With my sincerest apologies to Clement Clarke Moore and to Richard Stallman.
'Twas the night before M-x mas, and all through the list Not a lurker was stirring, nor were they missed The ports were opened on the firewall with care In hopes that st. ignucius soon would be there The parens were nested, all snug in their configs While delusions of wit danc'd in their sigs With a hot cup of tea, and pillow at my back I checked out the source for a short winter's hack When out on the server a hard drive expired And I ran through the house to put out the fire Wanting the data, for this mystery to uncover I tear open the casing, and try to recover Though I cry, and I shout, and computing gods implore I'm left with the backups from two days before When, what should my bloodshot eyes near discern But a hacker itinerant, and four FSF interns With that little old yeelong, so lively and free I knew in a moment it must be St. Iggy More rapid than eagles his fingers they flew As he danced, and he sung, to a bulgarian tune Join us now and share the software; You'll be free, hackers, you'll be free. Join us now and share the software; You'll be free, hackers, you'll be free. As microsofties before the GPL fly Or when led to the zune store, obsessively buy So onto the network, his interns connect With a disk full of source, and documentation correct And then in a twinkling, as I wait to reboot I hear a creaky mixture of floorboard and foot I open the door, just enough for a glance and I see good old St. Iggy, warming his hands He was dress'd in white robes, from his beard to his ankles And his feet were quite dirty, from ill fitting sandals A disk platter was strapped to the back of his head And his hair look'd quite hippy, straight out of bed His eyes were quite focused, with passion most clear His cheeks rosy tinted, with much M-x mas cheer, He has the nasally voice of a New England sage And the beard of his chin was flecked grey with age His laptop he held loose on the palm of one hand With emacs open and ready to receive its command A quick tap on the keyboard to check his email just a memo or three, and a flame on e-devel He jots off a reply, as quick as a flash Then a quick swig of water, and some nuts from his stash With a nod of his head, and a scratch of the chin He signalled to me that his speech will begin He spoke at great length, on non-free software most vexing And fill'd us all up with visions of mac store protesting He wraps things up with a tale of macaws Before giving a bow, and receiving applause He sprung from his lecturn, and to his interns he hollers And for the fare home, asks a fee of some dollars But I heard him exclaim, ere he ran into the black Happy M-x mas to all, and to all a good hack
The first six lines were written to break the silence on #emacs. After that, I was compelled to keep going till I had finished.
Edit: 2013/12/29 At the request of rms, I made a few small changes to prevent some possible misconceptions. In the interest of historical accuracy, you can still read the original.