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.