Tag Archives: BBC Radio 4

5 Fun (or Geeky) Takes on “12 Days of Christmas”

{Header image by Angie Fiedler Sutton.}

Note: this article was also published on Contents May Vary.

It’s that time of the year again, where every store you go into has Christmas music playing. And while there does tend to be a good batch to listen to, there’s one song that can divide a caroling party into a fight worthy of West Side Story.

“The Twelve Days of Christmas” is a carol from 1780 and thought to be French in origin. (Thanks, Wikipedia!) It, of course, covers the eponymous days, which start Christmas day and are said to be the days it took the Wise Men to get to Jesus with their unusual baby shower gifts. And while the cumulative nature of the song was probably some 1700 way of keeping a song going, in 2017 it just means the song tends to get old, fast.

But anyone who knows me knows I enjoy a good fun cover song. This song is no exception. So here are five fun (or geeky) covers of “12 Days of Christmas”. And I apologize in advance if this gets the song stuck in your head.

Taking It With Humour

When I was in the 4th grade, my classroom did the project where we had to figure out how much actually sending the gifts mentioned would cost. The project included ways to figure out the more nebulous things (like ladies dancing or lords a’leaping). And in fact, every year, the PNC calculates the “Christmas Price Index”. (Here’s a link to what it would cost in 2017.)

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Prepare for Takeoff: BBC Radio 4 Rebroadcasts ‘Cabin Pressure’

{All images used courtesy BBC Radio 4}

Note: all quotes come from Wikiquote.

Brilliant!

The BBC Radio 4 sitcom, Cabin Pressure, is currently being rebroadcast from the beginning. But hurry up – the first episode of series 1 only has five more days.

If you’re unaware of this lovely piece of comedy writing, the basic story is of an airline company … well, make that an airplane. “I don’t have an airline. I have one jet. You cannot put one jet in a line. If MJN is anything, it is an air dot,” as the head of the company, Carolyn Knapp-Shappey (Stephanie Cole) states in the first episode, “Abu Dhabi”.

Having gotten the jet in a divorce, Carolyn sets out to run a private charter company. Accompanying her on this is her not-so-bright son Arthur (played by the show’s creator and writer John Finnemore). She has two pilots: “I have a good pilot and a safe pilot; and the safe pilot’s in charge of the good pilot,” as she says in “Ipswitch”. One of the pilots – the good one – is First Officer Douglas Richardson, played with smarmy fun by Roger Allam (V for Vendetta and the original Javert in the London Les Misérables). The safe pilot is Captain Martin Crieff, played with comedic incompetence by some actor named Benedict Cumberbatch (not sure if you’ve heard of him, or anything: it’s not like he’s been getting any roles lately).

While the show is primarily the four of them, there are the occasional guest stars, including later in the series a recurring spot for Anthony Head (known as Anthony Stewart Head here in the states) as a sometimes dater of Carolyn.

Photo from the last recording session.

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