Christmas Music for Children that Isn't Trite
  • Pes
    Posts: 623
    There is an awful lot of Christmas music out there that makes one cringe: simplified music that condescends, ditties to words that are never more than trite, music that tries to be cute. Can we not do better?

    There are exceedingly beautiful Advent and Christmas melodies that, in the mouths of children, make us aware of a primal innocence and the necessity of protecting and defending it.

    I'm thinking of the kind of melodies that evoke the magnum Mysterium.

    What are they?
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,177
    I have the children singing these:

    Creator of the Stars of Night
    O Come, Divine Messiah
    Veni, Veni
    Dona Nobis Pacem (round)
    Lo How A Rose
    Tollite Hostias
    Christ Was Born On Christmas Day (14th Cen German)

    Many can be found free right here:

    www.christmassongbook.net
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    "In the Bleak Midwinter", "Once in Royal David's City" (with all the verses!), oh just open up a carol book and pick away.
  • "Child of the Poor" keeps coming up around here.

    I cannot deal with songs that fail to project reality. Or put a "spin" on scripture.

    Joseph was a carpenter. Carpenters are well-respected, well-paid workers. I have certain doubts about seeing St. Joseph as a bumbling incompetent carpenter who was unable to provide for his family. And he wouldn't steal a donkey from the barn of some rich person. It had to have been his donkey...or he went to rent-a-donk and made a deal for the trip. Something a poor person could not have done. A donkey is equivalent to a Ford Taurus....not ostentatious like an Arabian horse, but good, quality transportation for his wife.

    If he was poor they would both have had to walk.

    Poor, so born in a manger? READ THE BOOK...there was NO ROOM at the inn. The Hilton and Motel 8 were booked. They didn't have the
    internet to make reservations. It was not because they were poor.

    And Mary. Poor? Of all people she was rich! To be chosen with the gift of giving birth and being mother to Jesus? Mother of God?

    Where DO THESE PROTESTANTS come up with these concepts?

    When working at a Baptist church I was very fond of asking the pastor, "Now...you told us what Joseph was thinking when he was standing there over the manger in Bethlehem. Just where is that in the Bible?"
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    It's economic liberation theology, Noel, not protestants. Without Catholic South America, the Episcopalians might not have screwed that up.

    And wherever it comes from, it's BS. Christ is God. It didn't matter if he was incarnate as the love child of Paris Hilton and Donald Trump, his Incarnation was humiliation enough. But people with an agenda have to change the facts to make it appeal to them, so he's the child of the poor/black/Latino/homosexuals/whatever group wants to make up their own theology next. And that stuff is deadly to the soul because Christ came to save souls, not uplift demographic groups.

    I strongly oppose book-burning/banning. It's a remnant of an ignorant past. But by all means, if you have "child of the poor" or any liberation theology Christmas carols, burn them. And then tell people "we can't sing those because I don't know where the copies are. But I DO have these nice Oxford Books of Carols..."
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 986
    I'm coping with "Mary, Did You Know" right now. No, it's not my pick - I'm just the organist at this gig. And when I have to play things like that on the piano, it's a "gig." Even my Southern Baptist grandparents wouldn't have like this song. And yes, someone asked the diocesan liturgy director if there were theological problems with the song - and he said no.

    And I too have the Oxford Book of Carols and offered my lovely little 3-part a cappella arrangement of the Huron Carol - and no, the choir director wasn't interested.
  • Jan
    Posts: 242
    "Mary, Did You Know"...what a nightmare!
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    FWIW, my only work in December is subbing at a Lutheran church in Advent and accompanying a youth chorale singing the Hallelujah Chorus. So there's some non-trite children's music for you!
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,177
    o jeez, mj! i had to play that... once... it's at the top of my personal blacklist of 'music' (it doesn't even deserve to be called music) to avoid.