the state of things
It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas #5 (More Weird Shit That You Sing Every Year Without Thinking About It)
by Douglas Lindsay - 09:07 on 17 December 2008
It was the school carol concert last night, and this evening the one for the office where I have to play the guitar. Eight days until Christmas, and Carol Overload has set in. I’m ready for January. I’m ready to set off fireworks during Silent Night. When I’m King, I’m going to place a ten year moratorium on the playing and singing of all traditional carols, just so we can start to miss them. There will also be a ten year moratorium on Last Christmas, a life-time ban on Rockin’ Around the Stupid Christmas Tree, and a Ban For All Eternity on Wonderful Christmastime.
We sang Ding Dong Merrily On High last night. It’s a bit of a silly song, if catchy, but holy crap, did the guy who wrote it ever get writer’s block when he hit the second verse...
E'en so here below, below, let steeple bells be swungen,
And "io, io, io!" by priest and people sungen.
What? You’re standing there singing that OUT LOUD, and you’re thinking to yourself, what am I doing here? I could be watching tv or plucking my eyebrows or writing my own Christmas carol.
We also did Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. It’s a bit of a must, but there again - as in O Come All Ye Faithful - they have to give the virgin’s womb a mention. And with this one, the line immediately after is: Veiled in flesh the Godhead see... Sorry? You sing it every year, year in year out, veiled in flesh the godhead see like it’s a normal thing to sing, like it’s as normal as It’s Christmastime, there’s no need to be afraid...
They were keen on their virgin’s womb in those days. That tradition in Christmas songs sadly seems to have died away. It could work well in a modern day Yuletide classic setting. For example:
Last Christmas, we went to my room
But the very next day you still had a virgin’s womb...
Tonight is a mixture of English and Polish carols, but with a complete absence of Wham!, Mud or Kim Wilde & Mel Smith. There’s a Polish Carol called Pójdźmy Wszyscy Do Stajenki, (translation: Christmastime, Mistletoe & Womb), which bizarrely sounds like a German marching song. You can just imagine the Panzer commanders belting it out as they roll across the plains. It’s very Battle of the Bulge. The lyrics probably aren’t suggestive of that, although how would I know? The line od narodów upgragniony makes as much sense to me as, well, io io io.
I’m playing the guitar on that one, no matter how inappropriate it sounds. At the last rehearsal we were going through the list, and I was happily chalking off songs which I thought wouldn’t work with the guitar. I think I’d ditched 50% of them before the end. Unfortunately there haven’t been enough rehearsals to either A) sound good or B) give me time to systematically remove the guitar from every number. We will just have to go out there and face the music.
It’ll soon be January.
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