Friday, December 19, 2008

subversive singing... subversives, singing

We're "plotting" our route for some lightning-strike "guerrilla caroling" tonight... now that we live in town, we can just WALK from house to house and sing our songs, no matter what the weather... nobody knows we're coming, or that we're going to be recruiting people along the way, anybody that wants to join us as we fan out across our unsuspecting sleepy little town...

So LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW! Perfect "cover" for an operation like this, and it'll cover our tracks in minutes.

We're not alone. It's not just our town. We're part of a bigger, broader movement of folks whose songs will not be silenced, no matter what is blaring from shopping mall speakers in the increasingly frantic attempts to get people to do-their-bit-for-the-economy and SHOP. They can crank up the volume all they want, but that won't keep the alternative songs from being heard and sung and passed along...

Singers like that teen-ager Mary... old Zechariah... Simeon and Anna and - get this - a whole ARMY of angels... all singing their songs, typically in small venues (although that open-air stage on the hillside is pretty big, I guess, even if it is mostly just a local shepherd hang-out)... Luke has some pretty good posts about those performances and audience responses (check out Luke 1:46-55; 1:67-79; 2:13-15; 2:28-38 for some set lists and lyrics as well).

So spread the word... and KEEP ON SINGING! And if you feel like it, come on over for hot chocolate later on tonight...

2 Comments:

At 6:52 PM, Blogger Cameron said...

You're right that carolling is a subversive act these days. We haven't done it here but back in Morgantown we got some funny responses from people. I think some were suspiscious that we were out to prosletyze (how do you spell that?). Usually when we left people were smiling. I wish I had your courage to face the elements but we're feeling snug at home (and Dawn is hosting her book club). Sing a carol for me!

 
At 11:28 AM, Blogger Bryan Moyer Suderman said...

Actually, now I'm embarrassed. We went around and sang for some friends and neighbours that we know, but we didn't actually go "door to door" and sing for strangers.

When I was thinking "subversive" I was thinking more about the contrast between the songs being used as a lubricant/stimulant for the "Christmas industrial complex"... the soundtrack of the dominant (and oppressive/destructive) economic structures... and the "subversive" songs in Luke about the proud being humbled and the lowly lifted up... the hungry filled with good things and the rich sent away empty... rescue from enemies, light in the midst of darkness, peace on earth... the subversive radicality of these songs, which is often the last thing that comes to mind when "Christmas music" is tamed and appropriated for the use of the "empire" and perpetuation of the status quo...

Can we re-claim that kind of "subversion" too...? Can our singing help us do that?

"What Child Is This?" indeed...

 

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