The great Australian Christmas song: During the festive season, nothing sweeps you Down Under like a sentimental Yuletide tune… Aussie style.
For expats in particular, Australian Christmas carols can at once brighten up a dull wintery northern hemisphere day and yet leave you in a flood of true blue tears. While we make the most of our chance to experience Christmas in another country – hopefully with some snow – it is Chrissy when we miss home the most and when these songs become more than a novelty; they are anthems.
And for our foreign friends – yes, Christmas time in Australia is bloody weird come to think of it. Everything is decorated with images of holly, snow and reindeer while we watch the thermometer reach for 40 degrees Celsius as Santa grabs his surfboard. That dichotomy is the inspiration for most of the songs and adaptations in the videos listed below. We hope they give you a jingly, jolly hint of what a true blue Aussie Christmas is like.
Our 10 all-time favourite Australian Christmas songs
1. White Wine In The Sun (Tim Minchin)
In past years we have put a bunch of these songs up for a vote. Tim always wins. So now we just put him straight in at number 1. Done. Enjoy some searing socio-political critique before reaching for the tissues.
If you like it as much as we and the rest of our readers do, check out the song on Tim’s Facebook page where there are links to download the tune. Proceeds from the sale of the song over the festive season each year go to an organisation which supports children and adults on the autism spectrum. For 2018, Tim has nominated Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) to be the beneficiary. You can also donate directly to Aspect, here.
We really like Christmas and we really love your work, Tim.
2. Aussie Jingle Bells (Bucko & Champs)
The princes of the rurally cheesy, Australian bushy Chrissy ditty in their absolute prime. Their hot and dusty riff on the snowy classic is a pearler, and easily the best worst music video ever put to air by the ABC .. or anyone for that matter.
3. Christmas Photo (John Williamson)
“Yum, yum, pig’s bum, Christmas pudding”. Santa again in a ute, cricket out the back, and trying to get all the family into the annual group photo. And by the way, while Bucko & Champs are princes, John is the king of the bush at Christmas or any time of year.
4. How To Make Gravy (Paul Kelly)
Don’t forget your incarcerated family this Christmas. As he always does, Paul Kelly poignantly and tenderly tackles a sad reality for a lot of Aussies.
5. The 12 Days Of An Australian Christmas (from yesteryear)
A cute adaptation of the classic, featuring various native Aussie wildlife and an Emu up a gum tree. But how did it get there?
6. Go Santa, Go (The Wiggles)
Old yellow Wiggle, Greg, makes his triumphant return for this special update on a Wiggly Chrissy classic. Get your dancin’ shoes on, kids!
7. Six White Boomers (Russel Coight)
In years gone by we have insisted on the original version by Rolf Harris. These days though … hmm, yeah we’ll go with this one instead.
8. Carol of the Birds – Orana (John Williamson and choir)
Here we get the king at the ultimate Aussie carol shindig, Carols By Candlelight, singing this most beautiful of Australian Christmas songs.
9. The Aussie Christmas Song (Robin Bate)
We stumbled on this little known jingle while surfing through YouTube. A bonzer little independent effort that captures the Aussie Christmas spirit perfectly.
10. The Three Drovers (Sydney Philharmonia Motet Choir)
For our final installment we offer up this traditionally styled Australian carol written in 1948 by John Wheeler and William G. James who composed a number of original Australian themed Christmas songs as an alternative to the usual snowy stuff.
To our readers who are away from Australia this Chrissy, we wish you all the joy this big wide world has to give you, and maybe even some snow. For those of you back home, we love you and miss you more than you know … especially at Christmas.
TOP IMAGE: Aussie Santa – Shutterstock.com