Saturday, December 10, 2011

O Holy Night, Winterizing, and War on Christmas

"O Holy Night" has jumped out to a commanding lead over the competition. I can't say that that I'm too surprised by this. Four things you should know about "O Holy Night":
1. It was written by the French poet Placide Cappeau and put to music by Adolph Adam. This was significant because Adam was a Jew and Cappeau a social radical, and church leaders refused to play the music in church because of this. However, it gained such popularity among the masses that they eventually relented, and "Minuit Chretien/Cantique de Noel" became what it is today.
2. It was translated to English by an abolitionist minister John Sullivan Dwight, who gave us the especially poignant and loosely translated, "Truly he taught us to love one another/his law is love and his gospel is peace./Chains shall he break for the slave is our brother,/and in his name all oppression shall cease."
3. It was the first song broadcast live on the radio by the guy who invented the AM radio. He played it on the violin and sang the last verse.
4. In 1870 during the Franco-Prussian war, a soldier jumped out of the trenches and began singing this (much like a similar WWI story). Apparently, the Germans joined in with their own carol, a temporary truce was called, and neither side fought that night.

I feel like I need to play this:

In other news, I did my winterizing shopping yesterday, which meant picking up both lotion and chapstick so that my hands and lips make it through this season of perpetual dryness. This need was exacerbated by moving furniture all week in the plummeting temperatures. I have to say I wasn't too excited to see snow on the ground on Friday knowing that an apartment had to be set up in the midst of it, which is kind of sad because generally I'm a sucker for that first snowfall.

I enjoyed this rejoinder by Jon Stewart to Bill O'Reilly's War on Christmas bit:

I just can't imagine anyone getting worked up about a "War on Christmas." I think such Christians should divert their anger from imaginary wars of semantics to actual wars that kill people. Try stopping those wars, you know, like that one guy, that "Prince-of-peace-turn-the-other-cheek" guy. Also, if you need the government to validate Christmas, I think we've already lost the war. Same goes for trying to keep the 10 commandments in public places. Let's try keeping the 1o commandments first...and I have to play this clip because it's about the best thing ever (wait until the end!):

Okay, I need to work up the courage to go for a run today. Neither the spirit nor the flesh seem particularly willing this morning.

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