Monday, December 9, 2019

Christmas Caroling: Singing in the Snow

Everyone can enjoy the sweet sound of children of all ages singing their little hearts out to a lone guitar—no matter how out of tune they might be. They don’t have to be children either, adults can have some mighty fine voices too.

Carolers never quite have that same heartfelt warmth about them like on television, so don’t allow that to put you off your game. Usually once you get going, you don’t want to stop right up until the hot chocolate is brought out.

Choose your place carefully, that is, provided you’re not going door to door. You’ll want to select a place that is frequently populated, even into the later hours of the evening, but is a good enough area that you’re not worried about getting mugged. That can really put a damper on your Christmas cheer. If you are going to say, set up camp outside a business, make sure to check with the business owner first, just in case.

No matter where you decide to go, make sure that you are fully prepared. Everyone can enjoy a mug of something steaming after being out in the cold, and it is best not to disappoint. There’s always the chance that someone will forget the lyrics to ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ and will mumble it up too. Little booklets are handy for a good reason.

If you plan to have a musical instrument there to help keep the pitch right on target, it’s best to get a proper music stand to hold any and all sheet music that might be needed. A guitar works especially well because then the guitarist can sing too, but other instruments might sound prettier to go with the occasion. Flutes work perfectly because most carols have a higher melody that it can reach easily, or perhaps a clarinet or two to keep things in perspective. Saxophones can really spruce up your singing but they’re best with jazz styled songs.

If you don’t have enough musicians to add some harmonic tunes, or you don’t have enough people in general to sing, then don’t worry too much. So long as your carolers have a vague sense of the song, they’ll be able to fumble around the melody well enough.

When deciding upon your repertoire, make sure to go overboard and overstock. The worst thing that can happen is being out in the snow, singing until your voice cracks, only to find that unless you want to repeat some more songs, you don’t have any others. You might only get half of them done before the younger ones decide they’d like to get out of the cold weather, but it’s better to be prepared in the long run. The last thing you want is to be caught short.

Some of the best carols to sing aren’t necessarily the classics. Sure ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’, or ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ might sound pretty, but it’s always nice to have some more, cough, amusing refrains. ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus’ is guaranteed to plaster a grin on a passerby’s face.

For some really, cough, intriguing harmonies, try taking a traditional carol and changing the lyrics around to make it humorous. The kids, not to mention the adults, will get a kick out of turning ‘Silent Night’ into ‘Jailbird Flight’. Or you can start from scratch and get your own lyrics and hymn. Unfortunately, that’s not nearly as easy as we’d like it to be. Luckily, we can always use the Internet to find some entertaining like ‘I’m Getting Nuttin’ for Christmas!’

‘I’m Getting Nuttin’ for Christmas’ is about a kid who does lots of pranks like ‘I spilled some ink on Mommy’s rug; I made Tommy eat a bug! Bought some gum with a penny slug; somebody snitched on me!’ The chorus repeats the title, says Mommy and Daddy are mad. This repeats using the title again, and then admits ‘Cause I ain’t been nuttin’ but bad!’

No matter where you go or what you sing, keep the spirit of the season alive and going. Caroling is an age-long tradition - and there’s a good reason it has lasted so long and is close to so many hearts. The kids will thank you for it later.