Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sounds Of The Season

As I mentioned the other day, the sounds of the season have pervaded the airwaves in our barn for the last week or so. As a strong supporter of the musical arts, I applaud the idea (figuratively of course, not having opposable thumbs) but some of the modern compositions are absolutely bizarre and others frankly disturbing.

I prefer an all-classical selection or at least some of the older and more dignified standards. I enjoy Schubert's version of Ave Maria, anything sung by Caruso or Pavarotti or the Choir of King's College, Cambridge. I've even been know to bray a few notes of "Good King Wenceslas" or God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen". Good, solid, traditional fare.

And then there's Doc. His taste runs to the dregs of popular culture at it's worst - nothing sacred for him, only the profane will do. His all time favourite is "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer". Whenever it comes on the radio, he rushes to his door and his head starts bobbing up and down, until by the end he has a stitch in his side and is in a state of near hysteria. He never, ever grows tired of it. He also has a soft spot for "Zat You, Santa Claus?", sung by Louis Armstrong; heavy on the sound effects, including tremendous crashing noises as Santa falls down the chimney. "Dig that crazy Santa Claus", sung by Oscar McLollie and his Honey Jumpers comes in a close third. Other than that, anything loud with lots of loud bell ringing and drums and tubas makes him happy.

Molly's selections are, not surprisingly, highly self-centered. She has memorized the lyrics of "Santa Baby", sung by Eartha Kitt and it has become her seasonal mantra. It's the story of a brazen gold-digger dictating her Christmas wish list to Santa. It runs to light blue convertible cars, platinum mines and diamonds - absolutely no mention of peace on earth or good will toward men. "Five Pound Box Of Money" sung by Pearl Bailey, is another of her favourites and requires no explanation.

Jack's preferred compositions harken back to his youth. He loves the Gene Autry original version of "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" and got quite stroppy with me when I pointed out the biological impossibility of a red nosed member of the deer family. "Ha", he said, "I seen plenty a red-nosed humans this time of year, why not a reindeer?" I didn't have the heart to point out that the logical conclusion is that Rudolph is a lush. He is also very taken with "Jingle Bells", especially the part about bells on Bob's tail ringing. I think I'll just leave that slight mis-reading alone. Last Christmas he wasn't expecting to be around for another one so I want to ensure he spends as much time revisiting his early donkey-hood memories as possible.

The cat tells me they have put a monstrously large real spruce tree in the house and festooned it from top to bottom with shiny cat toys - none of which she is supposed to touch. Last year she was told off for removing the tiny people from the tiny stable and batting them around the living room and down the hot air vents. She hasn't touched those this year but sits by the hour staring at them longingly with eyes the size of saucers. If one of them makes a move, they're done for.

Yet another storm is predicted for tomorrow. Please think of me, locked in the barn, being forced to listen to "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" again and again and again..... Meanwhile, I shall coninue to "troll the ancient Yule tide carols", even if they fall on deaf ears.


libraryperson said...

Hope you are enjoying the music and the snow.

There is lots of snow here in Ottawa. My 4 legged friend really likes to be out in it.

robert5721 said...

PLEASE accept many THANKS to both you and Mr Jack from ALL here at Olde Towne Farm for letting us know what REAL SMARTIES are..I am drooling one on my keyboard as we type here..the donkey poster is headed for the frame shop..also..tell MOLLY NOT TO EAT THE MISTLETOE stuff..I believe that it can be poisonous, or at least make you burp from both ends at the same time..not really nice like it sounds in those songs..Dicey sends you some classic Vivaldi, and Liebschen sends Mr Jack some George Jones..(close your rather magnificent hearing apparatus for THAT one..) and ALL of the Donks abd Cows here send the MERRIEST OF CHRISTMAS AND HOLIDAYS TO ALL OF YOU CAPTIVATED BY THE COLD UP sounds totally disgusting for sure. Perhaps a glass of cherry will soothe the nerves after George Jones gets done.

