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Quiz about Some Aussie Chrissie Songs
Quiz about Some Aussie Chrissie Songs

Some Aussie Chrissie Songs Trivia Quiz


The imagery of most traditional Christmas songs doesn't really fit with the experience of an Australian mid-summer Christmas. These songs (some parodies, some original) address the issue.

A photo quiz by looney_tunes. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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Author
looney_tunes
Time
3 mins
Type
Photo Quiz
Quiz #
407,584
Updated
Dec 21 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Very Easy
Avg Score
9 / 10
Plays
306
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: magijoh1 (10/10), Guest 86 (7/10), muzzyhill3 (10/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. In the opening line of 'Carol of the Birds' (the Australian one, not the French one), what kind of birds are "dancing, Lifting their feet like warhorses prancing"? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. There are many Australian versions of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas', with a range of distinctively Australian animals appearing as gifts. One of the more Ocker versions, 'The Twelve Days of Aussie Christmas' was released by Colin Buchanan. According to this version, what did my best friend give me on the first day of Christmas?


Question 3 of 10
3. In 1961 Rolf Harris and John D. Brown wrote 'Six White Boomers', an Australian Christmas song released by Rolf Harris on his album 'All Together Now'. What kind of animal is the titular boomer? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. 'The Silver Stars Are in the Sky' is another carol from Wheeler and James. In it, what kind of Australian bird calls across the night?


Question 5 of 10
5. In a parody of 'Deck the Halls', with what did Colin Buchanan and Greg Champion urge us to 'Deck the Sheds'?


Question 6 of 10
6. The Wheeler and James carol 'Three Drovers' describes a Christmas night when what kind of birds flew across the sky as the drovers saw a heavenly light in the sky? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. According to the song 'Aussie Jingle Bells' as performed by Bucko and Champs, "It's summertime and I am in / My singlet, shorts and ___." What goes in the blank to compete the lyric? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. In her song 'Island Christmas', Christine Anu refers to the colours of Christmas as "green and gold and ..." what other colours? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Maurie Fields's song 'An Aussie Bush Christmas' describes the scene as "Santa" makes his traditional appearance at a community Christmas celebration. After dispensing the presents he has brought for the children, he sits down and makes what request? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. In 2021, Paul Kelly released an updated version of his 1996 song in which a prison inmate writes pensively to a friend about the family he will not be with at Christmas. It includes a traditional family recipe for what, which gives the song its title? Hint



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Most Recent Scores
Jun 19 2024 : magijoh1: 10/10
Jun 15 2024 : Guest 86: 7/10
Jun 05 2024 : muzzyhill3: 10/10
May 23 2024 : Guest 68: 9/10
May 19 2024 : Guest 106: 4/10
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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. In the opening line of 'Carol of the Birds' (the Australian one, not the French one), what kind of birds are "dancing, Lifting their feet like warhorses prancing"?

Answer: Brolgas

In 1948, '15 Christmas Carols' with John Wheeler's words and William James's music was published. These beautiful carols in the classic tradition attempted to evoke an Australian sensibility, while maintaining an international accessibility. In this case, it is done by using specifically Australian birds in the lyrics: brolgas, woodlarks, bell-birds, friar birds, currawongs and lorikeets, a colourful depiction, for those who know the birds. Brolgas are members of the crane family, and their dancing ritual is legendary, and features in a number of aboriginal legends. You can see examples on You Tube, if you can't access the Australian bush!

"Out on the plains the brolgas are dancing
Lifting their feet like warhorses prancing
Up to the sun the woodlarks go winging
Faint in the dawn light echoes their singing
Orana! Orana! Orana to Christmas Day."

Orana is thought to mean welcome in the language of an aboriginal group, but exactly which one has not been identified by linguists. This carol is the first example of its use in writing, although its use in this sense was first recorded in the 1920s. It has since entered the Australian idiom.
2. There are many Australian versions of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas', with a range of distinctively Australian animals appearing as gifts. One of the more Ocker versions, 'The Twelve Days of Aussie Christmas' was released by Colin Buchanan. According to this version, what did my best friend give me on the first day of Christmas?

Answer: A platypus up a gum tree

Colin Buchanan is an Australian singer (mostly in the Country and Christian genres), who recorded several albums of Christmas parody songs, performing with Greg Champion as Bucko and Champs. Most adaptations of this song have focussed on Australian fauna, but this one involves a lot of wider cultural references.

"On the twelfth day of Christmas, my best mate gave to me ...
Twelve surfing Santas,
Eleven cricket legends,
Ten sweaty swaggies,
Nine daggy dingos
Eight jolly jumbucks,
Seven cheeky chooks,
Half a dozen snags,
Five rusty utes!
Four footy fans,
Three meat trays,
Two jackaroos,
And a platypus up a gum tree!"

