Sunday, November 20, 2022

Music to play for Thanksgiving

I made this arrangement for violin and viola (with its alternate bass clef part for the lower voice) several Thanksgivings ago, and thought I'd share it again. It can be played by any combination of people who happen to be around on Thanksgiving, and can be played by any combination of instruments.

This song brings to mind the childhood school celebrations of the holiday. My mind's eye remembers the pilgrim and turkey candles we used to have as classroom decorations.

But when I look at the pilgrim candles through the eyes of a twenty-first-century adult, they look very odd. They are all so Germanically White. The men have muskets, and the women, who are presented as pious with their praying hands, look like girls. If the characters are supposed to be children, it is just as disconcerting to see they way they dress up to "be" adults.

I realize that one of the things I am most thankful for this Thanksgiving is the cultural and racial diversity that is twenty-first-century America. Another is that men don't have to carry muskets anymore. The sight of a gun on candle character meant to celebrate a holiday invented to give thanks takes me aback.

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