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CapriUni's new Yule song: a little help?

CapriUni 13 Dec 04 - 02:37 PM
open mike 13 Dec 04 - 04:12 PM
MMario 13 Dec 04 - 04:30 PM
CapriUni 13 Dec 04 - 04:31 PM
CapriUni 13 Dec 04 - 04:39 PM
open mike 13 Dec 04 - 05:46 PM
CapriUni 13 Dec 04 - 09:56 PM
open mike 14 Dec 04 - 01:02 AM
CapriUni 14 Dec 04 - 01:34 PM
katlaughing 15 Dec 04 - 04:03 AM
CapriUni 15 Dec 04 - 01:15 PM
Little Robyn 15 Dec 04 - 01:34 PM
CapriUni 15 Dec 04 - 06:12 PM
MMario 16 Dec 04 - 08:45 AM
CapriUni 16 Dec 04 - 09:56 AM
open mike 16 Dec 04 - 02:55 PM
open mike 16 Dec 04 - 03:18 PM
CapriUni 16 Dec 04 - 03:40 PM
NightWing 17 Dec 04 - 12:11 AM
CapriUni 17 Dec 04 - 05:59 PM
Leadfingers 17 Dec 04 - 07:32 PM
CapriUni 17 Dec 04 - 08:20 PM
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Subject: CapriUni's new Yule song: a little help?
From: CapriUni
Date: 13 Dec 04 - 02:37 PM

For a few years now, I've been wanting to write a darker version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" -- one that reflects the Yule Gift-Giver's origins as leader of the Wild Hunt, and his associations with spirits and the dead (from the 15th-18th centuries, Old Christmas looked a lot like New Halloween) . A fuller discussion of this can be found in this thread: Pagan thoughts on 'Santa Claus'.

I used the first four lines of "A Visit from Saint Nicholas" to come up with the melody -- to give the rhythm a sense of forward movement and energy (And for a private sense of irony). But It's still a work in process; I'm not happy with the fourth verse. Rather than simply giving a lump of coal if you've been bad, I'd rather 'Old' Nicholas put you in his sack and take you away (which, was, indeed, a threat from the old days). I'm still working out how to fit idea that into rhyming couplets of anapestic tetrameter... If any of you have suggestions, I'd be glad to hear them!

To hear the tune, copy and paste this bold text:

X:1
T:Bells on the wind
M:4/4
Q:1/4=105
K:Db
B,B,E2EEG2|GGE2DEG2|GGD2DDE2|EEG2EDE2|-EGB2BBA2|
AAG2EGA2|GGE2EED2|B,DG2EDE2|-EE2DB,D3|G2EDE4|
GGE2EED2|B,DG2EDE2|-E7/4||


into the text window at Concertina's Tune-O-Tron: Converter, and hit submit. Important: You'll have to turn off your pop-up blockers for the site to work.

Bells on the Wind
by Ann Magill

Oh, the garlands are hung and the candles shine bright,
and we're gathered together on this joyful night.
In moments of quiet, if you will attend,
you will hear the glad ringing of bells on the wind
(Bells on the wind, bells on the wind)
You will hear the glad ringing of bells on the wind.

From his home far away, wild Nicholas flies,
and his whoops, and his hollers, they ring through the sky.
He's calling his coursers to speed on their way
With their hooves and horns flash-ing as they pull his sleigh.
(They pull his sleigh, they pull his sleigh)
With their hooves and horns flashing as they pull his sleigh.

Yes, old Nicholas laughs as he flies through the air,
for he's bringing the treasures he's gathered all year.
The gifts that he brings, oh, you know that it's true:
They reveal all the secrets he knows about you
(Knows about you, knows about you)
They reveal all the secrets he knows about you.

Oh, if you have been generous, and you've been kind,
then the gifts that he brings will delight heart and mind.
But if you've been miserly, if you've been cruel
Oh, then he will leave naught but the blackest of coal.
(Blackest of coal, blackest of coal)
Oh, then he will leave naught but the blackest of coal.

Oh, the garlands are hung and the candles shine bright,
and we're gathered together on this joyful night.
In moments of quiet, if you will attend,
you will hear the glad ringing of bells on the wind
(Bells on the wind, bells on the wind)
You will hear the glad ringing of bells on the wind.


