Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Show 224 Wednesday 13 December

Watch today’s show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.
I watched the 12 days of Christmas video on YouTube and I thought it was pretty cool. I love it how it’s not professional singers it’s just regular people sitting in front of their computers singing and one guy’s like reading off a piece of paper.
It got me thinking about the lyrics and the meaning of the song.

This is what wikipedia says about the history of the song: The Twelve Days of Christmas is a children’s rhyme that was originally written in a book called Mirth without Mischief, published in London around 1780.

So its origin is England, which might explain why some of the words don’t make a lot of sense to me, like “partridge in a pear tree”. What’s a partridge? Well, it’s a kind of bird apparently.

When I was a child we had a book with a New Zealand version of that song so all the lyrics were changed to things that are relevant to New Zealand.
So, instead of a partridge in a pear tree it was a pukeko in a ponga tree. A pukeko is a kind of New Zealand bird and a ponga is a kind of tree.

There are also many parodies of this song. You can read some in Wikipedia.
Anyway here are the original presents:

twelve drummers drumming
eleven pipers piping
ten lords a-leaping
nine ladies dancing
eight maids a-milking
seven swans a-swimming
six geese a-laying
five gold rings
four collie birds
three french hens
two turtle doves and
a partridge in a pear tree

I don’t know what’s with the: a-leaping a-milking a-swimming a-laying ...

If anyone can explain that to me, please do. I tried to look to look it up but couldn’t find anything about it. Is it just in the song because the writer thought it sounded good – or was that a normal way of speaking or writing at that time?


Kia ora in Stick News today inochi 命has been chosen as the character of the year.

Every year in Japan a kanji character is chosen in a public poll as the character of the year.
This year’s character is inochi which means life.
In 2006 the emperor’s first grandson was born. Many students killed themselves after being bullied. There were also many child abuses reported.
Almost 100,000 people took part in the poll by the Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation.
The foundation said many people in the poll chose the character because “it was a year they were made painfully aware of the gravity and value of the unique gift of life given to an individual”.

The kanji of 2004 was wazawai 災which means disaster and last year it was ai 愛which means love.
And that was Stick News for Wednesday the 13th of December.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

It rained last night and today. What? It’s not supposed to rain.

conversations with sarah
#134 Jingle Bells is pretty popular.

Step 1: Repeat Shin’s lines.
Step 2: Read Shin’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Sarah What are some of the famous Christmas songs in Japan?

Shin Jingle Bells is pretty popular.

Sarah Oh yeah. I’ve heard that in shops a lot.

Shin And Last Christmas.

Sarah That’s right! That was used in a drama last year wasn’t it?

Shin Yeah, with Oda Yuji.

Sarah Actually I think it might have been the year before last.

Yeah, I think it was two years ago. Oda Yuji also sang another Wham song didn’t he?

Sarah Yeah, Wake Me Up Before You Go Go... it’s one of my favorite songs... not when Oda Yuji is singing it though.