This is an excellent movie. It helped me stay up way too late after rehearsal last night, getting to the ribbing of the latest DNA scarf. It contains no knitting at all, but does have a jaw-dropping scene of a Simon and Garfunkel tune played on a bagpipe.

I have given up on finishing something black to wear for tonight’s concert, and also on perfecting the music. I will stand in the back in ill-fitting clothes, singing as best I can. Let’s face it: preparation time is past. However, I still hope to finish the last hat-and-scarf set in time to ship for Christmas. Assuming I give up sleeping.

That Man and I were talking yesterday about new Christmas carols: had there been any really good new carols since the 1930-1950 Christmas song renaissance? All we could think of offhand — except for John Rutter, about whom more later — were horrible songs like “Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Little St. Nick,” and “Grownup Christmas List.”

John Rutter has written numerous lovely original Christmas carols, including “Christmas Night” and “What Sweeter Music.” I can’t give you links to these, since they are new and under copyright, but you may want to seek them out. However, they are all rather elaborate choral pieces, with 6 parts and so on, and not things the average family or group of friends wants to sit down and sing around the piano in the parlor of an evening. I think they are therefore disqualified as useful songs for this project. But they have all been recorded, and I hope you will consider them if you feel the need to spruce up your CD collection.

However, I have since though of a wonderful new carol, “Come to the Cradle,” by Michael Card. This is a lovely song, easy to sing, and amenable to guitar or piano accompaniment. It was written in 1993, and has not, as far as I can tell, been recorded except by Michael Card. I can’t give you a link, for the same reasons discussed above, and the sheet music is also hard to find — you have to track down his out-of-print Greatest Songs book. Here is a link with a little clip: http://www.mp3.com/Michael-Card/artists/1872/summary.html  It is not the same as a good connection with words and music, though, is it?

Well, it is still a better song-of-the-day than “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.” In case you disagree, here is a link to words and music for this recent classic: http://www.always-safe.com/grandma.html #2 daughter and I sang it with the radio on the way to Tulsa last weekend. I had not previously grasped that the Grandma in question was actually dead. It is kind of fun to sing, though, and lends itself to raucous shouting, if that is your favorite kind of singing. It could be played on any instruments, I would think, but I would love to hear it with a tuba.