Last summer (August 2007), following a kind word from our rare musical saw player par excellence Rusty Sawbones during a recording session at Rave On Studios, the Planks were invited to contribute a tune to the second annual Very Vancouver Christmas SPCA benefit compilation (of which volume three is now available!) Taking a tip from Andrea Hector’s “Old Mutt For Christmas” the first year around (as well as perennial holiday novelty favorite “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas“), during a reading material-less Greyhound trip back from a silent-movie-themed wedding in Washington State, Blackbox drew up a list of holidays and animals associated with them, aiming to distill them down into a document stating a central core thesis: that animals are pals for all year round, not just holidays.
Of course, knowing that everyone else on board would capitalise on the donation of their work to demonstrate their soft-pop radio friendliness, and knowing that even if we tried the Planks could do no such thing, instead we perversely went for contrast and dwelled gleefully glumly in our trademark melancholic sound… but with goofy lyrics, however cogent to the matter at hand.
Our local animal shelters are still earning royalties from our somewhat terrifyingly sloppy recording (second only to the terror of the photoshop jobs that incrementally crammed the entire band into a single frame), so it can’t be dished up for your enjoyment without stealing valuable pennies from the pound (but here’s a fun way you can send some kibble their way!), but Plank alumnnus (and filk superstar!) Strong Brew Lundervillain did record an uncannily spirited version of her own with musical partner John (and here is their website) and here you can even download it. Gadzooks!
Now, for the first time, if you like you can even have the option of reproducing the tune for yourselves courtesy of one of Blackbox Squeezebeard’s bastard streamlined lyrics/chord arrangements, not entirely dissimilar to the ones the Planks learn all their songs with!
intro: A- D- E7 (I want a hippopotamus for Christmas...) A- E7 A- E7 A- E7 A- A7 Never give a puppy for Christmas / Never give a chipmunk in the fall... D- A7 D- E7 F+ E7 Never give a woodchuck for Groundhog day / Never give an octopus at all! A- E7 A- E7 A- E7 A- A7 Never give a bunny at Easter / Never give a cat for Valentine's... D- A- E7 A- B7 E7 A- A7 A Passover pig is a bad idea, and don't even think of New Year's porcupines!
D- A- E7 A- A7 On St. Patrick's Day don't bring in any snakes / St. Patrick drove them out but you can't undo his mistakes... D- A- B7 E7 Don't give a caged bald eagle on the day of July 4 / On Hallowe'en a raven we'll be giving NE-VER-MORE...
(two instrumental verses, restart first line of first verse, then) D- A- E7 F+ E7 A- D- E7 A- Never give a woodchuck for Groundhog day / Never, no never, no never, give, an octopus at all!