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Trying to Spread Holiday Cheer

JC, Tubby, Bri, and I decided we wanted to do some caroling this year, just for the hell of it. We got together and rehearsed a bunch of stuff. We have the straightforward four-part arrangements as well as a few jazzier arrangements. We made an effort to sing mostly secular pieces, because we want to spread holiday cheer but not offend anyone by being heavy-handed with the Christian element. (That didn't stop some fat kid from screaming "Happy Hanukkah" practically in our faces in the middle of "Winter Wonderland" last night!)

We decided to sing in Arlington Center last night, mostly because I had to rehearse at 8 near Arlington Center. That area proved to be pretty dead, though. The Regent Theater had expressed interest in having us sing in front of their establishment, or even in their lobby, for an opening they were having that night. But not many people showed up, and those that did hightailed it into the theater. We were having difficulty finding any audience at all until we ran into muffyjo, who was on the way to meet lillibet and jason237 for dinner. We imposed ourselves on them, and they made a most gracious and appreciative audience for a few minutes.

Today we sang at a nursing and rehabilitation center in the Fresh Pond area. The residents there make a much more receptive audience. (I have to admit, though: I realized as we were getting ready to sing that I don't particularly like old people. I know this makes me a bad person, and I'm ashamed by it, but I hate to see the human body so run down as that.) Anyway, we sang in the dining room on one floor, then went room to room for the nonambulatory patients. I suggested that we pick two songs to sing before going into a room, but JC and Bri kept insisting we ask the patients what their favorite Christmas songs were. That's a problem when you've only prepared 7 songs. Fortunately, most of them kept asking for "White Christmas," and we have a kickass arrangement of "White Christmas"; it was embarrassing in one room, though, where the lady first asked for "The Bells of Saint Mary," then "I'll Be Home for Christmas," and finally "Silent Night," before we finally settled on "Let It Snow." But really, the residents didn't care what we sang; they just seemed happy that someone took the time to come and sing for them for a little bit.

We have one more night when the four of us can get together, and that's Wednesday. We're trying to decide whether to try to schedule something with another nursing home or go carolling in Davis Square. If you happen to be in Davis Square on Wednesday night and see us, please stop and listen for a bit.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 18th, 2005 02:10 am (UTC)
That's so nice! I just want to pinch all your cheeks and tell you what sweet boys you are, la yes. :-)

Carol in Davis! You'll have plenty of audience there. Unfortunately I['ll miss it -- I go to Rochester that day. Have fun though. :-)

Dec. 18th, 2005 07:58 am (UTC)
Now that I'm an old person, you choose this moment to reveal that you don't particularly like old people, you young whippersnapper.

By the way, this morning's paper mentioned that the oldest person got demoted. That is, the person previously recognized as, at 114, the oldest person in the world was moved to second place when somebody else came up with proof of being 115 years old. She was able, without glasses, to recognize a photo of her father and give his name. Recognizing her offspring was a different matter, as there are so many of them and the number keeps increasing.
Dec. 18th, 2005 12:44 pm (UTC)
Re: fogies
I knew I should have qualified that. Clearly, family are a different matter. I certainly didn't dislike Carmela or Chellita. And 65 isn't old yet either.
Dec. 19th, 2005 02:56 am (UTC)
Re: fogies
Perhaps I just feel old now with all of my ailments.

Perhaps I've simply been annoyed lately by aggressive age-related advertising for Medicare supplemental insurance, living trusts, burial pre-arrangements and their ilk.

If 65 isn't old, what is?
Dec. 18th, 2005 05:26 pm (UTC)
you know, it's a shame that religious holiday music can't be used more often because some of it is really quite nice.
O Little Town of Bethlehem has always been my favourite.

I'm glad you guys are doing this. I used to sing carols at the retirement home in Newton with my girl scout troop.
Dec. 19th, 2005 05:50 pm (UTC)
Having grown up with my grandparents and spent more than a fair share of time in nursing homes, I think it's fair to say that nursing homes make old much more intimidating that it really is. My great Aunt was active until the day she died. She swam daily, she visited "the old" people in the infirmary unit of the home, she played tennis and generally kept things going for the other folks in the home well into her late 80s. It's rare that you see those folks when you are there. The ones you see are the sampler set of "infirm" folks. Don't let that fool you. That's like visiting NYC and seeing only the pretty people.
Dec. 19th, 2005 05:51 pm (UTC)
BTW, you guys were wonderful. And the folks did stop and listen. I enjoyed it immensly. Then again, 4 tall handsome men singing to me...what's not to love!
Dec. 19th, 2005 06:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :)
Dec. 19th, 2005 06:41 pm (UTC)
You're right. I don't dislike old people. I simply feel very uncomfortable around the infirm. That's still not very good of me.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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