Sunday, December 9, 2012

Holiday Transformations: A Christmas / Kwanzaa / Solstice / Chanukah / Ramadan / Boxing Day Song

Christine Lavin & The Mistletones: A Christmas / Kwanzaa / Solstice / Chanukah / Ramadan / Boxing Day Song

[purchase Christine Lavin & The Mistletones “The Runaway Christmas Tree”]

With 2013 approaching rapidly, I picked up my new calendar and saw that this is the first year that Kwanzaa appears on it – starting December 26th. Just as many Christmas songs specifically relate to the birth of Christ, I suppose that other holiday songs have been transformed to adhere to the relevancy of those events. Perhaps much of it is just in the presentation of the song. A little research indicated that these tips might make your Kwanzaa song singing more meaningful:

** Sing a different song during each of the days of Kwanzaa, emphasizing that day’s meaning and values (unity, self-determination, collective work & responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, faith).

** Sing songs that teach about the history and meaning of the holiday.

** Learn basic words in Swahili, the language from which Kwanzaa and many of its names and definitions come.

** Choose a few modern singers (e.g. Aretha Franklin or James Brown) to complement the mood.

** Use drums and bells to accompany yourself when you sing.

I’m not really too in tune on how to transform songs to fit Kwanzaa, nor am I that familiar or hep with how songs should be modified for certain other special days around this time of year. So I’ve just decided to find a simple song (a round) by Christine Lavin & The Mistletones to cover many of the bases. After all, isn’t music a universal language? It makes a lot of sense to me to just have a song that’s appropriate for nearly everything - Christmas, Kwanzaa, Solstice, Chanukah, Ramadan, Boxing Day, and any other day someone wants to celebrate during this holiday season. Let’s hear it for a round that everyone can relate to.

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