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Christmas Music
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My secretary likes to listen to the radio at this time of year to three endless weeks of what I consider to be pseudo-Christmas music: White Christmas, Little Drummer Boy, Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus--you get the idea.

What's worse: she sings along, off-key. Shudder.

I found a Christmas Carol Sing-A-Long site, turned up the speakers and had a grand old time with REAL Christmas Carols: O Little Town of Bethlehem, Joy to the World, The First Noel, Silent Night, Angels We Have Heard on High, Good King W, We Three Kings, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Away in a Manger.

All the old favorites. We used to go from house to house around the town square, singing Christmas Carols in the snow (and freezing our toes the while). When I was in my teens, my choral group decided we were not satisfied with just one verse for each song, so we learned more verses, each one of us taking two or three carols and memorizing the verses. I can still hear, "Venite Adoremus, Venite Adoremus, Venite Adoremus Dominum." O Come All Ye Faithful in 4-part harmony. Silent Night with soprano two-part antiphonal. Angels We Have Heard on High, with deep indrawn breaths to sing "Gloria" all in one unbroken line.

The householders would invite us in to admire the tree and warm our hands in front of the fire (politely ignoring our dripping boots) and drink a cup of spiced cider or tea. Of course, in a small town, they knew all of us--had watched us grow up and would see us on our way into the big wide world.

It was a long time ago. Another universe.

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