Thursday, December 23, 2010

And To All A Good Night

Back when TigerBlog played the trumpet in high school, he had two career solos.

The first was in the marching band, at halftime of football games, to the song "What I Did For Love," from "A Chorus Line."

The other was in the jazz band, part of a song called "Angela." Fans of the old TV show Taxi will recognize it as the song that played in the beginning of the show, when the taxi drives over the bridge and to the garage. The jazz band version took about 15 minutes to play.

Despite having solos in those two songs, though, TigerBlog had another song that he preferred. This one was in the concert band around this time of year 30 years ago.

The song was "O Come All Ye Faithful," which featured a very powerful trumpet part for the main melody. The fact that it was played by an orchestra that was made up as many Jewish kids as Christian kids hardly mattered.

Christmas, as TB realizes, is a religious holiday, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, something that means way more to Christians than it does to non-Christians. Still, the idea of Christmas can be summed up simply: "Peace On Earth, Goodwill Towards Man." That's not a sentiment that has to be specific to any religion.

Besides, Christmas is a federal holiday as well. And it has such great movies, episodes of TV shows, songs and all the rest that who could possibly be against it?

When Harry Bailey says "to my big brother George, the richest man in town," at the end of "It's A Wonderful Life, does it really matter what your religion is? Or when the Grinch's heart grows three sizes? Or when Charlie Brown gets the wrong tree that turns out to be the right tree?

Or when Ralphie almost shoots his eye out? Or when Judy Garland sings "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" before the Smith family gets to realize that they'll still be able to be met in St. Louis?

Any good TV show worth anything has had a great Christmas episode or two. "The Office" has had a few. So did "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." And "Everybody Loves Raymond." And every other show.

Remember the episode of "All In The Family" where Archie invites his friend for Christmas dinner after his friend's son has been killed in Vietnam, while Michael's draft-dodger friend joins them? That's as good as any Christmas episode of any TV show of all time - or maybe any TV show period.

And of course there are the Christmas songs. TigerBlog is partial to Bruce Springsteen's version of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," not to mention The Boss' "Merry Christmas Baby."

And then there's Emmylou Harris' version of "Silent Night," or the orginal "The Christmas Song" by Nat King Cole (that's the one with "Chestnuts roasting on a open fire."


"The Little St. Nick," by the Beach Boys. "O Holy Night," the version by Martina McBride. Bing Crosby's "White Christmas," of course, and Burl Ive's "Holly Jolly Christmas."

And "Silver Bells," especially when Dean Martin sings it. And any Christmas song by The Carpenters or Frank Sinatra.

And "Carol of the Bells" by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

TigerBlog could go on all day with his favorite Christmas shows/movies/songs/etc. So could everyone else.

Once upon a time, TigerBlog had memorized "A Visit From St. Nicholas," which starts out "Twas the night before Christmas." TB can still get most of it from memory, but he doesn't quite remember the entire thing, which is a good excuse to go back and read it again.

Princeton Athletics is a secular institution. TigerBlog has been to games on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur (he's fasted, of course), on Easter Sunday, on Ramadan.

Never, though, on Christmas.

In fact, Princeton has no events scheduled between yesterday's men's basketball game against Towson and this coming Tuesday, when women's basketball, wrestling, men's basketball and men's hockey all play.

Princeton doesn't shut down for that long across the board for anything other than exams.

But hey, this isn't like any other time of year.

Merry Christmas To All.


B.McD. said...

And a very merry to TigerBlog and team TB!

TO said...

Merry Christmas TB! Happy NEw Year to All...