December 5, 2020

Music can help you during the Christmas holiday

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iNews publisher Joan Wilson & soprano Lisa Carlisle

During this Christmas holiday when you’re looking for some different ways to soothe, level, motivate, energise yourself and otherwise get on top of your cascading emotions – may I suggest music?

If you are a metaphysician and you can answer: what is there?: and what it is like?, and you can clarify the fundamental notions by which people understand the world, then this music should suit you:

Try anything with a big solid bass, up loud, but make sure the lyrics don’t interfere. The right brain will dominate and you’ll hear the music first, but your left brain will still be getting the lyrics. I suggest: “I Loved ‘Em Everyone”.

However,  if you need to deal with something heavy because last year your loved one died on Christmas Eve and here comes the first anniversary :

Only classical music will work for this and that’s why it’s called classical. For such a deep need, to maintain your grip when something’s rocked the foundation of your world, I recommend, Beethoven’s “Eroica”

“Eroica” means “heroic” and that you will need to be. Beethoven lived through the worst thing that can happen to a composer of music – he became death. It’s there, in his music.

To get on a level plane nothing will probably ever compare to Pachelbel’s “Canon”. George Winston’s “December” is also recommended. Good masseuses play these CD’s or from their iPods. There are no ups and downs and that may be just what you’re aiming at.

To rip the heart out of Christmas, like when you want to just sit down in front of the tree and cry at the beauty and the splendour of it all and get it over with and then eat, drink a pint of beer or cider and then fall asleep: Pavorotti’s Christmas video (, Panis Angelicus duet with the little boy, especially if you had a little boy who now has whiskers on his cheeks.

Or there’s Puccini’s “O Mio Babbino Caro” movingly sung by the beautiful International Welsh soprano Lisa Carlisle (  Then you can pull out your heart and put it on the table beside you, right there by the dish of peppermints, and the cinnamon-scented candle, and you’ll know you had Christmas.

If you want something Christmassy but light, I suggest some Christmas music played on the harp. It’s good for this, especially for baking cookies to. It doesn’t pull the emotions. It’s close to the lyre, the instrument the Greek god Orpheus played to soothe the savage beasts, and to win a favour from Hades, the god to whom there is no altar (death), the god with whom there is no bargaining.

Completely upbeat, light and fun is the album “A Reggae Christmas,” by Various Artists:- RAS Family, Don Carlos, June Lodge, Freddie McGregor, Michigan & Smiley, Peter Broggs, Pablo Black, and Eek-A-Mouse.

You need to get some work done, you’re sick of Christmas, got the kids around, underfoot and you’re bored?

How about: (1) “Great Balls of Fire,” Jerry Lee Lewis. How could you possibly be ‘mindful’ with that going on? It’s great fun and will clear the air. (2) “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” by Bob Marley.

You find out the out-laws are coming – sorry, I mean the IN-laws! You are exhausted, crabby and high on sugar, you must clean the house and you aren’t exactly in the MOOD for a Christmas Carol, if you know what I mean.

May I suggest: If you haven’t cleaned house with your two preschoolers marching along behind you to a John Philip Sousa march, you haven’t lived. Give the little one a paper hat and get out his toy drum.

My PG suggestion is: Got older kids you need to get working with you? Call it “the main event,” and put on the Jock Jams, “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble.”

This next one isn’t mine but a colleague’s X rated suggestion: you and your partner put “Cotton Eyed Joe” on — the Texas version – and invent your own lyrics appropos to the, um, challenges of the moment. (This is popular at office holiday parties with adjusted lyrics as well!) And DO the Cotton Eye Joe as you push that vacuum around. Here’s how ( ).

You find you need to be inspired and also to get in touch with the spiritual side of Christmas then I suggest: Handel’s “Messiah, Hallelujah Chorus”, of course.

Now, or any time you’re beginning to feel just slightly resentful of all your ‘blessings’ then: “Lord, What Did I Ever Do?” by the Oak Ridge Boys is great for attitude adjustment.

For the peace that passeth understanding, how about: Stille Naq, Noite de Paz, Noche de Paz, Sainte Nuit, Cicha Noc, Glade Jul, Stille Nacht, Po La`i E, or, as many of us know it, Silent Night, the lullaby that’s been translated into every language on earth, composed by the greatest unsung duo in musical history, Mohr (lyrics) and Gruber (melody).

I also recommend “O Holy Night.” Especially the version by Josh Groban.

Let them still your heart and bring you peace.


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