Coo Coo Coo-oo-oo

Coo Coo Coo-oo-oo

It’s Christmas time,

A child is born,

So let me sing to him,

A carol for Christmas with love from a dove…

And so, sang in the tentative soprano of a pre-pubescent, I, your weekly Gabbler, was launched onto the school nativity circuit to rapturous applause (ok, it was mainly my mum). Imagine me, aged ten, high up in the church choir stalls, singing the solo vocal accompaniment of the ‘Dove Song’ over the interpretive dance of the dove, performed by the primary school prima donna. Surprisingly, I remember the song to this day – above is a darn near match to the original, although I will spare you the pain of attaching a sound clip.

The year after my dove début I was given the main part of ‘Babooshka’ (trans. ‘Grandmother’) in a Russian version of the nativity – not the Kate Bush alter ego, I hasten to add and rather unfortunately too I now believe. I was a nativity starlet and having graduated from being the back end of the donkey, to ‘chief candle carrier’ until I finally reached the dizzying heights of ‘Granny Christmas’, I felt it was about time I got a little recognition. I think it was about this time that I told my ‘band’ (three girls, a shed and a karaoke machine) that I was going ‘solo’ – the ridiculousness of this statement was not even lost on my two fellow ten year old ‘bandmates’ then, which shows now just what a truly ridiculous ten year old I was. For some bizarre reason, I was also stuck on the stage name ‘Sally’ and insisted we be called ‘Sally and the Girls’ – I’d like to blame the E numbers but I think the truth is that I was just a bit of a knob. I use the past tense optimistically.

This week has seen the advent of the local school’s nativity plays and the Arts Centre, where I work, has been inundated with the little darlings. Some of the regulars have turned their noses up at the, and I quote one such regular here, ‘exuberant ones’ and resent them for invading their place of contemplation with chaos. I, on the other hand, have loved it. It’s been great having so many kids running around, minus the peeing and the puking, they’re just really funny. You get the kids who are so nervous and scared and overwhelmed at the same time that they start to cry almost immediately; kids who are so into it that their ‘Away in a Manger’ begins to resemble Willow Smith and kids who can’t help but take the whole thing very seriously and almost need a black beret in place of their halo.

To top it all off, when they come out of the theatre to their waiting parents when the show is over they all look exhausted but beaming. I suppose it just shows what a big wuss I am but it genuinely brought a tear to my eye, up until I waved one cheeky little chappy goodbye and he gave me the finger in return, bless him.

Merry Christmas!

Image by Alex Lecea