You know what’s cool about some Christmas carols? Like the super old ones, like Silent Night and Hark the Herald Angels Sing? They’ve been around a long ass time.
I was watching the 1938 version of A Christmas Carol this evening, and when Scrooge is with Christmas Present he’s watching his nephew and the Cratchits in church. Where everyone was singing O Come All Ye Faithful. And then I just got this feeling, that this movie from 1938, about a story written and taking place in like 1850 or so, features a church service where they are singing O Come All Ye Faithful. The very same O Come All Ye Faithful I’ll be singing at a church service on Christmas Eve here in 2010.
Times like this I understand more why people cling to their religions and/or traditions. Not so much necessarily any ideological reasons, but that belonging to some long-running chain of events, that makes one feel part of that something bigger, yet in a sense that each one of us is significant in it. Something like that.
When I went to London last year, I visited Saint Paul’s Cathedral, which has been there for like over a millennium. Or, more accurately, since it was rebuilt after that big ass London fire in like 1666 or something, but in any case, that site has been used for religious purposes for that millennium or so. While I was there, they did a quick afternoon service and some choir was singing. And I thought while sitting there that here I was, witnessing yet another service in the countless number of them that had been going on there since so very many centuries ago. Neat.
Christmas songs are perhaps my favorite thing about the season, what with embodying all the traditions have been swept into the veritable Katamari that Christmas is, as well as the general joy. And music is fun anyway!
And I wonder that a century from now, two centuries from now, they’ll still be singing Silent Night and Angels We Have Heard on High, as well as the newer but just as fun and meaningful songs, and the even more Christmas songs that have yet to be composed. Now that’s what I call seeing Christmas Past, Present, and Future!