Grinches, Gentlemen, and Pianos
|Day four, You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch|
Almost every year, I watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It’s a Christmas tradition, and I made certain I knew when and where it would air each year. I watched many Christmas specials as a child, but if I could only pick one, the Grinch wins every time. It’s a beautiful story of redemption, of breaking away from crippling misery and embracing joy. Near the end, when he has his epiphany—”Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more”—everything not only changes, but reverses. He rescues the gifts, saves the holiday, and in so doing, saves himself.
Composer Albert Hague wrote the song and lyrics to You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch. Thurl Ravenscroft, the voice of Tony the Tiger, performed it. I can’t go Through Christmas without hearing it.
Day five, God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
My husband and I differ in our musical tastes. He is fond of bass, I of treble. I cannot always tolerate his tastes, and he is gracious about it. We usually agree on Christmas music. There are quibbles, but on classic carols we can agree.
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen is one of these. It has a quiet jubilation to it, a recognition that we don’t need to be afraid; God will be with us always, until the end of time. It’s a good message for any time, and in a year if dismay, more relevant than ever.
My husband has two favorite versions of this carol. The first is a more upbeat version the Canadian band Barenaked Ladies, and features fellow Canadian Sarah McLachlan. The second is from Annie Lennox, whose voice makes it memorable.
Day 6, Angels We Have Heard on High
The Piano Guys describe themselves as four dads from Utah. They quit their day jobs to firm the band. It was risky. “What’s the difference between a musician and a pizza? A pizza can feed a family of four.” The risk paid off, and they’ve traveled the world bringing laughter and music to many. Their roots as family men are clear in their video for Angels We have Heard on High. I’m a sappy, sentimental type, so the train set and tree and the wrapped gifts appeal to me. The Elf on the Shelf, not so much. But, it’s a kid thing. Maybe if I’d grown up with it, but surveillance elves is creepy. Other than that, I like this video.