Australian ‘Merry Christmas’ and a Beaut ‘Jingle Bells’

Sydney Heads from Dobroyd Head, near Manly
Sydney Heads from Dobroyd Head, near Manly

Sydney, Monday

This afternoon the view out Sydney Heads was peaceful.  Sydney Harbour will be filled with large sailboats on Boxing Day, for the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.

The current forecast is for “spinnakers up and a fast start.”

Christmas in the Summer

Christmas and Boxing Day come in summer Down Under, and often include a trip to the beach.

The first time I heard ‘Merry Christmas to You’ was three months after we moved to Australia, when my son sang it with his primary school classmates at their end-of-year concert.

I was adjusting to Christmas in summer, and thought the song perfectly captured the experience of Christmas in Sydney.  Coming up on my fourteenth Christmas here, I feel the same today.

“Merry Christmas to You” – by Jeffrey Leask

   Oh the sun is high above us and the day is barely new,
While the hot, north wind is blowing
and the sky is shining blue.
On this golden day, as of old we say:
‘Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, to you.’

  See the ocean dressed in silver and the seagulls sailing high,
On the boats out in the Harbour, sailors hear the cry.
On this golden day, as of old we say:
‘Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, to you.’

  From the noble emerald forest
to the sapphire mountain range,
From the rugged rocky gorges to the dusty, sunburnt plain.
On this golden day, as of old we say:
‘Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, to you.’

Christmas Time is Beaut:  Aussie “Jingle Bells”  

Aussies are nothing if not relaxed and irreverent.

Clive and I heard this song on the car radio today, and think it captures the wonderfully casual, humorous side of the Australian culture.

Words by Colin Buchanan

  Dashing through the bush, in a rusty Holden ute
Kicking up the dust, esky in the boot
Kelpie by my side, singing Christmas songs
It’s summer time and I am in my singlet, shorts and thongs.

Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way
Christmas in Australia on a scorching summer’s day,
Jingle bells, Jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut.
Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty holden ute.

  Engine’s getting hot, dodge the kangaroos
Swaggy climbs aboard; he is welcome too.
All the family’s there, sitting by the pool.
Christmas Day the Aussie way, by the barbecue.


  Come the afternoon, Grandpa has a doze.
The kids and Uncle Bruce are swimming in their clothes.
The time comes round to go, we take a family snap,
Then pack the car and all shoot through
before the washing up.



ute = utility truck, small pick-up

kelpie = a type of sheepdog

esky = cooler (from Eskimo cooler)

beaut = beautiful

swaggy = swagman, temporary worker carrying possessions in a sack (immortalised in the song “Waltzing Matilda”)

shoot through = leave in a hurry

Aussie Jingle Bells with music and pictures

4 Responses

  1. Now where would I rather be …Sydney looks so inviting!!

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, hope you have a lovely time.

  2. I would love to hear the tune for Merry Christmas to you. I am a music teacher in Ohio and am planning a Christmas around the World kind of program and wanted to include this song. I would appreciate any help you could be for this. Thanks!

  3. Mary-Jane, I have the actual sheet music somewhere, thanks to my son’s Aussie teacher — I will see if I can find them and scan to you! Thanks for your interest – it is a beautiful Australian song.

    Cheers and good luck with your Christmas around the World program – great!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: