint’s the king, Gozo’s glistenin’

New non-jobs, he’s commissioning,

No workers in sight,

They’re napping tonight,

Flockin’ to the island’s hinterland.

Gone away is the old chief,

Here to stay is the Good Thief,

They’ll pave ODZ,

And get it all free,

Flockin’ to the island’s hinterland.

In a meadow, Joe can build a fake store,

And pretend that Chloe’s there to farm,

They’ll say, “Is it sanctioned?”,

He’ll say, “No, man”,

“But PA’ll sign the forms when they’re in town”…

This hymn to the island’s main industry is sung to the tune of ‘Holly Jolly Christmas’:

“Have a money-laundering Christmas,

There are no police to fear,

The Sicilians know how low they’ll go

To keep you in the clear

Have a money-laundering Christmas,

The casinos are discrete,

The MGA won’t get in your way

And the listings all are grey…”

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Some public officials are above all that. This little ditty goes out to everyone’s favourite ceremonial figurehead to the tune of Rudolph:

“Vella the spineless premier

Struck a very noble pose,

He liked to claim his conscience

Wasn’t just an empty pose,

All of his other main peers

Want to pass a law he hates,

They need to make poor Vella

Take a stand and cause him pain.

Then one day a vote was called

Vella stood to say,

“If that bill lands on my desk

I will hop a plane tonight!”

He let Bezzina slip in

As they shouted out with glee,

“Vella the spineless premier

Will keep his job with infamy”

I hope he’s been good at least, because ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’:

“You better cut costs,

We’ve gotta scrape by,

You better thin out,

I’m telling you boy,

Finance Clyde is going to frown.

His targets were missed,

His goals imprecise,

He’s gotta shut down Air Malta, not nice

Finance Clyde is going to frown.

He sees how much they’re reaping,

He knows the budget’s fake,

He knows the money’s running out,

All his friends are on the take!”

I was going to tackle ‘Silent Night’, but no one would believe it between the construction noise and the petards.

Here’s another song for the bodybuilder-in-chief, instead. Something to enjoy with his steamed chicken breasts. It goes to the tune of ‘Frosty the Snowman’:

“Robert the PM

is a shameless lying troll,

With a lame excuse and a yacht that’s used

And two biceps that are swole.

Robert the PM, is a figurehead, they say,

He was placed by Joe to protect the dough,

So the crooks all get away…”

Finally, let’s end our day of Christmas carolling on a personal note. It goes to the tune of ‘Away in a Manger’:

“The media arranger

There shines his bald head

Some more direct orders

To butter his bread

Old Keith always told him

“Now do what I say”

The media arranger

He sure did make hay

The courts started showing

The money he makes

“Now every department

Clam up, for Chrissakes!”

The lawyers soon gathered

Appeals from all sides

But you, our dear reader,

Stood strong by our side”

We hope you have a nice holiday, wherever you’re spending it. And we hope a few of these dumb songs made you smile, despite the frustration.

Merry Christmas from all of us at The Shift.


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Joseph Tabone Adami
Joseph Tabone Adami
1 month ago

Witty and imaginative – but very factual and very true.

Ġwanni Fenek
Ġwanni Fenek
1 month ago

Merry Xmas!

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