Friday, December 14, 2007

The Last Noel

Each Christmas season, it just gets worse.

I’m not talking about the rampant commercialism or the controversy over “Christmas” vs. “Holiday” or even the silly beverages at Starbuck’s.

No, there’s a much more disturbing trend that continues to sweep the nation and it bugs me to no end. . .

. . . and that’s the way people are singing “The First Noel.”

During the chorus, “Noel, noel, noel. . .” there’s a part on the third and fourth ‘noel’ where people sing an upwards scale, hitting a high F-sharp on the last ‘noel’. (right before “Born is the king of Israel”)

No! No! No!!

That’s the tenor part! The melody doesn’t do that!

But over the years, narcissistic singers have glommed on to that tenor line, the one time the tenors ever get to showcase, and it bugs the hell out of me.

And it gets worse every year.

In mixed choruses, I usually sing tenor because I can sing tenor, and mostly, because there’s always a shortage of them. I’m really a baritone, definitely not a bass and I can sing tenor if needed. (I’m a “closet” tenor).

So, it really irks me to no end when the tenors are about to do their thing and everyone singing the melody suddenly breaks off and robs us of that part.

Years ago, I worked as a church choir director. It almost makes me want to do that again just so I can put a stop to this holiday insanity. I'd give anything to bitch-slap the soprano section during a rehersal of "The First Noel."

Oh, and while I'm at it, the title is "We Three Kings".
Not "We Three Kings of Orient Are."

Sheesh!!

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6 Comments:

At 6:59 PM , Blogger Eric said...

I always try to sing it like.."The-e thir, ird no,oel they just phoned it in.."

 
At 7:59 PM , Blogger Iwanski said...

Oh yeah, I'm really angry about that too.

 
At 11:24 AM , Blogger Lorraine said...

Actually, standing next to Eric during the singing of any carol is pretty much a seasonal buzz kill. He's got warped lyrics for all of 'em. That makes me angry. Also, any version of "Santa Baby" that's not sung by Eartha Kitt.

And robbing tenors at Christmas. That's just wrong.

 
At 11:24 AM , Blogger Lorraine said...

Actually, standing next to Eric during the singing of any carol is pretty much a seasonal buzz kill. He's got warped lyrics for all of 'em. That makes me angry. Also, any version of "Santa Baby" that's not sung by Eartha Kitt.

And robbing tenors at Christmas. That's just wrong.

 
At 12:04 PM , Blogger Kimberly Ann said...

Guilty as charged. I'm a soprano, so what do you expect?

 
At 3:41 PM , Blogger jp said...

I'm indifferent on the noels.

But you all really need to hear Eric's rendition of the a-ha Christmas song. It's timeless.

 

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