I wrote a Christmas song once for a class at NYU, and for some reason, that monstrosity popped into my head today (maybe it was the cold medicine I’ve been taking!). Thought it was exactly the kind of thing to share on my blog.
Creative Writing was a required class my freshman year, and one of the assignments was to review an album. Wanting to really impress the teacher (I did want to grow up to be a writer after all!), I wrote a bunch of short songs, recorded them in the hallway of my dorm with my roommate who was a guitar player, and then reviewed the finished product for class. For some reason, I chose to call the band White Aardvark and name the “album” It’s Time to Eat the Monkey.
Not only did I get an A+ on the paper, but the teacher also asked if he could keep the cassette. The Christmas song on White Aardvark’s one (and thankfully) only album was called “Cousin Ed is Dead in the Egg Nog”. It went a little like this…
White Christmas, there’s snow on the ground/Christmas cheer, family’s gathered around/ There’s a sudden silence, and then Grandma shrieks/ We put down out presents and everyone freaks/ Cousin Ed is dead in the egg nog/Cousin Ed is dead in the egg nog/ Cousin Ed is dead in the egg nog/ Pardon me, I’ll just have some Coke.
What a downer, f$@% the Christmas cheer/ Throw out the egg nog, break out the beer/ Don’t stare at the body, just dump it out back/ Take down the garland, get dressed in black/ Cousin Ed is dead in the egg nog…
And to think that a teenager with such a twisted mind would go on to write a romantic comedy like “The Retirement Party”. Thankfully, I found a new voice and writing style.
So what do you think, Modern Philosophers? Was I wrong to ditch my music career for screenwriting? Should White Aardvark release a new album? Would Cousin Ed’s tale have become a Christmas classic?
Like I said, I’m not sure why the song popped into my head after all these years, but sometimes it’s fun to travel back to freshman year, Stern Hall, NYU. Those were the days. I had no idea what the future had in store for me, but I was so cocky and just knew I had to prove I was the best writer in that class.
Happy Holidays! May all your writing dreams come true…
ha ha ha very funny. Good work.
I will let 18 year old Austin know that you liked what he wrote… 😀
I’m all for a White Aardvark reunion.
I don’t remember too many of the other songs. The most popular of them all was “Ride My Bike”, which was a very suggestive love song that also promoted healthy living… 🙂
I’ve been sorting through some of my former students’ writing (and almost wrote about that process, one project in particular). It’s been fun thinking about who they were and who they might have become. I wonder if any of them have gone on to write romantic comedy. I’m sure you’re professors are proud.
I don’t know. I haven’t heard from any of them. I keep expecting that White Aardvark cassette to turn up on eBay… 🙂
Maybe they’re waiting for the $$ value to increase when you do your swagger down the red carpet.
Hmmm…interesting theory… 😀
P.S. I came back to say that I’m sorry to hear about the cold medicine. Hope you feel better soon!
I would love 18 year old Austin, if not only for quirky songs and laughter. Maybe White Aardvark can reunite and cut a soundtrack for your next movie…maybe.
Sometimes, when I’m in the car with the Girl Who Gives Me Goosebumps, a song will come on the radio that makes me want to sing along. Her immediate reaction is to turn off the radio so as not to encourage my singing. Clearly, I am not meant to sing when there are witnesses… 🙂
Yikes! I love her subtle hint…hahahaha
She is not at all subtle! Sometimes, though, she’s a total sweetie and allows me to serenade her. Not that my voice gets any better, I think I just become a little more irresistible… 😉
She certainly is sweet to sit through a serenade of poor sining skills. All in the name of love.
True. I’m a lucky boy. 😀
Hahaaha,,,so funny. Nice twist on family gatherings
That probably would’ve been an improvement on the Christmases of my youth…
Hi, wanted to thank you for your like….and also please put the band back together….the song is timeless for the holidays….looking forward to following your site….
We’ll see what we can do… 😀
Just noticed you reside in Maine. Have a novel in the works that takes place in Popham Beach, ME….Hoping to complete it 2013…..we’ll see….
Good luck! Maine is a great place for writing and to write about…
These days the second verse would fit right in! I wonder what the teacher did with it…any way of finding out? For more memories…see the poem OLD SOLDIERS… at By The Mighty Mumford!
He has probably long since tosses the cassette, but I was psyched at the time that he wanted to keep it. Will check out that poem…
An emo Christmas song (I’m assuming upbeat pop-punk music?)…what, no Youtube post? And…if I may speak in bold ignorance, I’ve always subscribed to Maude’s philosophy…if you want to sing out, sing out…
Nah, it was more of a downer. I don’t think You Tube was around back then. If so, I definitely would’ve put it on there… 🙂
Pretty snappy tune!
Thanks. Feel free to sing it all day! 😀
It sounds as if you had at least one good teacher
I had many. From grammar school right through college. A lucky Philosopher am I… 😀
Ah, the good, ol’ cassette tape. We are ancient, you know that? I went to the American History museum in DC this year and they have this mock 1950s living room set up, complete with a record player and vinyl records. This kid, who had to be about 13 or so, asked his mom, “What are those big, black, round things?” She told him they were the old-fashioned way people used to play music. He thought about this for a moment and then replied, “I thought CDs were the old fashioned way to play music.” GAH!!!! I’m old. Thanks for reminding me. 😛
Well, cassettes were handy and cheap for a college freshman. Plus, we could just rewind and record again when I screwed up my own lyrics! 🙂
This has all the makings of a number 1 hit. Send it to Beiber. He’d sign you in a second!
I don’t know. That kid rubs me the wrong way… 🙂
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I think this is hilarious! I think you are wacky and creative. But maybe stick to the writing and all you do with filming, etc. But maybe someday you will be writing the cover song for Weird Al or maybe Adam Sandler will attempt to croon your song or….? Happy Holidays to you and your gal!
Thank you. I have a horrible singing voice, so I will not be writing any songs to perform again in the near future. Happy Holidays! 😀
Reblogged this on The Return of the Modern Philosopher and commented:
From the Archives, here’s the Christmas Carol I wrote for a class back at NYU. Merry Christmas!
Okay, so I made up some dance steps to go with the song. It goes like this… and then you step this way.. swing like that.. and then throw your head back like your drinking egg nog. Ta-DA! What do you think? By the way, I’m glad you went with the screenwriting thing…
Sounds like a wonderful dance. I think the screenwriting thing was the better choice, too. 🙂
Thanks — but I think I pulled something.
And in case I don’t get another chance to say it:
Have a Merry Christmas, Austin
Thanks, Ned. Merry Christmas to you, too. 🙂
Same to you!
Wow. No, the band should remain stuffed inside someone’s box. That’s a little disturbing. I too am glad that you changed your writing style.
You are quite amusing Austin !
Thanks. That song got me an A+ at NYU!