A platypus you have already seen pictured; a jackaroo is a worker on an outback station; meat trays are a traditional pub raffle prize; the footy fans may follow Australian Rules or rugby, depending on the state; a ute is akin to a pickup truck; snags are sausages; chooks are chickens; jumbuck is a male sheep; a dingo is a wild dog, and a daggy one is unkempt; a swaggie is a tramp, carrying his belongings in a swag as he travels around the countryside; cricket is the national summer team sport of Australia; surfing is one of our favourite pastimes. (Not mine - I firmly believe that the sharks own the sea, and we are better off on terra firma.)
3. In 1961 Rolf Harris and John D. Brown wrote 'Six White Boomers', an Australian Christmas song released by Rolf Harris on his album 'All Together Now'. What kind of animal is the titular boomer?

Answer: Kangaroo

More precisely, a boomer is an adult male kangaroo, and a white one would be an albino, like the one in the picture. As the song makes clear, reindeer are not suited to an Australian summer, so Santa changes over to harness his sleigh to kangaroos. Presumably whatever allows the reindeer to carry the sleigh through the sky works for the kangaroos as well. The song actually tells of Santa helping a joey (baby kangaroo) find the mother he has mislaid, on Christmas Day, after the presents had all been delivered on Christmas Eve.

"Six white boomers
Snow white boomers
Racing Santa Claus through the blazing sun
Six white boomers
Snow white boomers
On his Australian run."
4. 'The Silver Stars Are in the Sky' is another carol from Wheeler and James. In it, what kind of Australian bird calls across the night?

Answer: Boobook

The boobook (Ninox boobook), also known as the mopoke, is the smallest owl on the Australian mainland. It is also found in New Guinea and some other islands in the south Pacific. The name is onomatopoeic, reflecting its distinctive two-note call. This is the only truly Australian reference in this song, aside from the fact that the moon is described as red-gold, which would be unusual in a northern hemisphere Christmas, but common in the outback summer.

"The silver stars are in the sky,
The red-gold moon goes riding high,
O, sleep my little one sleep!

Once long ago, against her breast,
A mother rocked her child to rest,
Who was the Prince of Heav'n above,
The Lord of happiness and love.
O, sleep, my little one sleep!

The boobook calls across the night,
The brown moths flutter in the light,
O, sleep, my little one sleep!

In Bethlehem long, long ago,
When roads and paddocks gleam'd with snow;
On this same night, that mother mild,
Lull'd into dreams her royal child.
So, sleep, my little one, sleep!"
5. In a parody of 'Deck the Halls', with what did Colin Buchanan and Greg Champion urge us to 'Deck the Sheds'?

Answer: Bits of wattle

In the second verse, the option of using bits of gumtree is offered as an alternative. Wattle is the name for a number of species of Australian shrubs and trees with yellow-to-gold flowers. The golden wattle (Acacia pycnantha) was declared the Australian floral emblem on 1 September 1988 (a date which is now celebrated as National Wattle Day), and has been on the Coat of Arms since 1912. While they are quintessentially Australian, they are not usually in bloom for Christmas, as the flowering season is July to November.

You know the tune, let's sing:

"Deck the sheds with bits of wattle, fa la la la la la la la la
Whack some gum leaves in a bottle, fa la la la la la la la la
All the shops are open Sundays, fa la la la la la la la la
Buy your Dad some socks and undies, fa la la la la la la la la

Deck the sheds with bits of gumtree, (you can imagine the fa la bits now)
Hang some deco's off the plum tree
Plant some kisses on the missus
Have a ripper Aussie Christmas

Say g'day to friends and relies
Wave them off with bulging bellies
Kids and babies youngies oldies
May your fridge be full of coldies, fa la la la la la la la la"

You may have noticed a fair bit of colloquial language. Whack means throw; undies is short for underwear, with the more common way of referring to this commonplace Christmas gift being socks and jocks - but that doesn't rhyme; deco is an abbreviation for decorations; missus is a reference to a female partner in marriage; ripper means excellent, fantastic; g'day is good day said rapidly and without opening the mouth too wide so as to possibly let flies enter; relies are your relatives; a fridge is a refrigerator, and coldies are cold bottles or cans of beer.
6. The Wheeler and James carol 'Three Drovers' describes a Christmas night when what kind of birds flew across the sky as the drovers saw a heavenly light in the sky?

Answer: Black swans

The song uses a number of elements of traditional Christmas carols, but translates them to an Australian setting. We have drovers riding across a plain, instead of shepherds tending their flocks; three of them reminiscent of the three wise men; they see a starry light and hear a "wond'rous tune" from on high, which sends them on their way full of wonder.

