Sunday, December 19, 2004

Sing For Your Supper

'Tis the season of hot chocolate and ruddy cheeks and Scotch pines and mistletoe. It's also the season of music, music, music. Love 'em or hate 'em, seasonal songs are lurking behind every corner, either to inspire you or to drive you to do deeds for which the word "justifiable" was invented.

But before you secure a starring role on next season's Law and Order, consider the musician. Not the local carolers who drunkenly launch Operation Shlock and Eww on unsuspecting neighbors. Not the disembodied voices that Feliz Navidad you from the Muzak speakers of your local grocery store.

I mean the real musicians. Those singers and instrumentalists whose musical livelihood depends on the next gig. For most of us, it's a life of feast or famine, and for better and for worst, the holidays are usually feast. The month of December tends to be a giant blur, punctuated by office parties, holiday concerts, multiple church services, and a Messiah or two.

Regular people snack on tasty holiday treats and chat with friends and coworkers. Musicians are either in the car on the way to a gig, in the car on the way to the next gig, or enjoying yet another rendezvous with the drive-through window number two employee at the fast food emporium with the shortest line. In December we're not picky. We're in a hurry.

Regular people travel from party to party in sweaters bedazzled with sequined Santas and snowmen. Musicians wear that oh-so-festive holiday black. By December 26th our concert black is able to walk downstairs and jump into the washing machine all by itself. We'd easily pass for professional mourners, were it not for the telltale black folders nestled snug in their wee little bed of twenty empty Taco Bell bags tossed in the back seat of the car.

But I'm not complaining. I'm really not. I just want you all to know that by this time of year, if I don't jump at the chance to strike the harp and join the chorus, there's nothing wrong. I love making a joyful noise, but I've Decked Them Halls and Harked Them Herald Angels so many times that I'm a little punch drunk -- without benefit of punch. I'm joining up with those Merry Gentlemen, God rest me, and ready to let nothing me dismay.

Holy Hollyberries, do you see what I mean? It doesn't even make sense.

At the tender age of 10, TinyTuna has officially joined the ranks of the Musician Holiday Zombie Chorus. Saturday she lasted through five (5!!) hours of rehearsals and then a two hour concert. When everything was said and done, she she stumbled to the car at 10:30pm, and had one simple request.

She was starved and wanted to go to Wendy's.
Request granted.
Welcome to my world, kiddo.


Gary said...

I hear ya, Tuna!! My stuff is all volunteer, but it's still pretty busy nonetheless. My Decembers are usually a blur of rehearsals and performances, and somehow I manage to get a little Christmas shopping squeezed in between. I wouldn't have it any other way, though. I took it a little lighter this year though, so it wasn't too bad.

TVJ said...

Awwww. Go Tuna Clan! I have found myself singing lots of seasonal songs in the car lately. Usually "Deck The Halls". And I usually make up my own words. "Get your car out of my wa-ay, falalalalalalalala" .. you know that. But, it makes the commute better. I may carry over after the holiday season. ;-)