In the wake of the year’s news, which is uniquely still current Christmas Songs can be more of a minefield than usual. I mean, be fair if you can get out and have the money to conduct a ‘Christmas Shop’ of one sort or another are you truly convinced in 2020 ‘It’s That Most Wonderful Time of The Year’?
Back in the turn of the millennium I was still a UK Civil Servant working in a section of the Benefits System called ‘The Job Centre’. It was essentially a place where unemployed went to seek work and claim their Unemployment Benefit. Some klutzs, it’s the only way to describe the decision makers far removed from the realities of looking for work thought it would be a splendid idea to have music playing. Pop music happy, bouncy, pop music. In a place where the majority of callers are unhappy, stripped of dignity and worried about money trying to navigate a system that even the staff didn’t fully understand??? (Explicit words). Now if that was not bad enough the same bunch of socially comfortable and well paid folk decided there would be a Christmas series to play over December…..and amongst all the Yo-ho-hos, Santas, Log Fires, Driving Home (will you keep you fffff-lipping eyes on the road man!) what did we get?????? ‘Simply Having a Wunnderfful Christmas!’ (Even more bad words) being played in a Job Centre!!….Give me strength!…The number of times I wanted to hunt down the machine in our office playing that and tear the tape out (yep tape) for the sake of the public.
Anyway, that out of my system, you get the general idea. In my opinion Christmas Songs of all sorts should only be played at locations where those who agree they want them can listen and enjoy, or be thoughtful.
So before everyone decides ‘Hullo, this guy has a major ‘Huff’ about Christmas and is doing a fayre impression of The Grinch, or Scrooge pre-dreams’ I’ll move onto the ‘thoughtful’ part.
Below is a carol ‘O Come O Come Emmanuel’ sung in a traditional way, with lyrics displayed. I chose this because……wait, let me carry on after you’ve heard it
Hope it reached you at some level, because although Christian (Catholic- not that it matters except personally) I feel there is a universality about this one. Let me explain to all folk of whatever belief system (or none) of whatever circumstances, situations and outlooks.
Firstly the tune and the words are in truth sombre and restrained, there is no jolliness here, no urge for you to get up and dance about the place. This is an anthem if you like of a promise (dangerous word I know) of better times. Yes you can focus in on the narrow interpretation of the return of Jesus Christ and the Christian perspective of hope written therein and the joy that hope brings.
Return to the concept of the universality, and consider this song from there.
Firstly although a hopeful offering being sombre and reflective you could not say it is a ‘Jolly’ song, it does not call upon you to exude a happiness you might not really feel like exuding. It is simply, and here’s the word again HOPE.
Secondly the tune and the words are reflective, asking the listener to consider to be grateful for that HOPE.
Thus I ask you to consider joining with me, no matter what your faith or no faith might be, Adapt this message to your own perspectives, even write your own words if you want I wouldn’t be offended (as long as you didn’t assail my beliefs with parodies; don’t do that it’s not nice and you wouldn’t like my sardonic dismissive reply). Turn this around if you will to your own message of HOPE.
And I ask you to consider to be grateful that we have access to computers and we have the time to consider such matters and we are not out somewhere in some wreck of a country, scrabbling for survival and quite forgotten by most of the world. And think in the new year what you might be able to do, even in the smallest way to help someone somewhere.
Rejoice then in sombre and reflective ways.
And HOPE, never give up on HOPE
To You and those close to you I wish you a peaceful, calmly uneventful, contented (for the moment) time; you might not have it now, you might not want it now, you might wish for it later. Whenever, wherever I wish it to you.
(My apologies to fellow Catholics who may not agree with my Relativism. You know how it goes Four Catholics, Five Different Ways of Worship and Belief) .