Joyful Noises!

I love this meme — it’s been around for a while, but was only recently shared with me by my music-professor sister:

OK…so it’s a little harsh.

Anyway, on this Christmas afternoon, I thought I’d share a lovely scene from a movie I’ve never actually watched the whole of, just because boy sopranos, when they’re good, are surreal:

And just because we can’t have it all be sickly sweet, how about a little rougher edge…

Well, not that rough.

Gonna leave this one with what remains one of my favorite bittersweet-to-bitter Christmas songs:

This came on the radio the other day while I was driving somewhere with my son, and he couldn’t believe that Shane MacGowan was anyone’s idea of a singer. More fool he.

Top of the day to  y’all. My sprout and I have finished our ritual (and delicious) Chinese lunch, and will be heading down (w. the spouse) to more family south of the Athens of America.  Roast beast and red wine, and a day w. four generations.  I wish your preferred company (self and others) to all my fellow jackals.

Over to y’all.

26 replies
  1. 1
    dnfree says:

    Here’s a poignant Christmas song–John McCutcheon, “Detroit, December”

  2. 2
    Brachiator says:

    Leonard Bernstein on how Back and fifths are foundational to classical music.

  3. 3
    debbie says:

    Well, then there’s the boys choir in Lord of the Flies.

  4. 4
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    Most years we listen to the BBC Christmas Eve broadcast of the Service of Lessons and Carols from Kings College. Top notch men and boys choir, and the tradition is to start with a boy soprano on “Once in Royal David’s City”.

    A week or so ago I had a yen to hear Bernsteins’s Chichester Psalms. Found a YouTube recording with Bernstein conducting, with a boy soprano which is what he intended when he wrote it. Apparently it’s too hard for most boys and is usually done with an adult female soprano instead.

  5. 5
    Fair Economist says:

    Bach must be killing a lot of kittens. Parallel fifths have been routine in popular music for about a century now, and not even that rare in academic music.

  6. 6
    zhena gogolia says:

    Well, I got Becoming for Christmas!

  7. 7
    Tom Levenson says:

    @Fair Economist: Of course. It’s the Great Cat Massacre.*

    Hell — barbershop quartets parallel those fifths for breakfast!

    *which actually happened, sort of.

  8. 8
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    I missed you in the thread down below — I was just making a reference to Christmas in Connecticut, not dissing roast duck dinners.

  9. 9
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    Oops, mixed you up with Comrade Colette Collaboratrice! All those c’s.

  10. 10
    Booger says:

    Fairytale of New York brings tears to my eyes every time.

  11. 11
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @zhena gogolia: I don’t remember a discussion about duck. Sure that was me? Did I have an argument with you in my sleep?

    Ah, saw your update.

  12. 12
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Dead people’s music. Give me rock n roll.

  13. 13
    Baud says:

    Merry Christmas, Tom. You’re good people.

  14. 14
    Wag says:

    he couldn’t believe that Shane MacGowan was anyone’s idea of a singer

    An unfortunate gap in his education. I blame poor upbringing…

  15. 15
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @A Ghost To Most: What happens if the rock & roll is from dead people?

  16. 16
    Gelfling 545 says:

    Among other lovely gifts I got five (5!) new books. Becoming is one. I expect to plant myself on the sofa tomorrow with a pot of tea and indulge. There’s also a history of Chinese philosphy, a treatise on the remarkable achievements of the earthworm and the Professor and the Madman. I don’t dare start reading now or the Christmas dinner might be indefinitely delayed.

  17. 17
    JPL says:

    OT We streamed Crazy Rich Asians and the cast was terrific, but I found the story shallow. Because I had previously heard how fabulous it was suppose to be, it’s possible that I was just expecting more.

    @zhena gogolia: It’s a lovely book! That might sound like a strange review, but it really is a very comforting read.

  18. 18
    Bruuuuce says:

    Christmas tears in two flavors: Stan Rogers and John McCutcheon

  19. 19
    hilts says:


    For the eight-day period from 12:00 AM on December 24th through 12:00 AM on New Year’s Day, WKCR 89.9 FM will dedicate all broadcasting to the works of Johann Sebastian Bach.

    Here’s the link for those outside the NYC listening area

  20. 20
    JMG says:

    After the blinis, the mushroom soup, the duck breast, the potatoes dauphinois, green beans, cheeses, sorbet and three dfferent wines, as promised, my message from France is burp. My further message is the happiest of holidays to all of you, my friends I’ve never net. Some day I will. I promise. I have lots of free time as a retiree, so I suppose I could drive down and drop in on John, but I’m afraid of Steve.

  21. 21
    HeleninEire says:

    Happy Christmas, all. Went to the Westin Hotel for lunch. Ate everything. Absolutely everything. And the wine was pretty good too. Got home around 6 and went into food coma that I just emerged from.

    What’s to eat?

  22. 22
    RedDirtGirl says:

    @zhena gogolia: I got it for my sister (a request) and three in Pete Souza’s Shade for good measure.

  23. 23
    NotMax says:

    Perfect opportunity to once again recommend a fine feel good movie, Little Big Voice (available on Amazon Prime).

  24. 24
    Yutsano says:

    @HeleninEire: I’m eating a chile relleno that I originally bought for a work lunch (oops) and am now back in my apartment until dinner tonight. It was a good opening this afternoon however.


    EDIT: also, your attempts to give me freshman music theory flashbacks has failed Professor Levenson. If that’s your real name.

  25. 25
    K488 says:

    So, where does your sister teach, if that’s not too personal a question to ask (asked as one who teaches just this sort of thing – and as one who also has a music professor sister).

    Ed.: I missed a question mark in there somewhere…

  26. 26
    Gemina13 says:

    We spent this morning recovering from the Feast of Seven Fishes last night, with cocoa and slices of toasted panettone. Yum. Then we went to the in-laws for pork country ribs, mashed sweet potatoes with sage (my offering), kale, and a dessert of mint-chip ice cream and cookies.

    I love “Fairytale of New York,” which makes me cry, but the song that really brings the waterworks is Nat King Cole’s version of “O, Holy Night.” The key of the song and the smooth beauty of his voice reduce me to sobs every time.

    Merry Christmas, everybody.

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