Monday, December 10, 2018

4.22- Tuning Slide: A Month of Holidays

Weekly Reflections on Life and Music

December is full of the beauty of Light and love we can bring into our life.You can chose to be stressed or you can choose to let the small stuff go and be peaceful this Holiday season. It really is a choice you make.
― Eileen Anglin

Music and holidays go together. Music, as any of us who are musicians and music lovers know, can be the most expressive way to celebrate a holiday- or just daily life for that matter.
  • Love songs abound for Valentine’s Day.
  • There are the ecstatic sounds of resurrection joy on Easter.
  • We have elegies for Memorial Day.
  • John Phillip Sousa moves us to marching on the 4th of July.
  • The horse and sleigh carry us over the river and through the woods for Thanksgiving.
  • There are even holidays that celebrate different styles and means of making music. (- Link)
December is a great Holiday Month. It is a whole month when we usually do celebrate a holiday- namely Christmas. But there are others as well, the most famous being the eight-day Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.

The darkness of the whole world cannot swallow the glowing of a candle.
— Robert Altinger

[Hanukkah remembers an event] that happened over 2000 years ago when the Holy Lands were ruled by the Greeks. A small army of faithful Jews defeated the Greeks and drove their army from the land. That was a miracle because the Greeks were very powerful. God had handed over the powerful to the weak. The Jewish people reclaimed their Holy temple in Jerusalem, and rededicated it to service to God. Part of that service was to light the menorah. There was only enough purified olive oil to light the candle for one day. It burned for eight days, until more purified oil could be made. God had done another miracle. To commemorate these miracles, the festival of Chanukah was started. Each night of the 8 day festival, a new candle of the menorah would be lit, remembering the 8 days that God kept the candles burning. By the end of the festival all eight lights are lit. (- Link)
The story of Hanukkah is one that reminds people to this day of the power of light. It also challenges people to this day to continue to keep their light shining. Like most holidays it isn’t just about remembering, it is also about living. (Kind of like most great music as well!) To celebrate then, here is an old Peter, Paul, and Mary song that celebrates the Festival of Light that Hanukkah remains to this day.

Light one candle for the Maccabee children
With thanks that their light didn't die
Light one candle for the pain they endured
When their right to exist was denied
Light one candle for the terrible sacrifice
Justice and freedom demand
But light one candle for the wisdom to know
When the peacemaker's time is at hand

Don't let the light go out!
It's lasted for so many years!
Don't let the light go out!
Let it shine through our hope and our tears.

Light one candle for the strength that we need
To never become our own foe
And light one candle for those who are suffering
Pain we learned so long ago
Light one candle for all we believe in
That anger not tear us apart
And light one candle to find us together
With peace as the song in our hearts

Don't let…

What is the memory that's valued so highly
That we keep it alive in that flame?
What's the commitment to those who have died
That we cry out they've not died in vain?
We have come this far always believing
That justice would somehow prevail
This is the burden, this is the promise
This is why we will not fail!

Don't let the light go out!
Don't let the light go out!
Don't let the light go out!
Songwriters: Peter Yarrow
Light One Candle lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc
I’ll dig more into holidays and music the next two weeks. But for today, turn on the music for you and celebrate.

But before you do that, yesterday (the second Sunday in December) was one of the music holidays: National Choral Music Day! Perhaps the new “tradition” of flash mobs may be one of the better ways to celebrate music in public and many of them are choral. I found this neat one on You Tube from UNASP EC which is an engineering school in Brazil. Yep, engineers singing! A choral flash mob of the Freddie Mercury/Queen classic- Somebody to Love.

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