Archive for Singing

And the Children Sing

Posted in Advertising, Education, Life, Politics, Religion with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2012 by urbannight

Watercolor (?) depicting Children Marching and Singing “Onward Christian Soldiers”.

Photo of Islamic Children Marching and Singing

There is an article where people are concerned that Muslim children are being taught to stand in ranks and walk around singing songs about Islam.   It is a ‘discipleship’ march through neighborhood “war zones,” proselytizing and teaching children to march and shout with them.  It is apparently a recruitment video shot during Ramadan.  One must note that it is the Narrator calling the neighborhood warzones and may not have been presented to the children as such.

I find it rather ironic.

Everyone who went to church as a child, even if they stopped along the way, remembers one particular hymn.  It’s nearly always sang when standing in rows and often is the closing hymn when people are filing out, in rank by rows, from the sanctuary.  It is a very militant song.

Onward, Christian soldiers Marching as to war With the cross of Jesus Going on before!

Christ, the royal Master Leads against the foe Forward into battle See, His banners go!

Onward, Christian soldiers Marching as to war With the cross of Jesus Going on before At the name of Jesus Satan’s host doth flee On then, Christian soldiers On to victory!

Hell’s foundations quiver At the shout of praise Brothers, lift your voices Loud your anthems raise Like a mighty army Moves the church of God Brothers we are treading Where the saints have trod

We are not divided All one body we One in hope and doctrine One in charity Crowns and thrones may perish Kingdoms rise and wane But the church of Jesus Constant will remain Gates of hell can never ‘Gainst that church prevail We have Christ’s own promise And that cannot fail

Onward, then, ye people! Join our happy throng Blend with ours your voices In the triumph-song Glory, laud, and honour Unto Christ the King! This through countless ages Men and angels sing

(something in the formating is wrong and every time I try to fix it I make it worse)

The message being taught is clear.  As you leave this church, in orderly rank and file, you are going out into the world and going into warfare.  The battle ground is the world and you must fight against the non-Christian with all you are worth.  Anything not Christian is of Hell.  You are to view every interaction as a fight against the ungodly.  Marching out as you are singing it helps to reinforce the militant aspect of this.

Does no one else remember marching to this in Vacation Bible School in the summertime?

Maybe other churches, other than my Methodist upbringing, don’t make it so obviously militant.  But what I read in that article doesn’t seem any different to me than what I was experiencing as a child.  I guess it is only alarming, scary, and concerning if it is another religion doing it but perfectly okay so long as Christians are doing it.

Hypocrisy much?

Random Factoid, WordPress’s dictionary doesn’t think  “hymn” is a word and wants to change it to “him”.

Sweeny Todd, The Original Urban Myth

Posted in Art, Entertainment, Life, Movies and Theatre, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 13, 2012 by urbannight

I came across an OLD post of mine from when I decided I needed to start writing again. It was an effort to dust the cobwebs off my decaying skills. I re-read it and was horrified. I decided it was time to rewrite this and do a much better job. I will not being doing this to all my old posts. But since this is one that people occasionally still pull up, I thought I had better do a better job of it.

When the movie came out I was pleased; although, some of Johnny Depp’s notes were painful to hear. He shouldn’t sing.

I highly recommended it to everyone. I was pleased with the show as a whole. Some people were disinclined to view it as they were not Burton fan’s or Depp fans.

I informed them that I was not recommending it as a Burton or Depp film. I like some of their work and dislike some of their work. I am a big Sweeney Todd fan. In college we had to watch the Angela Lansbury version of it. Sweeney Todd was played by Len Cariou. It is an excellent version with outstanding performances.

People don’t realize that the story of Sweeney Todd has been around for a long time. The earliest print stories are from the mid 1840’s and it may be one of the earliest known examples of Urban Myths as bits and pieces of the story may have been around since the 1700’s. In the oldest stories, Todd is not a tragic figure who was framed and deported because someone wanted his wife. He is literally a murderous barber killing people for their possessions. The silent film version is one of the earliest horror movies and reflects the original story. It evolved over the years into the musical we know now.

Many of the characters in the modern version existed in the original story ‘The String of Pearls’ but have transformed into different roles. Tobias Ragg was originally Todd’s assistant who gets sent to a madhouse. Johanna goes undercover as a boy to work for Todd in order to find out what happened to a Lieutenant who was bringing her a pearl necklace from her lover who was lost at sea. It turns out her lover was imprisoned and put to work in a pie shop as a cook.

Prior to A String of Pearls being released, Dickens made a reference to preparers of cannibalic pastry in one of his novels. And even earlier story (1824) refers to a barber’s victims being made into meat pies. So that part of the story had been around since the earliest part of the 19th century at the very least and maybe longer.

I nearly purchased a dvd of the 1928 silent film version but passed on it. I went back a week or two later and there were no copies left and I’ve not been able to find it anywhere again. Someone was releasing very old black and white talkies and silent films in very cheap cardboard cases with two movies on one dvd. They were being sold in Walgreen’s.

Now back to the most current adaptation. I think it was well done, although listening to the two leads sing was a bit annoying. Having purchased the cd and listened to it often I’ve come to the conclusion that even their less than ideal singing voices actually work in favor for their parts. Carter’s voice does something odd at the highest notes. Almost like her voice catches but not exactly. But it works well with the accent and with the socioeconomic strata she is representing. Depp actually goes off-key which was more painful to hear at first. Made me wonder, if that was the best take of his singing, what did the others sound like?

The movie is true to the tragic love story that evolved out of the basic horror story. It is as if the story spent several decades being codified into a final version. Burton’s interpretation of this version was visually very beautiful. Depp singing to his razors was very creepy. The costuming was almost like a fantasy version of the clothing of the time period. This gave a fairy tale like quality to the film. I enjoyed it immensely.

Afterwards, I went to a local eatery and was surprised to discover that the movie’s release corresponded to a food special campaign of meat pies. We all opted to pass on that and just had desert.

Today has been pre-empted by work, sleepiness, spring, and an overwhelming desire to find a nap spot.

Posted in Life, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2012 by urbannight

ARG, my number in the orange box went down today. Probably because I have not posted a blog.

But my eyes are burning and my feet are too hot and my bed is singing siren songs to bring me back to home and sweet sweet slumber. 

Now, can I use my coat and shoes and unobtrusively make a bed under my cubicle desk?