Monthly Archives: December 2008

I have a problem with Phillips Brooks today, people.

We meet tomorrow to go over the music for Christmas Eve
and I am feeling good about our choices – EXCEPT FOR THIS:

Where children pure and happy pray to the blessed Child,

where misery cries out to thee, Son of the Mother mild;

where charity stands watching and faith holds wide the door,

the dark night wakes, the glory breaks, and Christmas comes once more.
The first line of the penultimate verse of O Little Town of Bethlehem
just plain grates on me. What about all those unhappy
children? How about the impure ones? Frankly-
speaking as a mamma, here – aren’t they all kind of impure?
Born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.
The children don’t fit with the rest of the verse, which
I think fits darn well with Christmas as we do it in
beautiful downtown Bean Blossom. It makes me wonder
if Phillips Brooks started with something different in line one
and changed it because it was such a downer.
I don’t mind editing hymn texts.
[That’s me you see, waving at you, hiding behind the (alt.)]
I have a rewrite of “Let us with a gladsome mind”
that I am quite chuffed about. But I am not
coming up with anything for this line – indeed,.
I’m finding it hard to think about the question.
Starving children keep climbing onto the page.
Later – I left it in, we sang it as written on Christmas Eve,
it was creepy, Next year this verse might get quietly dropped.

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Filed under Christmas, liturgy, music

A wild, rainy day in December…

…with the wind wuthering around the house. I’m preparing a program on the history of Christmas carols for a gig on the fourth Sunday of Advent at a retirement home here in Bloomington, and I have been considering the folly of attempting such a program ten blocks or so from the Jacobs School of Music at IU. How many retired music professors will I have among my listeners? Best not to worry. Maybe they will be polite to the storyteller.

The church where I worship is preparing to give a group reading of my Nicholas stories on December 20 and I am immersed in that project – as an organizer, not a teller. Right now I am working on collecting six brooms. (We used to do it with two brooms, but we’ve expanded the janitorial staff. )  The program begins by claiming the performance space – a meeting room at the library – with a Christmas Sweeping Poem. I’ll put that up over on the same page as the script, later today. Not much to do today but stay indoors and hone the perfection of various web sites.

Actually, there might be one or two other things to do, and I’ll go do some. Eat breakfast, for instance.


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