Who remembers "The Flintstones" theme song? [hand raised]....
When you're with the Flintstones,
You'll have a Yabba-dabba-doo time,
A dabba-doo time.
We'll have a gay, old time!
Well then, that was 1960. A time when the word 'gay' meant happy. If that show was produced today, the theme song wouldn't be exactly the same. Words change their meanings over the years. In the early part of the 20th century, making love to a woman merely meant wooing her. Later, it would mean something completely different.
The melody of "Deck the Hall" is taken from "Nos Galan" ("New Year's Eve"), a traditional Welsh New Year's Eve carol published in 1794.
There are plenty of examples of the word meaning "carefree," until the mid-1970s. Perhaps it had a secret double-meaning? An unspoken, implied meaning that was only included in hip publications and books - with a sly wink toward the sky - where a scant percentage of the population knew exactly what the author intended?
Whatever - nowadays, the word has only one connotation, that of sexuality. It's a shame that the meaning has transformed itself, but a bigger shame that corporate America feels it is necessary to replace the word so that our sensibilities will not be compromised, as they have with so many other things during the Holiday Season.
One wonders what Hallmark had to fear from selling a sweater with the phrase "gay apparel" on it. One also wonders why they would choose that particular phrase to begin with. Of all the P.C. Christmas-themed things they could have chosen, why bother to choose something that they would have to alter? It's a curious decision.
Hallmark defended the change in lyrics.
"When the lyrics to 'Deck the Halls' were translated from Gaelic and published in English back in the 1800's, the word 'gay' meant festive or merry," according to a statement released Wednesday. "Today it has multiple meanings, which we thought could leave our intent open to misinterpretation."
So, why bother, then? Pick something else. Leave us alone to be gay and celebrate Christmas, if that's what we want to do.