the minor premise

the minor premise

Monday, December 28, 2009

Many Happy Returns

So often the "race to return" dominates commercialist after-Christmas activities. While I don't care for that scene at all, I do like this send-up of the old "Twelve Days of Christmas" carol, which chronicles the returning and otherwise disposing of the well-known "twelve days" gifts. I sang this piece with my college-community choir way back when and still enjoy the humor.

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Friday, December 25, 2009

News from Mt. Crumpet

No survey of Christmas music would be complete without the Dr. Seuss song, "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch." And no survey of Internet music would be complete without Tay Zonday. Hat tip to No. 1 son!

The minor premise feels it necessary to state that, while professing admiration for Mr. Zonday's performance, it does not agree with his soapbox at the end. Everybody knows the Grinch's problem was a two-size cardiac insufficiency, not the economy.

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Jingle Bell Rocky and Christmas Balls

Happy Boxing Day everyone! As a departure from C's more serious offerings, I give you Rocky and Balls' Song about Christmas songs, The Christmas Song Song. This song provides way in which you can get all of your caroling done in one sitting, which is convenient if you have other things to do.

Thanks to No. 1 son for pointing this one out.

How many hats (and moustaches) do they go through during this song, anyway?

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009


The Mandragora children's Choir performs Robert Southwell's "This Little Babe" from Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols. Beautiful!

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

From North of the Border

Today's offering is the Huron Carol, sung in Wendat (Huron), French and English. This song was written by Jesuit martyr Jean de Brebeuf (and set to a French folk tune) to explain the Nativity to the Huron (now Wendat or Wyandot) Indians to whom he ministered.

By the way, we did this piece in our church handbell choir back when that was still extant and it is a fun ring!

[Strangely, I seem to have started with Siouxie and wound up, if not at the Sioux, then close enough. I also managed to venture north of the Great Lakes without bringing up the McKenzie brothers' version of the Twelve Days of Christmas, of which I am duly proud.]

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That Mountain Music

Today, a mountain dulcimer interlude. First is the lovely "Coventry Carol." In about 20 years maybe I'll be able to play this well. I'll need a long calico dress and sunbonnet, work boots, and a corncob pipe to complete the look then.

For an encore, what could be better than kids with dulcimers? They sound great, and li'l bro's windmill strum at about 1:o8 is amusing!

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Moving in a More Traditional Direction

From Sting's new album of Christmas and winter songs, If On A Winter's Night, here is the beautiful 15th Century German carol, Lo, How a Rose (please excuse the ad--this was the only recording I could find.) I'm quite excited with the way Sting has done this album, with traditional instruments and arrangements. Yet it still sounds very Sting, and you wouldn't mistake the original songs for anyone else's.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

What The Hey? Christmas Edition, or, Out of the Blue and Into the Black : The Saga Continues

Can someone please explain to me what could possibly have possessed first-generation punk rockers Siouxie and the Banshees to cause them to record a Christmas carol? And to play it more or less straight? The band looks a little bored, I'll grant, and the guy with the drum (Budgie, was it? I didn't really follow punk back in the '80's) rolls his eyes a couple of times. But then they haven't got a lot to do as it seems the vocals are all Siouxie overlaid over Siouxie over Siouxie. She sings it well, too, though it would have been nicer if she had sung more than the first verse over and over. Anyhoo, here they are in all their nihilistic splendor:

The Lord really does move in mysterious ways.

I'd been entertaining thoughts of posting some interesting Christmas music over the next week, though this really wasn't the direction I had in mind. The fact is, there were any number of kids' choirs (even the requisite '60's French pop singer) over on YouTube who performed the song with far more charm and poignancy (probably reverence, too, though no one ever knows for sure.) It does sort of tie in with D's post on musical acts one would never expect to record Christmas music (what's next? The Sex Pistols covering Sleigh Ride? previously unreleased tracks of Iggy Popp doing Andy Williams tunes? A Kulture Klub Kristmas?) So because of that and just because it's the sort of thing that piques my curiosity, this ended up being the kick-off post. I expect to be going in a more traditional direction hereafter.

Though if a grainy video of Boy George belting out the Boar's Head Carol surfaces somewhere on the 'Net, I could change my mind...

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Swing and A Miss

Golfers are familiar with the terms "Mulligan" and "Gimme," but how many are familiar with the term "Tiger?" A duffer hits a "Tiger" when he drives 50 yards and lands, disasterously, against a tree.

Recently around here, the news has been full of infidelity. (One could argue that mainstream news always lacks fidelity, but that is for another post.) South Carolina First Lady Jennie Sanford giving the gubenatorial heave-ho to husband Mark for his transgressions with an Argentine "soulmate." And of course Tiger Woods playing at least an extra nine. I turned on the television the other night to find an entire show dedicated to infidelity: Cheaters. (Will they get around to making shows about the crossing of the other nine commandments?)I couldn't watch more than a few minutes of this "show."

Exposure to infidelity seems inescapable, if lamentable. A good friend at work is having to go through a divorce because of his wife's infidelity. In the first three places I lived during my married life, my next door neighbors divorced (ok, the last ones weren't legally married, but you get the point.), and at least two were due to infidelity. Such things could give one a complex.

All this stands in marked contrast to the example of the Holy Family. Mary and Joseph were not without issues -- Mary's surprise pregnancy must have been a terrible shock, and could have had fatal consequences had she been betrothed to someone else. But we remember the nativity with Mary and Joseph in attendance.

Some look on marriage as quaint and out of date; and yet, the tabloids make a killing from exposing marital transgressions. Despite the sexual revolution, we cannot escape the premise that adultery is wrong.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Collins Carols

Still in a musical mode, but a bit more Adventy: here is Judy Collins performing The Cherry Tree Carol.

Two candles are lit, and two more to go. . . .

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Friday, December 04, 2009

Out of the Blue and Into the Black, part 2

The Parody department presents he audio version of "Enter Santaman:"

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