Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happy New Year

Denny Herzog recently wrote about the music associated with New Year's, particularly Auld Lang Syne.

While I'm not hardly a traditionalist, I do remember those old broadcasts with Guy Lombardo at the Waldorf-Astoria. How distant they seem now. Denny provided an interesting link to some commentary on the song's history, along with some alternatives that are out there.

I help to produce the "Words" program on KAFM Community Radio, along with Linda Skinner.
In working with about 200 children a year, it's fun to be able to schedule children's words that fit in with certain holidays, and associate music with that word that is reminiscent or serves as a message about the day in question.

For this reason I would personally resist playing Auld Lang Syne behind the word for New Year's Day, simply because it's too obvious, almost to the point of being trite. The same goes for U2's "New Year's Day", which I like a great deal, but in general would prefer to avoid the easy, obvious selection.

Luckily, for the last two years kids have picked words that have played well with the spirit of New Year's Day. Last year a student at Columbine Elementary picked "tintinnabulation", for which we chose the section of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture with all of the bells pealing in the background.

This year two students at Loma Elementary chose words that lent themselves to both New Years' Eve ("Segue", set to the Beatles' "A Day in the Life") and the beginning of what we can only pray for to be a gentler, more civil New Year, or at least until election season kicks into high gear.

The word for New Year's Day was "Daybreak". You can listen to it here. The program typically airs Monday through Friday at 7:30, 4:30, and 7:30 PM on 88.1 FM or online. The music is Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam performing a traditional Christian hymn. The contrast illustrated there, as well as the message of the song, is highly appropriate to a spirit of renewal and understanding in these challenging times.

Praise with elation,
praise every morning,
God's recreation
of the new day.

Happy New Year ahead.

Sorry, couldn't help myself.

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