I went to see my two granddaughters sing at their church last night.
I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
While I held my one-year-old grandson, I relaxed into the evening performance of Christmas carols.
First came the pre-schoolers.
I listened while they sang their little hearts out.
Was it because they were so young?
Or they weren’t loud enough?
Because I couldn’t follow along.
What were they singing?
After singing three nondescript songs, they were followed by the kindergarteners.
One of my granddaughters was in that group.
Surely, they'd sing more distinctly and louder.
And surely, they'd sing some good ole’ Christmas favorites.
Do Catholics sing different Christmas songs, I wondered.
Or are there just new Christmas songs?
Because I didn’t know any one of these either.
No, I take that back.
I knew Jingle Bells.
Next came the first graders.
My other granddaughter was in this group.
Now some songs I know—surely.
Well . . .
I knew the first song.
But after that . . .
I didn’t know any other one.
“Do you know these songs?” I whispered to my daughter next to me.
I thought I was getting dementia.
I thought that maybe I’d forgotten all these Christmas songs.
I thought that these were really the Christmas favorites . . .
And I’d just lost my memory and didn’t know it . . .
Or the songs.
When the other groups got up and sang, I knew only two of their songs.
And that got me wondering . . .
Why all these strange, non-melodic Christmas songs that no one can sing or hum to?
I'd bet that besides me and my daughter not knowing these songs . . .
Probably the entire church audience didn’t know them either.
And probably the only one who did know these songs was the music teacher.
And then I remembered . . .
(Yeah! I didn’t lose my memory!)
When my daughters also sang in Christmas recitals years ago . . .
I hardly knew any of those songs either.
Why do these music teachers do this?
Why do they make children sing songs that never became favorites?
Obviously if they were great songs, there would be recordings of them . . .
By famous singers.
So are all these songs the “side 2” on 45's?
That no one listened to.
And by 45’s, I mean vinyl.
What records were made of.
Rarely did you get a 45 that had 2 great songs on it.
There was the side with the “hit” and the side with the dud.
So is that what music teachers are making our kids sing . . .
Radio stations play the same Christmas music 24/7 . . .
Because we all know the songs . . .
And can sing along with the songs . . .
Or at least hum to the songs . . .
And bounce in our car seats with some of the songs.
So please all you music teachers . . .
Some things in life you just can’t improve on.
And that’s Christmas songs.