Rampaige is suffering from a surfeit of “The Little Drummer Boy” because she works in a place that mandates the continual playing of a top 40 Christmas music station. She has decided, based on this daily trial, to avoid Christmas songs in her home life.

Big mistake.

What she needs is more variety.

For example, she should have “What Sweeter Music,” a Robert Herrick poem arranged by the inimitable John Rutter. It was actually written by Herrick for the birth of King Charles, but it’s a lot more appropriate for Christmas.

I may be singing this in a quartet this year; both the church choirs I sing in rejected it for being too hard. The fools. That’s a great song. But it isn’t the kind of thing you can really sing around the house by yourself. If you do, then you have to switch around from one part to another, and maybe indicate with hand motions that the other part goes on, when you’re shifting in mid phrase.

Actually, Rampaige isn’t a Rutter kind of girl, so she might prefer Charles Bown’s “Please Come Home for Christmas.” This song was written in 1960, and recorded more recently by Aaron Neville. You can hear a clip of it here, along with “Wrap Yourself in a Christmas Package.” You can also hear James Brown’s recording of it here. As for “Wrap Yourself…” you can hear Randy Greer and his jazz ensemble doing it here. I didn’t find the lyrics, I’m sorry to say, so you may have to just dance to this one, or play it on your harmonica or something.

Or, since it’s actually Advent, she might like Wake Awake for Night is Flying. This one is lots of fun to sing. It was written, both words and music, by Philip Nicolai during  a bad spell. 1300 people died of the plague in his town, and he was conducting 30 funerals a day. It is clear that he wrote this, from great faith, to cheer the survivors up a little.You can hear an interesting arrangement of it here, or gather your friends to sing it, using the Bach Chorale  sheet music.

Okay, now that everyone has a nice selection of music with which to start the day, I can return to my regularly scheduled diary. I taught class yesterday, nearly the last class, and several of my students asked me to go down to the office and tell them I wanted to teach Comp 2 next semester so they could take it with me. I found that quite gratifying, though I am not at all certain that I want to drive up there again next term. They also told me that I have to have a review. “Everybody has a review!” one girl said insistently. There’s a lot of peer pressure in that job.

I have to say that I’ve really enjoyed it, and those students who have actually come to class and done the work are better writers today than they were when they began, so I guess I’ve been successful. I’m going to do a review on Thursday, and then go to the distance learning training, and I hope to have a couple of online classes every term in future, to provide a little bit of steady income.

Right now I have lots of work, I’m happy to say. I got home yesterday and wrote about rules-based systems for hedge fund managers, a task that would have been easier if I hadn’t kept thinking of hedgehogs instead of hedge funds. Actually, the audience also includes other exotic creatures, but I got the list via IM and didn’t copy it down or anything. I thought of quantities of excellent rules-based system apps, some of which would totally be linkbait, but none of them had anything to do with financial management on my client’s rarified plane. In the course of my attempts to think of a problem that might beset hedge fund managers, apart of course from being thought of as yuppy scum who caused the current recession and possible upcoming depression, I came upon this very amusing interview with a hedge fund manager.

Thus inspired, I finished the thing and sent it off, and also updated my own website, and that was all I got done yesterday. I haven’t yet heard from the finance guy. I really want to write his blog, and am hoping that I haven’t heard from him because he’s a 9-5 kind of fellow and had already left his office (East Coast) when I sent it, and isn’t yet arrived this morning and therefore hasn’t seen it. As opposed to his having read it and thought, “Good Lord! This woman has written about software for hedgehogs!”