"The black swans flew across the sky,
The wild dog called across the plain,
The starry lustre blazed on high,
Still echoed on the heavenly strain;
And still they sang, 'Noel! Noel!'
Those drovers three. 'Noel! Noel! Noel! Noel! Noel!'"
7. According to the song 'Aussie Jingle Bells' as performed by Bucko and Champs, "It's summertime and I am in / My singlet, shorts and ___." What goes in the blank to compete the lyric?

Answer: Thongs

Thongs is the term that Colin Buchanan and Greg Champion used for their parody of 'Jingle Bells', but they have many names: flip-flops, pluggers, slops, plakkies, and more. A number of other names are associated with a country name indicating the country with which they are associated. The New Zealand jandals, for example, was originally a trademarked name for Japanese sandals, while Russians call them vietnamki. Whatever you call them, they are perfect footwear for a hot summer's day!

Let's all sing now:

"Dashing through the bush,
In a rusty Holden ute,
Kicking up the dust,
Esky in the boot,
Kelpie by my side,
Singing Christmas songs,
It's summertime and I am in
My singlet, shorts and thongs.
Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
Christmas in Australia
On a scorching summer's day, Hey!"

Holden is an Australian carmaker, who developed the Ute (short for utility vehicle, like what I grew up calling a pick-up truck). Esky is a brand name for a box that carries food and/or drink, kept cold by the inclusion of ice. A kelpie is a breed of Australian herding dog. A singlet is a sleeveless top with large armholes and a low neckline.
8. In her song 'Island Christmas', Christine Anu refers to the colours of Christmas as "green and gold and ..." what other colours?

Answer: Red, black and yellow

The colours of green and gold are the national colours of Australia, worn by athletes and sporting teams that represent the country in international competitions. Red, black and yellow is a reference to the flag commonly called the Aboriginal flag, one of the proclaimed national flags of Australia. The flag was designed in 1971 by Harold Thomas, originally as a symbol of the land rights movement. According to him, the black represents the Aboriginal people, the red shows connection to the red earth and the yellow disc is the sun, giver of life.

Christine Anu was born in Queensland, of Torres Strait Islander heritage. Her first hit song was a cover version of 'My Island Home', and this song from her 2014 Christmas album of the same name evokes a similar sense of belonging in the land of her ancestors.

For those of you who are not familiar with the song, here is the chorus:

"Hey! Happy people, come together gather round now
It's Christmas in the land of the dreamtime
Southern Cross twinkling up in the sky
Island Christmas, my island Christmas."
9. Maurie Fields's song 'An Aussie Bush Christmas' describes the scene as "Santa" makes his traditional appearance at a community Christmas celebration. After dispensing the presents he has brought for the children, he sits down and makes what request?

Answer: Give us a beer.

The setting is the kind of Christmas function that used to be a regular feature of the season, organised either by a company for its employees or a community for their residents. The family day would usually include rides for the kids, a chance to perform (for young and old), and plenty of food. Always, a visit from Santa was the highlight of the day, with presents for each child. (My father-in-law used to play Santa for the steelworks Christmas picnic, and I can just see him as I listen to the song.)

"Santa arrives in his horse drawn cart
Although it's real hot he's still playin' the part
Parks in the shade of a Coolabah tree
Rubs, Hoh-hoh-hoh, then slaps his knee

The kids gather 'round in their thongs and their shorts
...
The presents come out and their beauty's no fear
Santa sits down and says, 'Give us a beer.'"
10. In 2021, Paul Kelly released an updated version of his 1996 song in which a prison inmate writes pensively to a friend about the family he will not be with at Christmas. It includes a traditional family recipe for what, which gives the song its title?

Answer: Gravy

'How to Make Gravy' is in the form of a letter written to a friend named Dan, in which the writer regrets all that he will be missing. The date of its original release, 21 December, has become known as Gravy Day amongst his many fans, and the song has been widely covered, as well as having multiple releases from Paul Kelly himself. Some of the family details change over time, but the recipe for gravy remains the same.

"They say it's gonna be a hundred degrees, even more maybe
But that won't stop the roast
Who's gonna make the gravy now?
I bet it won't taste the same
Just add flour, salt, a little red wine
And don't forget a dollop of tomato sauce for sweetness and that extra tang."

The recipe is real (apparently from Paul Kelly's first father-in-law), although the inclusion of tomato sauce (ketchup/catsup) is considered a bit controversial. In 2021, with so many families unable to be together because of COVID-19, the song has an extra level of poignancy.
Source: Author looney_tunes

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor 1nn1 before going online.
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