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Saturday, December 12, 2009

bringing Christmas home

Come rest ye merry gentlemen (and ladies) in the pews of Greenwood United Methodist for its 2009 Christmas cantata.

This morning I had a seven fifteen wake-up call, so that I might attend my first (and only) rehearsal with my grandparent's church choir. Basically, my sight-singing skills at nine a.m. are not up to snuff.

I am the youngest person in the choir. I am singing soprano, and I can hardly reach some of those notes on a good day, let alone at 9 a.m. without being warmed-up.

So, my family has made it a tradition to visit my Nana and Pop during their annual Christmas cantata as long as I can remember. Last year they thought it would be fun if I joined in. Now it's a tradition for me to participate, despite the facts that I can't make it to any of the rehearsals (today's being the exception) and that I don't actually go to the church.

We sing to a boom box.

Here are some of my favorite lines from our score I have pulled out specifically for their poetically understated tones...

"Come gather 'round where the fire is warm. We'll laugh at the stories we've all heard before. Sing the old carols till everyone knows we're bringing Christmas home." (What does that mean?!)

"Hope is in sight, it's the season, the season of light...Standing in the front yard, looking at the stars. They're calling out to us. It's the season of light."
This song then evolves into "Angels We Have Heard on High." (Duh)

"So much I remember, so much I forget. It's more about the longing than a feeling of regret. So I'll hold on to those memories like everybody does till Christmas is what Christmas was." (Somber, Dickinson would be proud)

The biggest problem with this cantata is not the boom box, or the ghastly lyrics. It does not lie in the fact that it's an English major's worst nightmare. No, it's the fact that all of the songs are taken horribly out of context. See, the very definition of a "cantata" is a lyric drama set to music. Hmm...

There is a play that goes along with all of the music. However, we're not performing the play. Therefore, all of the songs (especially the chipper, crowd-pleaser, "'Till Christmas is What Christmas Was") are taken completely out of context.

But, it's still fun to perform with my grandparents! Gosh, I love them.
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