'The 179 Days of Christmas' Is a 9-Hour-Long Holiday Song That's Designed to Be Hated

Joren Cull, YouTube
Joren Cull, YouTube

Officially, the longest song ever released is "The Rise and Fall of Bassanova," a 13-plus-hour electronic epic that came out in 2016. Yet somehow, a new song released for Christmas 2018 feels so much longer that that. "The 179 Days of Christmas," introduced to us by The A.V. Club, is almost nine hours of nonstop, terrible lyrics bopping along to a cartoony woodblock beat.

We can't recommend the song, per se, but we certainly appreciate its dedication to the concept. Created by illustrator Joren Cull and musician AJ Ing, it's a play on "The Twelve Days of Christmas" that considers what else someone could receive for the holidays—with a sense of humor straight out of South Park.

Accompanied by cute animations from Cull, the lyrics are a hodgepodge of odd, random, and occasionally super-dark concepts to dwell on. The list begins with things that conceivably could be OK to receive as gifts—say "14 singing Furbies"—and then it gets weirder. Suddenly, you're up to "35 dreams that crumbled," "66 dancing earthworms," "70 unpaid interns," and "94 allergic reactions." To get a sense of the writers' sensibilities, you need only know that the entry for the number 69 is simply a cackle of laughter.

Last year, the Port of Vancouver—as in, the transportation authority for Canada's largest port—hired a choir to sing a three-and-a-half-hour-long song about the 6000-odd items that passed through its control in 2017, labeling it the world's longest holiday song. This video takes the concept to a whole other level.

All of this is to say that if you really want to play a prank on your family this holiday season, stick this tune on your Christmas party playlist. We bet—really, hope—you won't be able to sit through the whole thing. Listen below if you dare.

[h/t The A.V. Club]

9 Other Things That Happened on July 4

iStock/LPETTET
iStock/LPETTET

Of course we know that July 4 is Independence Day in the U.S. But lots of other things have happened on that date as well. Here are just a few of them:

1. Three former presidents died.

On July 4, 1826, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson—America's second and third presidents, respectively—both passed away. The two politicians had a love-hate relationship, and Adams's last words were supposedly, "Thomas Jefferson survives." (He didn't know that Jefferson had passed away a few hours earlier.) Exactly five years later, on July 4, 1831, fifth U.S. President James Monroe died in New York City.

2. Henry David Thoreau moved to Walden Pond.

On July 4, 1845, Henry David Thoreau began his two-year living experiment at Walden Pond, near Concord, Massachusetts.

3. Alice Liddell first heard the story of Alice in Wonderland.

On July 4, 1862, little Alice Liddell listened to a story told by Lewis Carroll during a boat trip on the Thames ... it would later become, of course, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It was published exactly three years later—on July 4, 1865.

4. Two famous advice columnists were born.

On July 4, 1918, twin sisters Esther Pauline and Pauline Esther Friedman were born. Today they're better known as Ann Landers and Dear Abby.

5. George Steinbrenner came into the world.

On July 4, 1930, future Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was born (and presumably fired the doctor immediately).

6. Lou Gehrig delivered his retirement speech.

On July 4, 1939, Lou Gehrig gave his famous retirement speech at Yankee Stadium after being diagnosed with ALS. He tells the crowd that he considers himself "the luckiest man on the face of the earth."

7. The Zodiac Killer killed for the first time. (As far as we know.)

On July 4, 1968, the Zodiac Killer murdered his first victims (that we know of) at Lake Herman Road in Benicia, California.

8. Koko was born.

On July 4, 1971, Koko, the sign-language gorilla, was born.

9. Bob Ross passed away.

On July 4, 1995, Bob Ross died, and all over the world, Happy Little Trees were a little less happy.

This list first ran in 2008 and was updated for 2019.

10,000 People Gathered at Stonehenge to Welcome the Summer Solstice

Finnbarr Webster, Getty Images
Finnbarr Webster, Getty Images

There are plenty of reasons to welcome the start of summer. Today, people visiting Stonehenge took that celebration to a whole new level.

The BBC reported that an estimated 10,000 people made the pilgrimage to the 5000-year-old site to partake in summer solstice festivities. "Stonehenge was built to align with the Sun, and to Neolithic people, the skies were arguably as important as the surrounding landscape," Susan Greaney, a senior historian at English Heritage, said in a statement. "At solstice we remember the changing daylight hours, but the changing seasons, the cycles of the Moon, and movements of the Sun are likely to have underpinned many practical spiritual aspects of Neolithic life."

These spiritual aspects are just one of the many fascinating facts about the summer solstice; the day is an extremely old calendar event recognized by ancient cultures across the globe. They include the Druids and other pagans, whose tradition of observing the solstice at Stonehenge has long been upheld by modern revelers.

Scientifically speaking, Stonehenge is an optimal viewing place for the solstice due to its structure. According to TIME, the site’s architects appeared to have kept both the summer and winter solstices in mind during its construction, as the positions of the stones are specifically tuned to complement the sky on both occasions.

The solstices were sacred to the pagans, whose modern-day followers continue to honor their rituals. Pagans in particular refer to the day as Litha, and mark it with activities such as meditation, fire rites, and outdoor yoga.

“What you’re celebrating on a mystical level is that you’re looking at light at its strongest," Frank Somers, a member of the Amesbury and Stonehenge Druids, said in 2014. "It represents things like the triumph of the king, the power of light over darkness, and just life—life at its fullest."

Those who were unable to make the journey can head over to the Stonehenge Skyscape project's website, where English Heritage’s interactive live feed fully captured the experience.

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