Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Creepy Sound of Children’s Voices

This morning, it being close to Christmas and all, I made a token appearance in church. With both my wife and I getting somewhere in the neighbourhood of six hours sleep combined, we really only made it about halfway through the service.

The only reason we made the attempt in the first place is because my son has been going to Sunday school and they’ve been practicing a little routine for Christmas which was to perform today. So we went and I went to the rehearsal with the boy.

Well I knew chances of him doing his premiere performance were pretty slim when he wouldn’t even stand with the group in the rehearsal and sure enough when it was time for the group to go up he did not attend.

Picture this: the lights were dimmed (or maybe my eyelids were closing) and the line of children made their way to the front. They formed their lines, big kids in the back and little kids in the front; there was a pregnant silence – just like that lull before the opera begins.

Tension was building, the crowd was shuffling.

Then came the first tentative notes on the piano and the children began to sing…

… and it was creepy.

I’m sorry even if my boy was up there it wouldn’t have changed my opinion because there’s something about the sound of kids voices raised in unison that makes the hair on the back of my neck rise up.

Perhaps I’ve seen Children of the Corn too many times but there’s something about the idea of kids working together in unison that fills me with fear. Right now the only reason I can get my son to do anything is because I’m bigger than he is; once he realizes that there is strength in numbers.

“Away in a Manger” became “Run away this song’s mangled” as three kids were singing together, 5 kids were out of tune, one kid was singing Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, and one kid was waving to Grandma: the best word – cacophony.

Now don’t get me wrong, if I was able to turn the volume down it would have been the very picture of cuteness (kind of like Beyonce, great to watch with the volume off) but those voices.

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