It Takes a Village

Mostly, I tune it out.
I’ll be in a store, or a Coffee House
It’s the first week of December
Christmas Music is playing a Little Too Loud

I ignore it.
I don’t like when the Beautiful Sounds of a Season I treasure
Are coopted in an attempt to make me buy things.
So I have a pretty strong filter.

But then, there’s a few that break through…
ANDY WILLIAMS singing “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”
THE CARPENTERS’ “The Christmas Waltz”
DEAN MARTIN’s “Marshmallow World”
…Infectious!

There’s those few that seep in and get past all the things we don’t like about it
That make us feel something Really Good about it All
The Great Lyricist, YIP HARBURG used to say,
“Music makes you feel a feeling
Words make you think a thought
But a Lyric makes you Feel a Thought!”

And these Lyrics
These Performers
And Countless People we’ll Never Know who Played the Instruments,
Produced the Recordings,
Operated the SoundBoards,
Negotiated the Contracts,
Cleaned the Rest Rooms at the Recording Studios
Repaired the Traffic Lights that Everyone needed to drive safely to the Studios to make the Recordings
Or Drove the Trains or the Buses
Or Worked in the Factories that Built the Vehicles that Got them there
Or prepared the Food they had on their Lunch Break that Day
Or Delivered it…

Or worked the Deskjobs in the Companies that Designed the Record Jackets
Or did the Logging to make the Paper on which the Songs were Printed
Or Worked the Cash Registers in the Stores that sold the Records
Or Conducted the Orchestras
Or inspired the Ideas…

It takes So Many People to make a Song
The Way we hear it
It takes So Many People to Create Even the BackGround Experiences in our Day-to-Day Lives
And once in awhile
One of them Breaks through our Filters
Our Defenses
Our Blockades
And Gives us Christmas
And makes it Possible for us to sing it to our Children
And to Celebrate
And to Feel Like Christmas

ELLA FITZGERALD’s “Sleigh Ride”
BARBRA STREISAND’s “Christmas Memories”
AMY GRANT’s “Breath of Heaven”
SARAH MCLACHLAN’s “The First Noel”
NANA MOUSKOURI’s “Old Toy Trains”
NAT KING COLE’s “The Christmas Song”
HARRY CONNICK JR’s “When My Heart Finds Christmas”
JOHN DENVER & THE MUPPET’s “When the River Meets the Sea”
DONNY OSMOND’s “Mary Did You Know”

What’s Your Favorite?

With Thanks to All the Performers we Know
To all the Writers we know less
To all the Producers and Musicians we don’t know
And to Everyone it took to make that Song Happen that we could never Possibly Know…

Just Imagine what You are doing,
Even Now,
And the Ways you perhaps cannot See,
That are helping to Create the Next Full-Of-Wonder Thing
For Future Generations to Enjoy…
That is Helping to Create Christmas…

# # #

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1 Comment

  1. Hess, Richard (hessre)

     /  December 9, 2014

    Thank you Arnold. Your gratefulness is a tonic. It is refreshing. And it is oh so rare. Thank you for your words.

    Reply

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