Lab Tracks

Lab Track: White Wine in the Sun

For the last lab track before Christmas, I give you a tear jerker. Australia native Tim Minchin sings a tune about how he loves Christmas despite the odd beliefs and uncomfortable commercialism since it means he gets to go home and see his family. (For those of us from the northern hemisphere who need the reminder, December in Australia is summertime. During Christmas, Australians have outdoor barbecues and enjoy the sunshine — thus, the “drinking white wine in the sun.”)

Put this one in your headphones and stop multitasking for a while. I dare you to keep a dry eye.

I really like Christmas
It’s sentimental, I know, but I just really like it
I am hardly religious
I’d rather break bread with Dawkins than Desmond Tutu, to be honest

And yes, I have all of the usual objections
To consumerism, the commercialization of an ancient religion
To the westernization of a dead Palestinian
Press-ganged into selling Playstations and beer
But I still really like it

I’m looking forward to Christmas
Though I’m not expecting a visit from Jesus

I’ll be seeing my dad
My brother and sisters, my gran and my mum
They’ll be drinking white wine in the sun
I’ll be seeing my dad
My brother and sisters, my gran and my mum
They’ll be drinking white wine in the sun

I don’t go in for ancient wisdom
I don’t believe just ’cause ideas are tenacious it means they are worthy
I get freaked out by churches
Some of the hymns that they sing have nice chords but the lyrics are spooky

And yes I have all of the usual objections
To the miseducation of children who, in tax-exempt institutions,
Are taught to externalize blame
And to feel ashamed and to judge things as plain right and wrong
But I quite like the songs
I’m not expecting big presents
The old combination of socks, jocks and chocolate is just fine by me

‘Cause I’ll be seeing my dad
My brother and sisters, my gran and my mum
They’ll be drinking white wine in the sun
I’ll be seeing my dad
My brother and sisters, my gran and my mum
They’ll be drinking white wine in the sun

And you, my baby girl
My jetlagged infant daughter
You’ll be handed ’round the room
Like a puppy at a primary school
And you won’t understand
But you will learn someday
That wherever you are and whatever you face
These are the people who’ll make you feel safe in this world
My sweet blue-eyed girl

And if, my baby girl
When you’re twenty-one or thirty-one
And Christmas comes around
And you find yourself nine thousand miles from home
You’ll know what ever comes
Your brother and sisters and me and your Mum
Will be waiting for you in the sun
Whenever you come
Your brothers and sisters, your aunts and your uncles
Your grandparents, cousins and me and your mum
We’ll be waiting for you in the sun
Drinking white wine in the sun
Darling, when Christmas comes
We’ll be waiting for you in the sun
Drinking white wine in the sun
Waiting for you in the sun
Waiting for you…
Waiting…

I really like Christmas
It’s sentimental, I know…

This has been another installment of Monday Lab Tracks. Send us your musical recommendations through our contact link at the top of the page, and tell us what you think of the song in the comments below!

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Ashley Hamer

Ashley Hamer

Ashley Hamer (aka Smashley) is a saxophonist and writer living in Chicago, where she performs regularly with the funk band FuzZz and jazz ensemble Big Band Boom. She also does standup comedy, sort of, sometimes. Her tenor saxophone's name is Ladybird.

3 Comments

  1. December 19, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    It’s so touching because it’s such a personal confession of his feelings and it does pretty much nail why Christmas matters. Well, to me at least.

  2. December 19, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    It defines it for me, too, as one of the newly deconverted, as to what Christmas is all about. The song doesn’t make me teary, so much, as I see it as a happy song. It makes me remember the good times I’ve with my extended family over the years and that makes me smile, not cry. 🙂

  3. December 21, 2011 at 7:23 am

    I’ve never liked Christmas. My family is small and we never got along well enough for me to get too excited about it after I discovered the Santa secret. And still this song slays me.

    Having grown up in Canada I still find Christmas in Australia a little weird. On my first one here I went outside during the big in-laws feast and took a nap under a tree, just because I could without risking death by hypothermia.

    It’s still a little jarring though, everywhere you look all the wintery northern hemisphere Christmas imagery is present. Shops will have snow men in the window, Santa has a fur hood and gloves and so on. There’s the occasional concession to the fact that it’s summer but those images are in the minority. It really feels like a failure of imagination.

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