Tuesday, December 06, 2005

O Holiday Shrub

You can't say "merry Christmas" in some stores. Santa Claus can't be portrayed without his wife. Christmas trees are becoming "holiday trees." Schools are banning even instrumental versions of religious Christmas carols. In recognition of this, a new CD has been released. Please check out this new CD! A track listing is below, with why the original song is defective in parentheses.

Read on at An Aid to Memory!

(Very reminiscent of that excellent series from the mid-90s: "Politically Correct Bedtime Stories.")


Anonymous said...

Quite amusing. I will refrain from purchasing this "holiday" collection.

Instead I encourage all to stick with the Christmas Classics (and the Advent ones too!).



assiniboine said...

Curiously, the loveliest commercial Christmas music I heard last shopping season -- it was a liturgical-sounding choir singing the Darke version of "In the bleak midwinter," I think, though it may have been something else: Sir John Goss's "See amid the winter's snow," perhaps -- was in a largely Chinese mall where doubtless it was entirely piped in for its beauty and some sort of vague association with the season. In the midst of all the garish tinsel and decorations (and no holiday garishness beats Chinese mercantile garishness!) one might have thought such music would seem rather defiled by the circumstances one found it in. Quite the contrary: it totally transformed the whole experience (I abhor shopping) and I was so moved that I had to find a place to sit down. My Indian Christian shopping companion -- who does NOT abhor shopping -- found me there, immediately realised what was up and had to sit down himself! My other Indian shopping companion, a Muslim, was not similarly moved but he did think the "opera music" was extremely nice.

Of course there is a lot of room for political correctness: think of all the really terrible words one used to hear that are now thankfully banished. But not, I think, when it comes to turning away from authentic traditions that can hardly offend anyone who isn't determined to be offended. (One should really ask before presuming as to what is offensive in this matter.) And for my part, "real" Christmas music (as opposed to Bing Crosby, say, though I'm very partial to Nat King Cole)is entirely acceptable even in a shopping mall.

assiniboine said...

(That sounded terribly po-faced and earnest. I do appreciate that it is a joke!)

assiniboine said...

Hmmm...a little foray down to the Australia Post this past week rather set my head a-skirl.

Sheesh -- $150 to send a book and a CD! Gawd! But they did confide that I could use old fashioned surface-mail.

So I shall.

But this gives the opportunity to add a second CD of other stuff besides the English evangelical hymnody that I urge on you. And stuff that you might not otherwise hear. I now do so.

My Tamil friend Sam, for example, caught me absent-mindedly humming a psalm in the car in Anglican chant -- I confess that I may have been doing it mildly facetiously: Anglican chant is mildly silly, to my way of thinking (though I am well able to accompany it at the organ in a way that even Anglican congregations say is ... "Well, really! What were you doing there? I LOVE the way you accompany Anglican chant!")

But thoroughgoingly Indian Sam said, "NOW for the first time that I have known you, you are singing REAL religious music that an Indian Christian will recognise! How do you know this music?! This is REALLY exciting! It is JUST like back home in Madurai! What IS it?!" It's Anglican chant, Sam.

You will realise what Sam's Christmas stocking contained.

I of course include a couple of examples of the music that so excites my friend Sam.

Gashwin said...

A$150? That's what, about $110 US? That's absurd!. I've sent books via USPS and the most I've paid for regular airmail (this was to India) was around (US)$30 or so. Rip off!

I must let Sam know that most Indian (Latin) RCs wouldn't know any chant if it hit them in the face. At least in my experience, and as I've mentioned before, liturgical music at Mass in India just sucks. Big time.

Surface mail is fine -- as long as they get here. Anyway, I'll have your copy of the memoirs of Ms. Sheth shortly ... :-)