Jewish Christmas Carol Blogging

December 10, 2008

So I suppose I techincally can’t join in the fray quite the same way as some others can, but half (roughtly) of my family tree is Baptist, more or less, so anyway, in response to this post on carols, I’m going to go out and say that my favorite Christmas carol is “Carol of the Bells.”  In fact, it’s probably my favorite Channukah song also.  Don’t ask me to give you all (or very many at all) of the words, though; they come too fast for me to remember.

My father didn’t like it, or “Little Drummer Boy,” because he felt they were too sad for Christmas; as for me, I find the creepy-factor likeable in “Carol of the Bells.”  (We never listened to “Little Drummer Boy” in my house, it was never sung at my great-grandparents’ house, and the radio station changed if it came on.)   And while it’s not the only song with this ability, if I hear it unexpectedly, it takes me back to the moment I first consciously listened to it — middle school, holiday assembly, as the choir sang it.   For me, at least, “winter” music is sadder, bleaker, and more prone to minor key than warm-weather music.  As in: Emmylou and Cash are for Autumn, all other Sinatra is Spring and Summer, but Leonard Cohen and Sinatra-getting-over-Ava are what come to mind if you ask me for “winter” music.

I think it’s because shortly after the first snowfall I tend to catch myself thinking, “Oh yeah — that schmuck Hades stole Persephone.”  And the first line of a poem by the lovably insane Kentuckian-turned-Alabamian-poet/professor T. Crunk: “The cold reveals everything.”  And up here, cold means cold, as I was reminded when I got back after Thanksgiving.  There’s something to that biting cold with the wind whipping down to your bones as it comes in off the lake that makes it hard not to be a little too honest with yourself.

But then again, there’s nothing quite like that wind in your face when you wake up early and wander around in the morning quiet after a snowfall.

I’ve lost track of what any of this has to do with Christmas carols; for that I apologize.  It’s the end of the quarter.  I’m running on, among other things, George Jones playing far too loudly from the speakers and not much more.


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