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Saddam long way from Oz

Etta Long, who won a prize in a Shaggy Dog contest two years ago, is now serving with an Australian unit in Baghdad. Etta sent us this parody based on Irving Berlin's famous White Christmas, which we have compared with the original version:

White Christmas
 

Irving Berlin, Beverly Hills, L.A., 1942
Hot Christmas
(or Saddam long way from home)
Pte. Etta Long, Baghdad, Iraq, 2004.
The sun is shining, the grass is green
The orange and palm trees sway
There's never been such a day
In Beverly Hills, L. A.
.. But it's December the twentyfourth
.. And I am longing to be up north

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow.

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white.

The sun is shining, the sand is grey
The battle-scarred palm trees sway
There's never been such a day
In Baghdad City, Iraq.
.. But it's December the twentyfourth
.. And I am longing to quit the north.

I'm dreaming of a hot Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the sweatdrops glisten
And children listen
To hear bellbirds on the go.

I'm dreaming of a hot Christmas
With every e-mail that I send
May the days be happy for you lot
And may all your Christmases be hot.

[Sadly, Australia's Christmas Day proved to be far from hot. Maximum temperature in Sydney and Melbourne was only 22degC (71.6F). In bleak Baghdad, the maximum reading was 12degC (53.6F), and the minimum 2degC (35.6 F).]

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Story first posted January 2005

Copyright 2005

Eric Shackle

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