Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Christmas caroling is a tradition in which groups of singers travel from house to house, singing carols.
These carolers are in front of the BuzzFeed offices singing the The Twelve Days of Christmas, which contains:
- On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me.
- 12 Drummers drumming
- 11 Pipers piping
- 10 Lords a-leaping
- 9 Ladies dancing
- 8 Maids a-milking
- 7 Swans a-swimming
- 6 Geese a-laying
- 5 Golden rings
- 4 Calling birds
- 3 French hens
- 2 Turtle doves
- And a partridge in a pear tree.
The carolers changed the lyrics to match the headlines of the topics published by BuzzFeed, which usually contain a number and a superlative (for example, 13 Worst Plane Crashes of the Decade or 8 Otters Who Are So Cute We Can't Even Handle It).
This method of writing headlines is used by several other news sites, because it is known to generate a lot of visits (and ad revenue). Randall has touched on this subject before in 1283: Headlines.
Carolers are usually rewarded with a gift, but the BuzzFeed writers probably didn't appreciate the song, because they threw weird stuff at them (which the carolers used in their 6th verse).
- [Carolers singing.]
- 12 Best drummers of all time
- 11 Pipers whose jaw-dropping good piping will make you cry
- You won't believe what these 10 lords leap over
- [Comic caption]
- Carolers outside the Buzzfeed offices perform "12 Weird things I actually got for Christmas"
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- The Buzzfeed YouTube Channel uploaded a video called The 12 Days of Internet Christmas, which is similar to The Twelve Days of Christmas song. But the video contains a number of strange objects and images, to name a few, a naked Ryan Gosling and four men with curly beard. Because of its absurd content, according to the like-dislike ratio, the video's quality is rather controversial.
Randall seems somewhat obsessed with buzzfeed titles lately. I suggest whoever takes this explanation upon themselves to refer to 1283:_Headlines, as the two comics circle pretty much the same subject. I've got a feeling he made at least one more comic on this matter, but Headlines is the only one that popped to my head. Maybe you could refer Headlines to this comic because they share the same concept? Dulcis (talk) 06:43, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
I have added the link from 1283:_Headlines to this comic. I also think there is at least one other comic that thouches on this, but it has slipped my mind at the moment. Kynde (talk) 13:36, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
5 Gold iPhones!!! --DanB (talk) 14:44, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
I don't like how Buzzfeed is taking over the Internet either, so kudos to it and get off my lawn. 126.96.36.199 20:03, 23 December 2013 (UTC)
Weird. I only just learned what Buzzfeed was the other day (and in the comments came across this link: http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=buzzfeed )
Additionally, the Reading Every Book What-If was published the day after I had that same conversation with someone. 2Spooky.
- Doesn't hurt that I have that conversation a couple times each year. 188.8.131.52 03:24, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
Wait a minute... following the pattern of the first three lines, the Buzzfeed writers are apparently throwing swans at the carolers. 184.108.40.206 07:28, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
In the explanation, shouldn't it be 4 colly birds? 220.127.116.11 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
- @18.104.22.168 - Six geese, according to the version I know (also listed above). Although I've heard all kinds of mix-ups (12..9 Lords/Ladies/Pipers/Drummers, for example, rather than P/D/Lo/La), it seems to be pretty universally swans for the seventh multiple. It's been prone to change in the days of yore, of course, oral memory and localism.
- @unsigned "colly birds" commenter - Likewise, "calling" is well established variant (easier for city-folks who are used to caged songbirds, perhaps), I'm sure the following covers this... https://www.google.co.uk/#q=colly+birds+or+calling+birds (Although I haven't looked at any of what's said there, myself. It'd take the mystery out of Christmas. Merry Christmas, BTW, to one and all. And Randall, especially, if you're actually likely to read this in time, or at all. Happy (next) Birthday or Future Christmas or Labor Day or whatever else is imminent, if otherwise! ;) 22.214.171.124 14:53, 24 December 2013 (UTC)
Did anyone ever go try doing this at BuzzFeed? --126.96.36.199
14:05, 29 January 2014 (UTC)