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Subject: RE: CapriUni's new Yule song: a little help?
From: open mike
Date: 13 Dec 04 - 04:12 PM

AND IF YOU HAVE BEEN ESPECIALLY BAD
OR IF IN SHARING AND GIVING YOU LACK
THAT WILD OLD NICHOLAS WILL PUT YOU IN HIS SACK
AND TAKE YOU AWAY AND NEVER COME BACK
(NEVER COME BACK, NEVER COME BACK)
AND TAKE YOU AWAY AND NEVER COME BACK


well, sorry for caps lock...
if you couldn't come up with a
rhyme you liked, no doubt this
will be lacking...but it is fun
to put the words together...
and hope i can write more...as
time goes on...i have quite a few
unfinished, half-baked songs
luring in my little brain...
ah, new years resolution time is near.
good to see you posting Ann!


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Subject: RE: CapriUni's new Yule song: a little help?
From: MMario
Date: 13 Dec 04 - 04:30 PM

Oh, if you have been generous, and you've been kind,
then the gifts that he brings will delight heart and mind.
But if in the virtues you've shown a great lack
Old Nick claims your soul for to put in his sack
(put in his sack, put in his sack)
Old Nick claims your soul for to put in his sack


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Subject: RE: CapriUni's new Yule song: a little help?
From: CapriUni
Date: 13 Dec 04 - 04:31 PM

Nods. Mudcat is great for coaxing all those half-done songs out from the darker, dusty recesses of the brain.

Thanks for the verse, though... the meter doesn't exactly fit, but I can twiddle it until it does, I think.

(And it's good to be posting.)


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Subject: RE: CapriUni's new Yule song: a little help?
From: CapriUni
Date: 13 Dec 04 - 04:39 PM

Thanks, MMario --

I believe there is a strong connection between Old Nick and Saint Nick, but I think the old Yule goblin is more interested in bodies then souls...

...where do you think all his worker elves come from?

...Suspects they're the greedy chrildren who never learned to do for others back home, so now, that is all they do...

Thanks, you guys! This is really unsticking my brain!


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Subject: RE: CapriUni's new Yule song: a little help?
From: open mike
Date: 13 Dec 04 - 05:46 PM

oh yes, have them taken for slaves in santa's workshop...
perfcet karma!!


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Subject: RE: CapriUni's new Yule song: a little help?
From: CapriUni
Date: 13 Dec 04 - 09:56 PM

Okay, I think I've got it. How's this strike you?

Oh, if you have been generous, and you've done right,
then the gifts that he brings, they will be a delight.
But if you are mean, and do not share your worth
He will sweep you away to the dark, frozen North
(Dark frozen North, dark frozen North)
He will sweep you a-way to the dark, frozen North.


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Subject: RE: CapriUni's new Yule song: a little help?
From: open mike
Date: 14 Dec 04 - 01:02 AM

i fancy the idea of having seperate verses
for the good and bad...is that segregationist//??


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Subject: RE: CapriUni's new Yule song: a little help?
From: CapriUni
Date: 14 Dec 04 - 01:34 PM

Yes, quite possibly. But I've thought about it, too ;-)

If I had a seperate verse for the good, I could elaborate on the Yule Goblin as Father Nature, which I just sort of hint at, here.

On the other hand, I'm not sure how to do that without getting specific about the gifts, which is what I do not want to do.

Hmmm...


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Subject: RE: CapriUni's new Yule song: a little help?
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Dec 04 - 04:03 AM

I liked it better with the coal, as far as reading, but i like the idea of him stealing them away better. I think I'd like separate verses better, too. I also think YOU (so GOOD to see you posting and reading your wonderful creations!) can do it without getting specific on the gifts.

Have you ever read "The Fox and His Travels?" Not about Yule at all, but this reminds me of that story only because he has a bag with a bumble bee in it. He asks a 'goodwife" if she will watch his bag "while I go over to Sqwinton's(sp)," she agrees after promising not to look in his bag. Of course, she does, then has to replace the bee with a rat, I think it is. He comes back to get his bag, notices it is a bit heavier, travels on, goes through the same scenario, each time the goodwife replacing the rat, cat, etc. with something else, until it is a child! Finally the fox leaves his bag with a very busy goodwife who has no time to be curious until she is cooking pancakes for her children. They cry out for the delicious food, as does the boy in the bag, whom she lets out, replacing him with her BIG dog. When the fox decides to open his very heavy bag he is chased off by the family dog.

