Writing a Carol for Everyone

Image from 'Carol for Everyone'

There is no festival for literally everyone, which is a shame. Christmas does pretty well; its popularity extends beyond the two billion people who call themselves Christians. On the other hand, I can sympathize with those Christians who feel dispossessed when Christmas is morphed into a non-specific ‘holiday’ season. No other religion can offer a festival as globally popular as Christmas. The celebration of the New Year is widespread – but not everyone shares the same calendar. Harvest festivals are common across the planet, though increasing numbers only ever do their harvesting at a supermarket. Sporting events can bring people together, but even the World Cup falls short on two scores: not everybody likes football, and the people running the sport are hideously corrupt and self-serving. Despite the difficulties, every year, at this time, I look for a way to reach out to everyone, irrespective of their beliefs. Christmas is a time for giving; I do not want to discriminate based on the beliefs of the recipient, but nor do I see benefit in offending people either. Is there a middle route, that allows me the option to borrow from Christmas, without undermining or challenging anyone’s religious beliefs? The Christians borrowed much of Christmas from the pagans, which was why the Puritans were opposed to celebrating Christmas. I wondered if I might create a gift suitable for anyone, and to make it from ingredients that were borrowed widely. This is what I borrowed:

I tried to tie them all together with some new words that hark back to some very old themes. The result, for want of a better description, was a carol for everyone, incorporating words, music and pictures. The words are below. You can watch the assembled film here.

O human race, O human race
Your home spins round in outer space
Once more you’ve gone around the sun
And wound right back where you’d begun

O human race, O human race
You run through life at fearsome pace
Yet still you’re apt to linger on
Within the guise of your children

O human race, O human race
So many times you fall from grace
Through every battle, lost and won
Descants of peace will still be sung

O human race, O human race
So much to see, within your face
But after all is said and done
Each person looks like everyone

I hope you enjoyed the carol. If you celebrate Christmas, I wish you a merry Christmas. If you do not celebrate Christmas, I wish you the same peace and goodwill. And most of all, I wish it not just for the season, but for every day, and everyone.


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