Stranded Gypsy Girl

Original. Quirky. Spreading Love Like Dandelions

We Wish you a Merry Christmas: A Lesson in Manipulation Techniques December 16, 2008

Filed under: Culture and Society,Music — bessabariangirl @ 11:22 pm
Tags: , ,

Have you ever noticed how manipulative this Christmas Favourite is? Let us go through the lyrics and learn a lesson in MANIPULATION TECHNIQUES!

Do not be fooled by the cheery expressions...

Do not be fooled by the cheery expressions...

First verse:

“We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Good tidings we bring to you and your kin;
Good tidings for Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

LESSON #1: BUTTER UP

We can see that this first verse is very innocent and cheery. It lulls the listener into a false sense of security as they hum along and absorb all that Christmas merriment. The caroler hence is thought of as a nice, well meaning person and the listener is more likely to let them into their house and home. There is a proverb that states, “You can catch a bee better with honey than you can vinegar” which basically means SUCK UP and the sucker will come to you.

We can see that this particular caroler has taken that a step further and included the relatives; this is a gesture that can go one of two ways. If the caroler is lucky, the listener likes his relatives, the listener will be even more taken by the fact you remember his relatives. If the caroler is unlucky and the listener has terrible rellies, the listener will immediately become suspicious at this attempt and the former steps towards gaining their goodwill will be met with suspicion.

Second Verse:

“Oh, bring us a figgy pudding;
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding;
Oh, bring us a figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer”

LESSON 2: LET YOUR DEMANDS BE KNOWN IN PLAIN LANGUAGE

We can see that this caroler has used the direct approach. Their desired object suddenly has been put out in the open for all to see: the figgy pudding. They have subtly let the listener know their real intentions: they are singing for their supper. Now, such a direct statement may take aback some listeners or may produce sympathy. If the caroler is lucky, the listener is of a sympathetic kind and along with carolers is the type to let in stray cats and give them a good meal. This kind of caroler will assume that such a direct demand is proportionate to the amount of hunger the caroler is feeling and so will serve up figgy pudding quicker than you can blink. Most listeners however will be taken aback, hostilities will rise, and so this is when the caroler quickly launches into the next verse…



Third Verse:

“We won’t go until we get some;
We won’t go until we get some;
We won’t go until we get some, so bring some out here”

LESSON #3: LEARN THE ART OF A WELL PLACED THREAT

If the listener was feeling hesitant about giving in to the caroler’s demands, this really settles the case….an effective threat. This threat is effective because it

a) Uses a threat that the listener will find very irritating. (Obviously by now the caroler is getting on their nerves so any extension of their presence is going to be a suitable punishment)

b) Used a threat they can easily carry out without discomfort or harm to themselves (unless the listener starts throwing things)

c) Used a threat that only they have the power of providing…or not providing. The listener knows that this is a situation that is all in the hands of the caroler

Verse Four:

“We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

LESSON #4: LEAVE ON A GOOD NOTE

We see here in the fourth verse a reiteration of the first verse, something that will bring back pleasant memories with the listener, of times before things got nasty between them and the caroler. This makes them more likely to forget all that former hostility and open their doors to the caroler the next year…and make the mistake again….

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One Response to “We Wish you a Merry Christmas: A Lesson in Manipulation Techniques”

  1. i actually lolled at this classic


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