CHRISTMAS BUSKING MUSIC
Every year, we do what we call “Christmas Busking”. This is based on the old idea of groups of people going around the neighbourhood, singing Christmas songs and spreading some seasonal cheer.
We get invitations to sing in hospitals, rest homes and retirement villages, market days, community Christmas parades and picnics, at the Franklin Road lights and Carols on the Green, or just around people’s neighbourhoods. We also negotiate with malls and supermarkets to go and sing for an hour to the shoppers, and collect money for those less fortunate. In Auckland, this has always been the Auckland City Mission.
We understand that not everybody wants to go and collect money for charity, or sing in supermarkets or malls, but many people love to have the opportunity to sing around the hospital wards, or at their local Christmas carols picnic. And we also understand that people are available at different times of the day or evening, according to their work and family commitments.
So we teach the same song list to everyone, and then send out a list of times and places, so that everyone who wants to sing can go anywhere and sing with anyone from Everybody Sings. It’s always so much fun, because we never know exactly who will turn up, so the choir is always slightly different each time, but it always works. It gives us all a chance to get to know each other better, and to support each other in all the different communities where we sing.
You’ll see that some things on the list aren’t Christmas songs, strictly speaking. This is for two reasons: one is that we have some great songs that we already know, that other people might enjoy hearing; the other is our view that Christmas is a season for the promotion of peace, kindness, generosity, tolerance and the values which are really at the heart of the Christian festival, but not exclusively the domain of that particular religious tradition.
There are a lot of songs on this list. If you don’t know them all, you can still come out and give it a go. You can always sing the tune, or learn as you go, or just rattle the bucket, or even just listen and encourage us, and work out if you have the courage to join in next time! There will be some extra rehearsals offered for those who are new to Everybody Sings, and we’ll let you know about those in Term 4.
For some of us, the singing we share with our communities and the money we raise for charity are the highlight of our Christmas, and we don’t really feel Christmassy without it now. We hope you’ll join us this year - the more of us doing this, the more we can spread the aroha!