Gortha Ick

December 25th, 2019
music, songs, xmas
Every year my family gets together at Christmas, and in the evenings we sing carols. Up on the Housetop always ends with this parody verse:

Pa, Ma, and Grandpa, and Grandma sad,
All I declare have something bad
Even the baby hates its part
Hugging a rattlesnake close to its heart

Yo ho ho, who wouldn't go
Yo ho ho, who wouldn't go
Up on the housetop, click, click, click
Down through the chimney with Gortha Ick

My great-grandmother wrote this with her sisters as a child in North China, around 1890. Gortha Ick was their nickname for the neighbor's cat.

The "yo ho ho"s aren't parodical; we sing the whole song that way. I'm not sure where that came from; it looks like the original 1864 lyrics are "O! O! O!":

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