Friday, December 19, 2008


If there's one thing that surely sucks all of the life out of an otherwise splendid holiday, it's hearing The Carol of the Bells played ab absurdum on somebody's cellphone, 70's MOOG synthesizer, performed by The O'Jays, or that "Ding! Fries are Done" thing... To truly celebrate the beauty and wish you all of the joy that you can possibly sustain this Solstice Shopping Season (and the days surrounding My Sister's Birthday) and because Taiko drumming hasn't yet become a traditional Christmas means of joyful expression, I submit these great moments in recent handbell choir history:
First, it's the music from that Johnny Depp movie about old-time seafaring criminals that go "aaarh," performed by the Saint Olaf College Handbell Choir, led by Jill Mahr, making Northfield Minnesota proud:

Then, The Sabre Dance, lovingly caressed by Bells of the Sound (Seattle WA), with manic choreography and horrible cinematography:

And what's Christmas without a little Zep?

And now, turn OFF the sound (unless you can deal with Harry Connick Jr's half-hearted attempt at "Rudolph") and enjoy watching Bailey the dalmatian, while I look out my window and watch the guys who made no money on snow removal over the past two years re-enact that gleeful exuberance, if the weather augurers are anything close to correct:


karie said...

Okay - where do I start?!!

I visited my cousin at St.Olaf College about 25 years ago. Northfield is the town in which Jesse James was shot down (by some coward, I hear). Also, the whole town smelled like Malt-O-Meal. VERY weird! But, keep our economy going - eat Malt-O-Meal on occasion!

When I lived in Duluth, MN, a sweet elderly neighbor of mine passed away. He had kindly given me some very beautiful zinnia tubers for my first-ever garden. His obituary said one could make donations to the "hand bell choir" at his church. I had NO IDEA what that was, but I made a nice contribution, with sincere sympathy. Today (many, many years later) I FINALLY learn, to what that contribution was made. Wow! I don't quite know what to say.

Darned, I thought "Stairway to Heaven" was already over-done. How about some "House of the Holy," people ....please?!?

I rented a room in a house in upstate New York while I attended college. The owner was an NYC fireman, and they got a Dalmatian puppy. Not being "a dog person" I had a bit of a challenge in understanding why someone would choose a pooch with THAT much energy for a tiny little house with boarders. One day, after I had been away for a long weekend, I came "home" and they proudly told me that said Dalmatian pooch had proudly brought them home a duck from the swamp at the end of their (proudly) rural property. Dead, as it was, the wife plucked it and cooked it, and they ate it for dinner. I will never forget the looks on their faces as they watched my jaw drop and heard my instinctual response (I come from a long line of hunters), "Did someone SHOOT the bird and he picked it up (and stole it), or was this a SICKLY bird, which he 'bagged' on his own because it was too slow to get away from a huge and very obvious (in the forest) black and white spotted dog?" I did not live there for much longer.

Okay - so, where do I end?
Not very "holiday" based, but I think it stays in theme with the blog... try this:

Jenn said...

Thanks for the shout out for Bells of the Sound! Sabre Dance is one of our signature pieces, and we never really know how it will go once it gets started! How did you find us?

ThirdMate said...

In our constant search for quality entertainment lost on the Intertubes, sometimes there are flares that just shine in the cluttered sky.
And then there's "search:handbells:YouTube."
I'm glad I found you and hope that the Bells of the Sound WorldTour2009 gets you over to this coast.

Jenn said...

I hope so, too - or maybe 2010! I hail from New Jersey and went to school in Boston, so nothing would make me (or the other East Coast transplants) happier than to take the show back to our old 'hoods!