Monday, 31 October 2011

the C word

As a last twist of the knife before I'm released from torture, have just found out I have to produce the traditional Xmas * extravaganza before I go. Yes. The end of the year, final production, an all singing, all dancing version of A Christmas Carol. (I know it doesn't sound that big a deal but honestly, Francis Ford Coppola having a breakdown filming Apocalypse Now in the midst of the jungle and the war in the Phillipines did not experience the stress of putting on a primary school end of year musical.)

I've just been searching desperately for some good Xmas tunes we can cover. There is nothing. Nothing. They are all too soupy. Too slow. Too corny. Too seventies. Too religious. Not religious enough. Too... heinous. The only possible contender is Dean Martin doing Let It Snow, but I just can't shoehorn this into A Christmas Carol.

Suggestions, if you please.

* sorry


  1. In the Bleak Midwinter, but only the first verse, before they start talking about God and stuff.

    (The wv is "tories". Oh dear.)

  2. Oh no, I thought with your encyclopedic knowledge of music you'd rescue me.

    The trouble with Christmas songs, for Muslim kids in a secular school, is they're all a bit Jesus-y.

    Take 'Deck the Halls' which is quite a jolly tune.
    Second line
    "for Jesus Christ our Saviour was born on Christmas Day"
    Third line

  3. Use the tunes, change the words - in the tradition of Panto! In fact re-invent everything. Every year my sister writes and produces the Christmas show at her school* and has to include wheelchairs and breathing apparatus in the action. Satan, Mel Torme.....stick em all in, the kids'll love it.
    *She also is wrecked and sick every Christmas but hey, that's a vocation for you.

  4. Allah I Want For Christmas is You?

  5. Could someone write new lyrics to existing tunes? Could you point out that Jesus is a minor prophet to Muslims and everyone is entitled to a birthday even minor prophets?

  6. Traditional Christmas carols - the ones with the old tunes, some of them hundreds of years old, are some of the few remaining songs that people of all ages can join in and sing together, becuase they are so well known. Really and truly part of our heritage, so worth preserving, like nursery rhymes also.

    Some have nice singable tunes like The Holly and the Ivy. They may not be particularly relevant to children but as a kid I always liked to have my mind stretched with things that weren't just part of boring old everyday life. It had a lasting effect on me to learn songs that weren't the same old same old - on the radio and TV all the time

    But I'm puzzled that you didn't want to grab a carol songbook to start with, so I wonder if I have missed the point :)

  7. Arabella, I like it, I like the Panto suggestion too. ('He's behind you' for ghost of christmas future, etc). Hats off to your sister.

    GSE, that's true. I should change the words. maybe I can slip something subversive in there about celebrating Charles Darwin.

    Hello Jenny - you're right about preserving it, & I should share these songs with them because they're from another background & culture altogether and otherwise they won't ever hear them. I don't think I've even explained what a carol is yet, fair point! I like the tunes of some carols, but often not the lyrics. It's just my usual issues (which I regularly bore everyone with on my blog) about being a Jewish atheist working in a secular school with mainly Muslim students, & having to sing about how Jesus is our saviour...

  8. Sorry Tim, missed you there. hahaha! Love it.