dressHaving determined that I probably would not have time to make a new dress before the Christmas parties and performances, I bought this one.

People who know me can have a moment to be amazed that I bought a dress.

That’s enough. Now we must get serious again, because I now have to buy shoes.

In the old days, I would have just bought a pair of black pumps. I would very likely have bought some Capezio character shoes, in fact, on the theory that they would be comfortable enough to wear for performances as well.

It is no longer comme il faut to wear black pumps with everything. And black pumps with a red dress are simply not on.

Chances are I also cannot wear my brown loafers or my green slides, and I think my ancient leather clogs are also out of the question, so I must buy a new pair of shoes.

I know that some of you guys who visit here regularly are experts on the subject of shoes, and I would appreciate your advice on this.

Today, I have a tree-trimming party and a lot of errands (my fact-checking job on the scandalous beauty queen went astray in the mail, so I have to redo that, as well) and tomorrow I have church and a performance, so I will not have a lot of time to search for shoes. I am hoping that someone knowledgeable will tell me what to look for and thus speed up the process.

As an antidote to pre-holiday rushing around, I offer you this very beautiful song: “Quelle est cette odeur agreeable?” or in English “Whence is That Goodly Fragrance Flowing?” or any number of other translations.

This song is in the voices of a bunch of shepherds hanging around on the hillside. There they are, chatting about the football scores or whatever, and all of a sudden the scent of angels appears and completely overwhelms their senses with its beauty.

Before I heard this song, I had never even considered what angels might smell like, and I like the thought of it very much. You might remember the line from church readings or Christmas pageants about how the angels appeared to the shepherds “and they were sore afraid.” This song lists the ravishing scent, the supernatural light, and the other surprising sensual experiences involved. Those shepherds were completely gobsmacked.

I was listening to it yesterday on a recording from Chanticleer, a men’s a capella choir. Seeing as how it was all men and no instruments, you could imagine that they were shepherds on a hillside. True, they would have to be French shepherds. And we would have to imagine some odd genetic bottleneck causing all the local shepherds to be amazing singers, and perhaps something in the water causing a third of them to be counter tenors. However, the soloist, Chad Runyon, has a voice like really good strong coffee, so I am willing to imagine these things.

Get the sheet music here.

The link with the midi says that the tune is from “The Beggar’s Opera” by John Gay, but this is not true. It is true that Gay used the tune for the immortal song “Fill every glass, for wine inspires us,” but the tune is a traditional French one, and the carol predates the drinking song. It is such a great tune that I would encourage you to sing the carol now (or after Advent if you are strict about that) and the drinking song the rest of the year.

I will return after my jaunt to the grocery and before the rest of my errands, in hopes that my question about the shoes will have been answered.