World Music Advent Calendar - December 22nd
AUSTRALIA: White Wine In The Sun - Tim Minchin
Comedian Tim Minchin’s song is the perfect song for atheists, non-Christians and Christians who are able to laugh at the tragic comedy has Christmas become in the Western world. Whilst on this journey of World Music Christmas exploration we have discovered cultures in which Christmas is more of a religious affair, for example in Ethiopia, it is fair to say that the spirit of Christmas has been well and truly hijacked by consumerist ideologies that have poisoned Western culture. That said, the central idea of modern day Christmas is one of the family, community, and gathering together. It is such a powerful notion that people outside of the Christian faith respond to it and adopt it for themselves, which is one of the key elements to Minchin’s satirical takedown of the festival. After listing his issues with the modern-day festival and religion itself, Minchin acknowledges the real power of Christmas - meeting and cherishing time with one's family - transcends all the issues that he raises surrounding commercialisation, fake reverence of tradition and the faux appropriation of a religious text. Whilst the beauty of this song comes from the astute lyricism and comic rhyming patterns, it must be said that for a man who at the time was primarily a stand-up comedian, Minchin must be commended for his piano skills and powerful voice. The song also has a typically Australian touch to it, not the digeridoo, but rather the reference to antipodean summertime, 'white wine in the sun' as opposed to more common transatlantic imagery of drinking mulled wine sat around a log fire.