I’m Dreaming of a Brown Christmas – New Lyrics for an Old Carol

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Merry Christmas everybody! While people back home in Canada are playing in the snow, I’m playing with snakes here in Australia. Go figure. I’m dreaming of a brown Christmas…because it certainly isn’t white here.

This post was originally published in 2009. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content. 

This year, Kelly and I are playing “tag along” with some friends of ours for a jam-packed few days of house visits, food, cheer, food, gifts, food, games, and probably – some more food.

And although Aussies also like doing the full roast dinners, the quintessential Aussie Christmas food isn’t roast: it’s…

Shrimps on the Barbie!

As I said last year, Christmas in Australia is a touch surreal. The temperature being well into the 30’s (celcius), and the height of summer on-foot, it isn’t the idyllic winter wonderland that Kelly & I are used to, much less the Christmas the world sees on television.

So instead of everything being white from snow…it’s brown from dried grass!

So the other night when we were singing carols at the Rotary Christmas dinner, I felt that one carol in particular was just wrong. I mean, Jingle Bells – I could handle, despite the whole “dashing through the snow” in sleighs and stuff. Again – it’s a stretch for Australia. But I can handle Jingle Bells.

The real culprit here…is I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas. As sadly appropriate the words are for Kelly & I right now (yes, “just like the ones we used to know“), it’s just way too far off in left field for Australia. I mean, really. It’s 40 freaking degrees today.

So, fellow Aussies: for you, I have re-written the lyrics to I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas. With these new lyrics, you will be able to identify with and celebrate all that is Christmas….Australian Christmas….Brown Christmas.

I’m Dreaming of a Brown Christmas

-(a blasphemous adaptation by Nora Dunn)

I’m dreaming of a white brown Christmas

Just like the ones I used to know

Where the tree tops swimming pools glisten

and children listen

to hear sleigh bells cicadas in the snow yard

I’m dreaming of a white brown Christmas

With every Christmas card I write

May your days be merry under and bright down

and may all your Christmases be white brown.

I think Bing Crosby would approve.

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13 thoughts on “I’m Dreaming of a Brown Christmas – New Lyrics for an Old Carol”

  1. Merry Christmas! Love the song! Warm Christmas is really difficult…I was in Vietnam last year and it was hard to get in the ‘spirit of xmas’. However it sounds like you are doing quite well adapting!
    I’m settling down in the midwestern US preparing for the blizzard headed our way…wish I could send some of the snow to you – but then again I’m sure you have plenty of water already!

  2. Hey Nora!

    Brilliant Fun …as usual.
    ….. But it’s brown in this part of Canada too …er .. green …
    no brown………. no white
    or something like that, depending on where in Canada you sit yourself

    Santa’s in for an interesting ride this year

    Love Ya
    Merry christmas

    Sonia & Benson

  3. Haha. Cute. I like the “May your days be under and down”. I didn’t know you were back in Oz?

    I can’t stand Christmas here! There is nothing right about it. Daylight til 10? C’mon, it’s supposed to be dark at 4:30 so we can see our tree lit up properly! 🙂

    The other song that totally doesn’t fit is Let It Snow. Wrong wrong wrong.

    We’re leaving Melbourne Jan 10…plans about to be revealed on Matador Trips, stay posted!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to you guys!!


  4. Hey Sherry, I was in Vietnam last Christmas too! In a little isolated, rustic beach resort called Jungle Beach, just north of Nha Trang. We wrapped our gifts in palm leaves and decorated them with seashells.

  5. Nice one Nora (and a great picture!)

    I’m dreaming of a brown Christmas
    Just like the ones I used to know
    Where the swimming pools glisten
    and children listen
    to hear cicadas in the yard

    I’m dreaming of a brown Christmas
    With every Christmas card I write
    May your days be under and down
    and may all your Christmases be brown.

    I’m dreaming of a brown Christmas
    Where the flies are a humming
    The beers are a foaming
    And we make, a great cricket score

    I’m dreaming of a brown Christmas
    Where the sun is shining
    The beach breaks are booming
    And we drink a tiny little more

    I’m dreaming of a brown Christmas
    Where the family play nice
    And we’ve plenty of ice
    To chill the beer for bloody sure

    I’m dreaming of a brown Christmas
    Where the nights are late
    And the red wine great
    Where we snooze each arvo to restore.

    Sorry Nora, bored at “work”

    Have a great one. Grate up some ice and throw it at each other! Or roll around in it naked. THAT may cure you of the need for white!
    To dry out from the night before

  6. @Carlo – Indeed: it just doesn’t feel right down under. Funny thing is – some born & raised Aussies would agree! It’s just…different. Can’t wait to discover your upcoming travels….looking forward to the post!

    @Sherry – I think the spirit of Christmas in each of us is a little different…borne of how we were raised. Christmas anywhere other than where I am from seems different….and I’ve had 4 abroad now….

    @Frank – I knew only you could come up with the rest of the verses….and in such splendid style too! Kelly just suggested that we submit it to the Australian something-commission-of-christmas-carols-or-something-like-that as an Aussie Christmas Carol! Whaddya think? I think we stand a chance….it’ll be the New Australian Christmas Carol!

    @Heather – I hear that in some places in Florida the residents go bonkers with lights….have you seen much this year?

    @Sonia – Not many people down here believe that not all of Canada is blanketed with snow! Hopefully you have a few white patches (that haven’t turned yellow yet!) to sing the praises of White Christmases! I’ll not soon forget the wonderful Christmas we had in South Africa…

    Merry Christmas….my love to everybody!

  7. @Flip – Indeed: That is a real snake I’m holding! He’s pretty tame though….can’t really hurt me. Hopefully I can get a few more pictures with snakes….I know a guy….he literally has dozens in his keep….I’ll probably stay away from the Death Adders, Tiger Snakes, and the salt-water crocodile though… (smiles!)

  8. Trust me! I would have definitely gone for a Merry Brown Christmas over a chilly one stateside! AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE

    David Damron


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