Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Continuing Christmas Carols

There’s an episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond” in which Debra Barone tries to convince husband Ray that he would be healthier emotionally if he would randomly set aside time to cry once in a while. He tries it, putting on some sappy music and sitting down to somber up. Then he renounces his folly, and puts on something to which to dance.

I identify with Ray Barone. I don’t like to feel emotionally manipulated, and that just automatically excludes many styles of music (mostly slow ones). I think a lot of males feel this way, even if they don‘t state it so.

But not all slow music is to be shunned—far from it. Slow, emotionally fraught melodies that have an actual point to the sentiment… that’s laudable. And the best of this variety tends to be Christmas music.

“The First Noel,” “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” these are some of the most moving songs I’ve ever heard. There is little more beautiful than a passionate group of terrible-to-fair amateur singers quietly breathing them in unison.
But they haven’t been sung so this year.

Part of it is that Christmas almost sneaked up on me this year. It felt like such a brief period of activity, what with everything else I’ve had to do. More so than that, though, is that this year I just didn’t see anybody (outside my immediate family) get involved in that kind of Christmas music. Even the more popular “Feliz Navidad” and “Silver Bells” were completely passed over.
This must be rectified! (As I said in the previous post, I have no qualms singing carols straight through to ‘06.)

So, who wants to join me for some late Christmas caroling? We could walk around, randomly spreading joy to those suffering from post-Christmas gloom.
Ah, never mind. I’m guessing that the activity of caroling, which will bring people out of their homes to listen in peaceful joy on two nights of the year, will only succeed in getting the carolers shot at any other time.

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