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BIRTH OF A CHRISTMAS CAROL: Do you hear what I hear? (I mean, Is anyone listening?)

Last Friday night, the beginning of the Jewish sabbath, was Christmas Eve. Being neither Christian or a religious Jew, I nevertheless appreciated a certain numinous atmosphere that develops every Friday night and holiday eve. I settled in for a quiet evening, deepened by the worsening COVID pandemic, by the puzzling lack of camraderie in my life, and by my pending impoverishment. I was overdue for a spiritual experience. Evidently, the universe agreed.

Here’s the Twitter thread I posted yesterday about a new article posted by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (Doomsday Clock) on Dec. 22, 2021: “Do you Hear what I Hear” was actually about the Cuban Missile Crisis by Prof. Reba Wissner (Columbus State University, Georgia). On Christmas Eve/Friday night, I read the article, listened to the song over and over again, mused over the lyrics, and even sang it through a few times — in the privacy of my home surrounded by a very quiet neighborhood.

1/
“Do you hear what I hear?”
Well-known Christmas Carol written in 1962, 59 years ago.

New article by musicologist Reba Wissner contains the history, recordings info, & music/lyrics analysis.

But does anyone sing it with an edge? as a true protest song? is anyone listening?

2/
Native Americans & other indigenous peoples have been asking those questions for centuries, as they endure genocide, land grabs, destruction of their ecosystems — of our ecosystems.

Do you hear what I hear?
Do you see what I see?
Do you know what I know?

3/
In 2021 U.S., Black voters & others are asking these questions to
–Biden (“nothing will change”)
–Congress (esp. the two-faced Dems who passed the Pentagon budget but won’t pass the voting rights act or pass a people’s budget)
–state & local officials

4/
Do you hear what I hear?
Do you see what I see?
Do you know what I know?

People around the world asked these questions of COP26.

“I am asking you: how many meetings do we have to go to, to learn to take care for the generations to come?”
—Angaangaq Message to COP26

5/
Women have been thinking those questions for a few thousand years.

Also,
Do you feel what we feel?

It’s time for girl children & women to be sung into this song — as the center of the species — birthing, planning, and organizing a future for all, on a daily basis.

6/
Could these voices be sung into the song as it currently exists?
Would we need to revise the lyrics? add verses?

Who might sing the song with the proper mixture of edge and inspiration, with the angst it deserves? with the dagger to the heart?

7/
These singers come to mind
–Raging Grannies
@salenagodden (Pessimism is for Lightweights)
@DrRupaMarya (Rupa & the April Fishes)
–is Sabia still singing? (Ericka Verba, Cindy Harding, et al.)
–??

And, yes, I’ve been singing it since Christmas Eve.
Is anyone listening?

LYRICS: Do you hear what I hear?
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Noel Regney / Gloria Adele Shain (Shayne)
Do You Hear What I Hear? lyrics © Jewel Music Publishing Co., Inc.

Said the night wind to the little lamb
Do you see what I see? (Do you see what I see?)
Way up in the sky, little lamb
Do you see what I see? (Do you see what I see?)
A star, a star, dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite
With a tail as big as a kite

Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy
Do you hear what I hear? (Do you hear what I hear?)
Ringing through the sky, shepherd boy
Do you hear what I hear? (Do you hear what I hear?)
A song, a song high above the trees
With a voice as big as the sea
With a voice as big as the sea

Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king
Do you know what I know? (Do you know what I know?)
In your palace warm, mighty king
Do you know what I know? (Do you know what I know?)
A Child, a Child shivers in the cold
Let us bring him silver and gold
Let us bring him silver and gold

Said the king to the people everywhere
Listen to what I say! (Listen to what I say!)
Pray for peace, people, everywhere
Listen to what I say! (Listen to what I say!)
The Child, the Child sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light
He will bring us goodness and light