Sunday, December 06, 2009

Dumbing Down

This weekend saw  DD3 participating in a regional  Christmas carol service.

It was very interesting to see that the normally very stark and bare non-conformist chapel in which it was held is now decorated with some very lovely wall-hangings in what can best be described as an iconographical style, but heavily watered -down.

The ubiquitous overhead projector was much in use to display the words of the Carols.
The carols, however, had been heavily - and I apologise for the strong word but I cannot think of another-  bastardised. The words that the overwhelming majority of the adults and a significant proprtion of the youngsters were singing by memory were not the words on the OHP display, which contained many grammatical errors as well as attempts to be politically correct.

One notable horror had two verbs in one short sentence, both relating to the same subject, yet one was in the past tense and one in the present, and it made absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Why don't they just leave the Carols alone, and sing them in their beautiful original versions? By all means teach the children exactly what they mean in words they can understand during the rehearsals, but I see no need to dumb them down for singing them too. Many of the children looked baffled, and no wonder; I wouldn't want to sing things which made no sense, either !
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6 comments:

margaret said...

If the word fits use it. I can’t imagine why anyone would try to simplify carols and make them PC but the world gets sillier almost every day so I‘m not surprised. There was something in the news a week or so ago about some Anglican clergyman fretting that Victorian carols are all about oppressing children by referring to Jesus as a good child! Most of the people who sing carols aren’t interested in the theology, “a babe on the breast of a Maiden He lies, yet sits with the Father on high in the skies,” doesn’t thrill them the way it does us because they don’t realise the importance of the Trinity. They want things old, beautiful, familiar made dear to them through association with people and their past. It seems very harsh to take it away in the interests of PC-ness, if we drive people out of Church at Christmas, when will they ever come in? Christmas is the only time they praise their Creator and somewhere, somehow I am sure it is good for them. I do hope the dumb-downers don’t triumph here.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

I always wondered, into my teens, what a round yon virgin was, and why being round and yon was important...

:-)

Meg said...

Hey, if "bastardised" works, I don't have a problem with it. Over the summer, I had the interesting experience of discussing with a Russian Orthodox monk the kind of Jesus portrayed in modern theology as a "wussy Jesus" -- *and he agreed.* If the shoe fits, etc.!

GretchenJoanna said...

Lord, have mercy! I don't which is worse, having a month of nonstop "Christmas music" on the radio here, with no mention of Christ, or the defaced and blighted carols you sang.

thegeekywife said...

Elizabeth,
I couldn't agree more with you, Margaret, and GretchenJoanna.

I also have no idea what "round yon Virgin" means, but I'm certain Google will tell me.

Merry Christmas!

elizabeth said...

Yeah, I hear you. Sigh.