That's a rough synopsis as I haven't read it in years, but it used to be one our favs. I htought I might find it online, but no luck. I did find someone's apparently reworked version HERE. Anyway, the bag thing with bodies in them reminded me of it.**bg**

Love your title and the imagery of "bells on the wind!"

kat


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Subject: RE: CapriUni's new Yule song: a little help?
From: CapriUni
Date: 15 Dec 04 - 01:15 PM

I liked it better with the coal, as far as reading . . .

Alan C.'s Midi2Text program, from which I got the above ABC notation, doesn't acknowledge rests. So I went back and put them in.

The song might 'read' better with this:

X:1
T:Bells on the wind
M:4/4
L:1/8=210
C:Ann Magill
K:Db
B,B,E2EEG2|GGE2DEG2|GGD2DDE2|EEG2EDE2|zGB2BBA2|
AAG2EGA2|GGE2EED2|B,DG2EDE2|zE2DB,D2z|G2EDE3z|
GGE2EED2|B,DG2EDE2|-E2z6||


but i like the idea of him stealing them away better.

Yeah, me too (obviously). Simple naughtiness might warrant a lump of coal, or a birch switch. But real miserliness and cruelty deserve something harsher, I think.

I got many ideas for this song (and for the essay I posted here) from Phyllis Siefker's Santa Claus: Last of the Wild Men (MacFarland, 1997). But this post from dianavan let me know that such notions are not really all that ancient.

In dianavan's family tradition, Saint Nicholas and Black Pete are separate characters, but Ms. Siefker makes a convincing argument that the darker, Trickster character is the more ancient of the two, and the Saint Nicholas was made to lead him around in chains in an attempt to tame and Christianize him, and that eventually, he broke free and took the Saint's name with him. In early German-American communities, this character was known as Pelznichol, or Belsnickle (Furry Nicholas), and the author quotes this discription of an 18th century belsnickling night:

I went belsnickling several times when I was young. We went to every house in half a township where poor children were. When we had given what we could get from the people who could afford better, we went to some big farm houses for fun ... When we were done visiting the poor children and scared many of them before we did give them the the things, we made our headquarters on the farm. We had fiddles and other music.

As the fox is also a trickster character, maybe your tale of the fox and the bee (and the rat, and the cat, and the kid) is closer to being a Yule tale than you might think...


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Subject: RE: CapriUni's new Yule song: a little help?
From: Little Robyn
Date: 15 Dec 04 - 01:34 PM

Maybe you could have an extra verse - keep the coal for the slightly naughty but then have a verse for the really bad??
Robyn, who's been very good!


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Subject: RE: CapriUni's new Yule song: a little help?
From: CapriUni
Date: 15 Dec 04 - 06:12 PM

No need to convince me, Robyn... I'm only a secret santa to one person this year...

Okay, how are these two verses?

Oh, if you have been generous, and you've been kind,
Then the gifts that he brings will delight heart and mind -
To help keep you warm, and invite you to play
And to gladden your spirit through cold winter days.
(Cold winter days, cold winter days)
And to gladden your spirit through cold win-ter days.


But if you have been miserly, or you've been mean,
Then the fate meant for you will be harsh and be keen.
He'll bundle you up, in the back of his sleigh --
Tie you up in his sack, and he'll take you away!
(Take you away, take you away!)
Tie you up in his sack, and he'll take you away!


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Subject: RE: CapriUni's new Yule song: a little help?
From: MMario
Date: 16 Dec 04 - 08:45 AM

like.


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Subject: RE: CapriUni's new Yule song: a little help?
From: CapriUni
Date: 16 Dec 04 - 09:56 AM

Thank you, MMario.... I value your opinion. Of course, as a writer, it's very hard for me to stop tinkering... :-)

Though I must say I am pleased with it. I'm starting to visualize this song as a picture book, with an illustration for each line (or at least, couplet).

Grown-ups these days can be squeemish when it comes to frightening children. But I doubt the kids themselves are -- just look at the popularity of the Goosebumps or Unfortunate Events books.

And if you are a good child, perhaps the best gift of all is to get that bully out of your life.... or at least, to fantasize about it.


