Sunday, December 21, 2014
Kauneimmat joululaulut -oh dear!
In Finland we have this thing called Kauneimmat joululaulut. It refers to a Finnish custom; people gather in churches around Christmas time to sing or to listen to the kauneimmat joululaulut, i.e. the most beautiful Christmas carols. I like Christmas, but I never attend these concerts. Why? Because I don't want to become depressed and miserable.
You see, Finnish Christmas carols (or the Christmas carols sung in Finland) are extremely sad and depressing. Many people call them solemn; I just call them sad and depressing. The melody is in the minor, and the lyrics are usually melancholic (to say the least). Life is awful and miserable, little children die, people are alone, birds are left without any food etc. How nice! Somehow I thought that the birth of Christ was supposed to be a joyous occasion, and hence, Christmas a happy holiday ...?
Of course, there are also Christmas carols sung in Finland that are more cheerful, but unfortunately, I don't like them either. The problem with these songs are that they go to the other end of the spectrum: they are just too cheerful! Christmas carols like Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer (yes, we do have it in Finnish as well..) or Kilisee, kilisee, kulkunen are such jingles that I have a hard time believing that anyone would actually like them.
Okay, I'm trying to stop whining now. Actually, there are Christmas carols that I like very much; they are just not sung in Finland. I think that the English-speaking countries have succeeded in this field a lot better than we have: there are many English Christmas carols that make you feel like Christmas without sounding like muzak or making you feel miserable. White Christmas, The First Noël, The Twelve Days of Christmas and Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow fit into this category just fine, in my opinion. So, instead of attending a Kauneimmat joululaulut in our church, I'll listen to my A White Christmas By Bing Crosby and Friends -CD and enjoy my kinds of Christmas carols.
Merry Christmas, everyone!