Gale, Mr Gale, and all the critters here!

ponymaid said...

libraryperson, I understand Abra is, like Molly, well-insulated against this barbarous weather. They actually seem to LIKE it. I like the picture of you in your chair with your books - so very civilized - not like living in a barn, for example...with no heat.

Mr. Gale, it was our great pleasure! We thought we'd send you a little "Canadian" Christmas. Please thank Dicey and Liebschen for their musical good wishes. Jack is very anxious to make the aquaintance of Mr. Jones.I warned Molly about the digestive turbulence caused by ingesting mistletoe and she just said "Oh yeah?". You may hear the repercussions all the way to your house.

billie said...

Enjoy the songs, Sheaffer. We've been listening to the Christmas music in the barn too - my current favorite that comes on the radio is the Christmas Canon. In the truck I can listen to XM's holiday pops station and enjoy the more classical renditions of traditional carols.

Keil Bay will change radio to rock and roll in a moment if he can get his big nose to the dial.

And, alas, we are down to 23 tonight, so our warm weather has blown away in the gusty wind. Sigh.

ponymaid said...

Billie, what's it like living in a civilized world? Sigh. I wouldn't know. Doc wants to know how much gunpowder goes in the Christmas Canon. Like Keil Bay he is a die-hard rock & roller at heart. Have R&R shown any musical preferences? I should be there helping to mold their infant sensibilities - instead I'm locked in this prison of ice.

billie said...

LOL, Sheaffer - tell Doc we'll have to experiment and find out!

He and Keil Bay might get on just fine.

Team R&R seem more interested in the outside world and adventuring than music, esp. Redford, although the feed room holds a very potent attraction for them too. I suspect their appreciation for the musical arts is very much still in development. Fortunately, the pony does enjoy classical - if you dance in front of him to rock and roll, he pins his ears. So their influence will at least be varied and not dictated by the Big Bay only.

Last night they shared their first winter solstice celebration with us. My children both bailed on me, but my husband went out to the barn with me, bearing candles and solstice treats for the dinner tubs. The donkeys were completely transfixed by candlelight.

Everyone had their dinner in quiet, with chopped apples and carrots, by the light of candles. Keil Bay didn't care much for my solstice rambling, and the pony rolled his eyes at me, but the rest loved it.

Normally I also take a walk through the woods with my candle and some treats for the wildlife, but it was so wet and so windy last night I decided to stop with the barn.

Buddy said...

Hay Sheaffer - I'm a rock and roller - only because thats all my woman lets me listen to. I guess I also like a little country once in a while. Haven't heard too much Christmas music this year - perhaps on Wednesday when the woman starts her holiday - I'd like to hear a little Jingle Bells.

Stay warm my fren!

mosbyshuman said...

Greetings young Sheaffer; Here's wishing you and yours (2 leggers and 4 leggers alike) a splendid holiday season. My human tells me about your blog and it is certainly an amusing highlight of my day. Lord knows we can all use some humor to help us get through this blasted winter season. She is always mumbling something about pies or buttertarts and not enough hours in the day. I ask you what is that all about? I am certainly looking forward to meeting the divine Molly, I understand she is coming to my farm for a holiday soon. Anyways keep up the good work, maybe you could work on getting your blog published so we can enjoy it at the barn. Like yours, my human won't let me in the house(again)and that is where the computer is. This is me signing off, respectfully your equine companion, Mosby

ponymaid said...

Billie, I very much like the idea of candlelight and snacks and a quiet promenade through the woods. Around here it's all bare lightbulbs and kibble and snow up to a donkey's nether regions.

Buddy, I peeked over the half door the other day and the woman was screeching something about "Rock the Casbah" over and over again. Do you suppose that was rock and roll or merely some sort of frost-induced seizure. Hard to tell.

MOSBY!! You're here! Another great Christmas gift! I remember meeting you years ago when you were a mere stripling in your twenties. You asked most politely if you could examine my ears and did so in a very considerate way. I am glad to hear you are still in robust good health and still guarding your herd of equine women-folk. Molly may be put in with you - I felt I should at least warn you. Keep an eye on the food. I hope to see your woman up this way soon - she's one of the decent ones.