So I just returned from Son#1's Christmas, I mean Holiday, concert. Something I approached with not a little trepidation. Let me say that no matter how much you love and cherish the little darlings, there is nothing quite like an school Christmas, I mean Holiday, concert.
Let me too be the first to say, with some surprise, that I actually quite enjoyed it. No-one is more surprised at this turn of events as I.
I think it's because he's finally at Junior High and whereas the raw talent may still be lacking, there's a ton more practice, which is starting to make some semblance of perfect,
Also, there was the subject matter in the concert. Your average Elementary School Christmas, I mean Holiday, concert is primarily composed of neutered, culturally defanged (yet curiously culturally appropriate), politically correct Holiday songs, the subject matter of which seems to be the one thing your average Westerner (or Western-dwelling ex-plant) can agree on: presents. There may be the occasional "Silent Night" but the play-list reinforces the general idea that this is a great gift-receiving time of the year, the occasional TV John Lewis TV advert notwithstanding.
If the Guardian is to be believed, that advert pretty much has grown men weeping into their tea the length and breadth of the country. And kudos to Slow Moving Millie for taking a Smiths track and bringing it down an emotional notch or two. Because let's face it, ITTET what the world needs now is not love but a more depressing version of an already depressing classic.
Where were we? Oh yes, another SockSnob aside. So, the subject matter. A couple of unapologetic carols and Jingle Bells, which apparently was originally an American Thanksgiving song. Who knew? The rest of it was surprisingly adult. Maybe given the average age of your average parent with a kid in Junior High there is an understanding that maybe stuff the parents might actually like would be a winner. So we had some pretty passable versions of Let It Be, Stand By Me and Lean On Me, Of course, I would have preferred Ain't No Sunshine instead but that's just me. Son#1 told me they were going to do Sweet Caroline as well (which I love, reminds me of being 8 all over again and listening to Neil Diamond with my parents) but their teacher didn't think they were up to it. Quelle dommage. I was excited to see Hallelujah on the program thinking we'd get a blast of Handel but it turned out to be Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah instead, which was fine by me.
The Grade 8 guitars did Ode To Joy (awakening the sleeping soccer fan in me)....
We lost on Penalties. Kuntz!
Anyway, after that they switched track completely and played Romanza. Not only is that my favourite piece of classical guitar after Rodrigos Concierto d'Aranjuez (or Concierto d'Orange Juice if you like) but a piece I remember playing at a school concert at about the same age as these kids!
Even though I've had "All I want For Christmas" as an earworm all week, I found the whole school concert thing tonight more About A Boy
rather than Love Actually.
Maybe I've been reading too much Nic Hornby recently.
Unfortunately, the evening did not end up with Rachel Weisz at my door offering to go to bed with me. Oh well, you can't have everything!