The Goose is Getting Fat

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat.

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat.

Not sure what a psychiatrist would make of this admission, but “Christmas is Coming” was my favorite carol as a child. No, scratch that. It was my favorite Christmas carol to sing as a child, though I preferred listening to others. Does this distinction make sense? Think of “100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall”, for example. Fun to sing given the right context, but I’d gamble that most of us have a long list of songs we’d rather listen to…

Originally a nursery rhyme, “Christmas is Coming” is most enjoyable when sung in the round with your brother and sister while commuting an hour over icy roads to school, patient mother at the helm occasionally joining in for a round.

If you’re inspired, but can’t remember the words, here’s a pre-Christmas gift for you:

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat
Please put a penny in the old man’s hat
If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do
If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you!

If you picked up on a subtle deviation in the first line, the change is mine. I’ve always sung about a single goose rather than a flock. Stick to the original if you’re a purist.

About a week ago a friend told me, “I can always tell when it’s you because you’re a whistler.” I guess I am. Not a good whistler, mind you, but an enthusiastic whistler. Sort of like my dancing! Not fun to watch, but plenty funny! And enthusiasm isn’t the only common denominator, though I’m not sure how to put my finger on the other similarity. Freestyle, perhaps. I’d like to say innovative, creative, improvisational or even uninhibited. But I’ll surely be called to account if I gloss up the merits of my freestyle whistling and dancing. Melodies and rhythms are flexible, mere inspirations for extemporaneous experimentation. Ah-ha, I’ve got it. I’m a jazz whistler!

What? Your BS detector is buzzing? Hmmm… Must need a new battery.

What’s your favorite Christmas carol? Dare to whistle it?

4 Comments to “The Goose is Getting Fat”

  1. nuvofelt says:

    Thanks for the ping-back, and that post also includes my favourite. It’s always been a single goose for me too!

  2. virtualDavis says:

    So I’m not alone in the mono/multi goose camp. Glad to hear it, and I’ll start anticipating your rousing rounds of whistled goose caroling… Cheers!

  3. But what about all the other geese? Is no one feeding them? ;)


    I always enjoyed singing this one, too. Though the one I enjoy singing the most is “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”. To enjoy it one must sing it as fast and loud as they can manage. It’s also advisable to wear some kind of protective clothing to prevent injury from objects hurled by bystanders.

  4. virtualDavis says:

    Objects hurled by bystanders? Sounds like full contact Christmas caroling! Might appeal to a whole new crowd of revelers. Thanks for sharing your preference. Are we going to hear your whistled version including hurled object sound effects?!?! ;-)

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