Songs that shaped us…Summer Wonderland

Christmas is coming and down here in New Zealand we do things differently. Our temperatures are rising and rather than snow we look forward to a sunny thirty degree day when Santa visits. Dining outside we feast on cold meat and salads followed by a meringue-based dessert with a crisp crust and soft light inside, usually topped with fresh summer berries and whipped cream (Pavlova). No hot sticky puddings for us.

Leading up to the big day, we enjoy all the usual traditions which include tree’s covered with decorations, wreaths, mince pies, Christmas cake, houses covered in flickering lights and singing Christmas Carols.

Carols are based on the northern hemisphere cold wintery scenes, that was until 2016, when Air New Zealand set about creating a uniquely New Zealand Christmas song. A youtube clip which combines the comedy of our teenage actor Julian Dennison with the amazing talent and magical sounds of artist Ronan Keating dramatises the process to update the classic Winter Wonderland carol to create a New Zealand inspired version. The classic carol, first published in 1934 by composer Felix Bernard and lyricist Richard B. Smith, sets a scene of snow at Christmas and building snowmen creating a Winter Wonderland whereas by contrast the lyrics of the ‘Summer Wonderland’ version set the scene of a hot New Zealand summer Christmas celebrating with family by eating, drinking and playing in the sunshine.

The song was an amazing success and Air New Zealand donated proceeds to the Starship Foundation which supports initiatives for improving child health.

Enjoy the lyrics below and watch the hilarious Summer Wonderland video. Thanks Air New Zealand for shaping our Christmas.

Summer Wonderland

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?
Sunburn sting, ice blocks glistening
The beautiful sight
Of barbies alight
Strolling through a summer wonderland

Pour the Sav in the sunshine
Serve the pav up at lunchtime
Pop the bubbles for Nan, Pineapples on ham
Strolling through a summer wonderland

In the arvo we can grab the wickets
And plastic cricket bat your brother found
Backyard full of all your distant rellies
So we pass the can of mozzie spray around
Later on, sun is falling
And your drunk uncle’s snoring

We’ll hear the birds in the trees
Feel the warm breeze
Strolling through a summer wonderland
Way down here, Christmas landmarks
Are summer flowers and funny tan marks
We’re happy and bright
Not a snowman in sight
Strolling through a summer
Strolling through a summer
Strolling through a summer wonderland

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