Another Piece of the Puzzle: Christmas Music

Lynn Marr-Moore

First of all, am I allowed to refer to holiday music as Christmas carols? Freedom of Speech…but I sure don’t want to offend anyone. There apparently are opinions regarding the music of the holidays that are offensive to some people. I thought it would be interesting to share some thoughts on music. So here goes.

One of my all-time favorites is “Silent Night,” first performed on Christmas Eve in 1818 in Austria. The version by Bing Crosby is the third bestselling version of all time. My preference is the rendition by Mannheim Steamroller. It was about 20 years ago that my youngest son, Travis, was getting married just before Christmas. When it was time for Travis to walk me to my seat, Silent Night was his choice to escort me to my place in the church before the wedding. I looked up at Trav and remarked how that was my favorite and he said he knew and that was why he chose the music. That year, that was not only my favorite Christmas carol, but also the best gift I could have received.

“O Holy Night,” was composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847, with the text reflecting on the birth of Jesus. A beautiful song, which I share with my dad, Charlie Marr. Dad died 19 years ago, and he always loved this song. Now when I hear it, I think of my dad and how much I still miss him.

“Sleigh Ride” was composed by Leroy Anderson in 1948, and in 1950, Mitchell Parish wrote the lyrics to the song. I have never been on an actual sleigh ride, but I can only imagine how much fun it would be. One time not too long ago, a neighbor of ours who has a small sleigh and a couple horses stopped by and took Reed and our granddaughter Alex for a ride. Alex loved it, and I bet she was singing as they went for a ride on a snowy day out here in the country.

Alvin and the Chipmunks’ “Christmas Don’t Be Late” made its debut on Dec. 28, 1958. That holiday song is one that people have either loved or hated, but was able to top the Billboard charts for three weeks. Grandson Carter, at a younger age of course, loved this song, and I remember trips to their home in Utah around the holidays and hearing the three chipmunks singing for hours on end. I think he is past that now.

“Joy to the World” should be sung loud and often. Heaven only knows that we need more joy in our world today. An interesting note about this carol is that it wasn’t written about Christmas, or even as a song. Isaac Watts, a minister and hymn writer published the now lyrics in 1719 “The Psalms of David: Imitated in the Language of the New Testament,” a book of poems based on the psalms.

“My Grown Up Christmas Wish,” composed by David Foster and Linda Thompson-Jenner and first sung by Natalie Cole in 1990 is a pop song that I recently added to my list. When we were children, we would tell Santa what we wanted for Christmas. When I told Santa one year that I wanted a puppy, I got a brother instead. I am sure that has happened to many children through the years.

Now as an adult, my list is pretty simple. At the top of my list is my hope for a cure for cystic fibrosis that I am sure you all have heard me talk about many, many times. It is a mission for me to help make that happen.

My Christmas story about this wish goes like this:

Each year our Charlie’s Angels Cystic Fibrosis Team decorates a Charlie Tree at the Blank Children’s Hospital Festival of Trees and Lights. Each year our theme is an angel tree. Charlie was helping me make bows for last year’s tree and she looked up at me and asked; “What is the Cure, Nana and are these bows for the tree for the Cure too?” A child way ahead of her years. I answered “Yes, Charlie, we are working to find a cure to make you not sick anymore. Every time we do something for Sixty-Five Roses (Cystic Fibrosis as pronounced by children), we are getting closer to the Cure. The money we raise and the more people know about CF, we will get that Cure even faster.”

She looked up at me with those beautiful blue eyes and hugged me and said, “Thank you, Nana, for making the Cure.” I told her that I don’t make the Cure, that all her angels are helping me make the Cure.

So, I continue to ask everyone to help me make the Cure happen for Charlie. And, if you have a cause that you are passionate about, I ask you to remember them not only at this time of the year, but all year long. I know from experience that they are depending on you.

Make it your Christmas Wish to make a difference.

Lynn Marr-Moore is a contributing writer for the Tri-County Times. She lives near Kelley.