Sunday 30 December 2012

Six Geese a Laying or The Sixth Day of Christmas

As part of the treatment for his battered discs and his osteo-arthritis, the spouse has been doing his walking exercise - about 2 kms each day and every day - at Victoria Park, whatever the weather.  The weather today was chilly and blowy but the spouse kept his feet firmly on the ground.

Daft and Dodgy  DIB   (Donald Iain Buchanan)
This morning I kept him company - to walk off the great dinner  I cooked the night before for our good friend Jack.

 Despite the cold and the wind, the day was gloriously sunny and  bright.  Such cheerful light always makes me a bit loopy and dopey.  I thought a photo of AsH cuddling a tree would prove my green credentials.

Buchanan's Daft  Green Malay Wife
I could not miss this photo opportunity of a  female Malay OAP  (Old Age Pensioner)  sunbathing on a bench in sunny Leicester!

Buchanan's Daft Malay Wife
But all that morning I could not keep out this Christmas Carol  "God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay, for Jesus Christ our saviour, was born on Christmas day"  which kept on ringing in my head.  In fact for the past two weeks a barrage of Carols has been inundating my waking world - in the City Centre and on the radio and TV ... together with all the advertisements for Christmas and New Year Sales!     It's to be expected in this secular and Christian country at this time of year.

But Iain would shake his head in dismay at the breakfast and lunch table (when the radio is on), - not only at the endless Carols but - especially when his wife breaks into a song with each ( or most) of  the Carols.
I could warble for him Good King Wenceslas, Silent Night Holy Night, It Came Upon the Midnight Clear, Away in a Manger, The first Noel, God Bless ye Merry Gentlemen etc, etc.

He asked, "Where did you learn all that?  I don't even know the lyrics to most of those carols."  He shuddered when I replied, "In Pasir Panjang  Primary School during Music Periods!  We also learned them on our Recorder ( somewhat like a flute). "

For good measure I elucidated on the nature of my Music Education in Secondary School.  Other than the usual repertoire of traditional English songs like The Wraggle Taggle Gypsies, The Grand Old Duke of York, I Vow to Thee My Country and God Save the King and God Save the Queen, (when the King died in 1953), we had a jolly old time raucously singing Christmas Carols.  But we were not happy when Miss Scharenguivel our music teacher threw in  a couple of Gospel songs -  too sombre and dirge-like for us red blooded teenagers.

I revel in seeing the spouse's look of disgust when I 'entertain'  him with :

Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
Nobody knows but Jesus.
Nobody knows the trouble I've seen.  Glory Hallelujah.

I  like to sing this when I'm doing my housework chores - giving him a nudge, nudge, wink, wink at the same time.

A few days ago I looked up this particular Gospel Song on YouTube.  Paul Robeson,  Sam Cooke and Louis Armstrong sang the second line as "Nobody knows my sorrow"and not "Nobody knows but Jesus" as we were taught by Miss Scharenguivel.  I reckon they had to water down the Jesus factor for public consumption.  But oh boy, we learned the genuine article!  All part of the British (secular?)  Colonial Education.

Was I deracinated by this English language Colonial Education?  I don't think so.  Thanks to my English educated father and my  unschooled mother.  It's ironic that the younger generation of Malay-Muslims in Singapore and Malaysia are more anglicised/americanised despite their uncolonial education.  They are being colonised by the seductive onslaught of western music, culture, food and fashion and the imported media.  When, years ago, I saw this copy-cat   popular art -caption :

......  I  cringed.  Enough's said.

Here's another Gospel song I was taught in school.

All night, all day, angels watching over me my Lord
All night, all day, angels watching over me.

As angels seem to abound at this time of year, - other than night and day - why not listen to the Dawn?

One  thing my education taught me.  Search and discover and learn.

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