Saturday, December 20, 2014

12 Yats of Christmas

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me....

Ok folks, ya gottta bear with me on this one.

I have only been a tourist in New Orleans over the years, but the city captured my heart as soon as I arrived for my first visit.  

The following song, "The Twelve Yats of Christmas" needs some 'splainin for people not familiar with NOLA.  

It was written over twenty years ago by a local musician named Benny Grunch; he says it was pretty much on a whim - someone asked him at a gig to play a version of "The Twelve Days of..." that applied to New Orleans.

  "I was at a gig at the Riverwalk and screamed down to one of the guys in the band: 'What's some'n New Orleans that rhymes with pawtridge, and boy,  he said it in a second: 'Crawfish!"

The references are local restaurants (Tujaque's), stores (A&G, Schweggman), locations (Arabi, the Lower Ninth Ward, Metairie), and institutions (crawfish, Dixie beer,).  Some of the things mentioned aren't around any more but some are.  (For example, the Lower Ninth Ward still exists in spite of the best efforts of the incompetents at the Corps of Engineers.)  

The word "yats" refers to Yat - a dialect spoken in New Orleans, as well as to the people who speak it.  "Yat" is a shortened form of "Where 'ya at?" which translates to "How are you" or "How's it going?"

With all that in mind, pop open a Dixie and enjoy the inimitable Benny Grunch and the Bunch singing the traditional NOLA Christmas carol, "The Twelve Yats of Christmas"....

The "Twelve Days of .... (whatever)" is not one of my fave holiday tunes.  This is probably my most favorite version of my least favorite - but really, any song in which you have to sing through 78 lyrics just to get to the end is a candidate for the Insanity Top 40.  With a bullet.  

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