Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Did I Hear That Right?



Here's my grandson Grant watching my brother Gary strum a Christmas carol at our holiday get-together this past weekend. The little guy is so fascinated by music and musicians.

During the party I teased my nephew that I know how they sing "Deck The Halls" in his hometown of Traverse City, the lyrics having been changed slightly to "Don we now our bright apparel, fa la la . . . " by an elementary teacher up there in the tip of northern Michigan.

Apparently, the teacher couldn't get her charges to stop giggling at the line, "Don we now our gay apparel." Of course, news of the change went viral and brought outrage upon the school. Ironically, Traverse City had just passed a gay rights ordinance during the November election.

I like listening to carols new and old. And speaking of changes, I detected one in the wintry "Baby It's Cold Outside." The version with Dean Martin has the lady relenting to staying "just a cigarette more."

But in a more recent version with Jessica Simpson, that line has been replaced by "just a half a drink more." Just as smoking has become verboten on television and movies, it's being eliminated in updated covers of popular Christmas carols.

Christmas songs are often the subject of revisions and controversy, which is too bad. I did a little research and found out that "O Come All Ye Faithful" had one of its lines changed, apparently by someone who thought "Oh Come Let Us Adore Him" was too sexist. One church changed that to "Oh Come In Adoration." I swear I've also sung it as "Oh, Come Let Us Adore Thee."

Wonder how the Latin version translates. I remember singing the Latin version in public grade school. My guess is that you don't hear "Oh, Come All Ye Faithful", Latin or English version, sung that often in public grade schools in this day and age.

Even on the radio, it seems that traditional Christmas hymns play second fiddle to songs about Frosty, Santa and reindeer. When was the last time you heard "Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming" or "The Coventry Carol"? There should be a place for traditional Christmas songs among all the commercialism and pop.

11 Comments:

Blogger Lynilu said...

"...apparently by someone who thought "Oh Come Let Us Adore Him" was too sexist."

Well, I knew there was some dissention about God perhaps being a woman, but this is the first indicator in my experience that Jesus might have been a baby girl!!

Holy cow, er, I mean, bovine!!

8:36 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

LYNILU--I haven't seen any revisions lately to King James to suggest that Jesus might have been a girl, but I wouldn't be surprised to find one.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Carine said...

Dave, saw Tom Jones and some new female singer do a very racy version of "Baby it's cold outside". some of the reviews on YouTube- "My favorite date rape song of all time".

sure made me think twice about the original version!

9:50 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

CARINE--Yeah, especially the line, "I wonder what's in this drink?"

5:27 PM  
Blogger Nankin said...

I was listening to carols on the radio this morning and one line popped out at me. "Christ was born on Christmas day." When you stop to think about it...it sounds like Christmas day came first. Or am I being too literal?

6:19 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

NANKIN--And it seems that I heard that December 25th was chosen to celebrate Christmas as it was already close to the date of another Roman holiday.

3:48 AM  
Anonymous Debbie said...

Grant is such a cutie!

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas.

I love all Christmas music, and sing them they way I did when I was little.

The only one that's banned in my family is "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer"--my mom created that rule.

8:14 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

DEBBIE--I've never liked Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer either. It was funny the first time, like the barking dogs do Jingle Bells. But too soon it gets old.

5:29 PM  
Blogger Yoga in Mirrormont said...

You need to listen to a classical music station, Dave. Surely they have one in West Ypsilanti?

I don't care for the grandma song either, especially after the birth of our third grandchild (first granddaughter) just before Christmas.

Alas, what's this vile varmint in my sugar bowl?

2:32 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

YOGA IN MIRRORMONT--Sugar is sweet, not as sweet as a rose but certainly more than a bloomin' onion.

Ann Arbor's too hip for a classical music station. Xmas carols are easier to sing around the holidays anyway--we sang the Hallelujah chorus at our church service this week (that's classical, right?. Very difficult to reach the high notes.

Having raised only sons and now a grandson, we wouldn't know what to do with a granddaughter. Congrats.

3:47 AM  
Blogger icedgurl said...

trekking your lovely blog!!! thanks for sharing and keep posting! Happy New Year!

cheers!
..TREK..

5:30 AM  

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