Sunday, December 25, 2016

Post-rational Jingle Bells

Humans need holidays. Otherwise our lives would get just too bleak.

And what could be more bleak than the winter solstice in the northern latitudes?

Consider the facts . . .
  • There's not nearly enough sunlight.
  • It's cold cold cold every day.
  • Snow everywhere.
  • Spring will never come.
How did those pre-Europeans cope with such adversity?  They decided to kick back near a fire to overeat and overdrink.  Maybe sing some cheery songs.  After they'd done that for a couple years - or a couple of centuries - they had themselves a solstice holiday.

Of course, the nature of this particular holy day has changed over time.  Pagan holiday became Christian holiday became Capitalist holiday.  Whatever.  It's a holiday no matter what your religion.  And it comes just when you need it most, during the dark time.  Go ahead.  Turn on all the lights.  Drink too much.  Give useless gifts.

This year - given our recent presidential election - a lot of people (including myself) really need a good holiday.  Current events have stopped making sense for us.  And there's no expectation that the news will be getting better in the future.  It's going to be an awfully long time before America's political winter is over.

I've dubbed this the "post-rational" period of history - everything seems beyond reason.

And when life makes no sense, you need holiday music that makes no sense.

That's why I'm offering you my piece called Post-rational Jingle Bells.  It's just another installment of my yearly series of incomprehensible Jingle Bells arrangements, a Mixed Meters holiday tradition since 2006. 

Click here to hear Post-rational Jingle Bells by David Ocker - © 2016 David Ocker - 322 seconds

Curious about the picture?  Here are a couple Mixed Meters posts on the subject of bio-geography:
Stalking the Christmas Penguin
Stalking the Christmas Penguin 2
Christmas Zoology

You may be surprised to learn that one or two other musicians, besides myself, have dealt with the Jingle Bells Question.  Here's a version narrated by the composer Juan Garcia Esquivel directly from his Space Age Bachelor Pad.  I particularly like the line "There is a lovely view of Venus tonight."

Here's a Mongolian folk ensemble playing the tune.  It looks genuinely cold where they are. Watch for a guy with a rifle.

Finally, to hammer home the post-rational aspect, here is a Walmart commercial.