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Subject: RE: CapriUni's new Yule song: a little help?
From: open mike
Date: 16 Dec 04 - 02:55 PM

good one! the fox story reminds me of the little red hen..
the fox put here in the bag but she had brought along her
sewing kit, so when the fox fell asleep she cut her way out
and sewed in a rock instead. now when i search for the story
I only can find the one about the hen who plants, harvests,
mills, bakes wheat herself and gets help form no one..what
is the hen in teh bag story??---oh me, oh my, why do i always
seem to post off-topic info or posts that are barely related
to the original thread/??stream of consciousness i guess or a.d.d.


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Subject: RE: CapriUni's new Yule song: a little help?
From: open mike
Date: 16 Dec 04 - 03:18 PM

o.k. here it is ANOTHER little red hen


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Subject: RE: CapriUni's new Yule song: a little help?
From: CapriUni
Date: 16 Dec 04 - 03:40 PM

Thanks for the link, Laurel.... there is little I love better than a good story.

It says on that page that it's adopted from a version in verse... I wonder if it was a song, originally.
---
Now that the song is pretty much how I want it lyrics-and-melody-wise, I'll ask for help with another bit of it. ... Usually, when I get new songs invading my brain, I hear them acappella. But this time, I think accompanying chords would be helpful -- on bells (or the midi equivalant), naturally. Is there a Web-tutorial out there from which I could learn the basics about chords, and how to match them up with songs?


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Subject: RE: CapriUni's new Yule song: a little help?
From: NightWing
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 12:11 AM

Funny!



This is actually the second reference to Pelznichol I've heard in the past few days. Last Saturday evening the "Cheap Suit Santas" invaded downtowns of cities around the world. Be sure to see the pic about halfway down the page. *BG*



A sociologist pointed out the 'dark Santa' tradition from America and said that it's only been a hundred years or so that Santa has been the jolly old elf that you and I know.



Professor Stephen Nissenbaum, author of the book The Battle for Christmas, points out, the Cheap Suit Santas are actually carrying on a very long tradition of prankster Santas. The domestic, jovial Santa popularized by The Night Before Christmas and a million toy commercials was widely rivaled in the 1800s by raucous, "counter-versions" of Santa Claus that went around playing tricks. One such version was the Belsnickle's (in German, "Santa as a beast"), masked Santas who would roam the cities of Pennsylvania barging into people's houses, terrorizing children and singing drunken Christmas carols. In the Christmas Blues, songs popularized among African Americans in the early 1900s, Santa was also portrayed as a horny old goat who sneaked into houses, had sex with the mothers, and bribed kids with presents to keep their mouths shut. Naughty Santas, Nissenbaum explains, have become increasingly marginalized, "but it's the kind of thing that will never disappear, because the official culture is always going to get mocked at its most sacred places," he says. "It's hard not to think of Santa as a dirty old man, especially with today's concern about child abuse. Santa Claus is a figure who dangles kids on his lap - it's got to give rise to subversive thoughts."


Quoted from here. Sorry, couldn't find the original web site, but I saw it last week.



BB,

NightWing


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Subject: RE: CapriUni's new Yule song: a little help?
From: CapriUni
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 05:59 PM

Nods to NightWing.

Even though I think Proffessor Nissenbaum plays up the child abuse angle a bit too much (which may, itself, be a symptom of our current worry about it -- we tend to see it in many more places than it actually exists), it is true that Christmas, and its gift-givers, was much more rowdy and pollitically incorrect.

I wouldn't be surprised if the former belsnickler I quoted above "persueded" the wealthy families to share their goodies by means of a few carefully aimed stones, and a few carefully chosen epithets.

The whole "Christmas is a time to stay secure in the bossom of your darling family" thing was an invention of the late-Victorian revival (that revival thanks, almost single-handedly, to Dickens' A Christmas Carol). Far better to have the Scrooges of the world give to charity out of the goodness of their hearts than to have the Bob Cratchets of the world take to the streets demanding their fair share.

Oh, no! That wouldn't be good for business, at all!


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Subject: RE: CapriUni's new Yule song: a little help?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 07:32 PM

Capri - Not looked at this thread till now - Like the Two verse ending !! And I still envy people who can make words work !!


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Subject: RE: CapriUni's new Yule song: a little help?
From: CapriUni
Date: 17 Dec 04 - 08:20 PM

Thanks, Terry.

Yeah, I wasn't sure the two verses would work... but they turned out well. So you can compliment Open Mike and Katlaughing, too, for encouraging me.


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