Ten Pipers Piping

20 12 2010

With today’s verse of the Twelve Days of Christmas, begins a bit of the controversy. Some versions depart from the original, and are often sung “ten lords a-leaping” but we’ll get to leaping lords later. I’m sticking with the original form of the song, which appeared in the Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes. So today, representing pipers piping, I’ve selected a few “pipes” you might actually want in your home.

There’s almost no way of getting around pipers piping being musical. So, the question is, do you prefer the majestic sounds of the pipe organ? Perhaps a little Scottish bagpipe music strikes your fancy? Or jazzy trumpet?

Fun for the kiddies might involve learning to play a little themselves. You can always get ten fun and colorful kazoos, a perennial childhood favorite, but another simple and educational option might be to start that young musical genius on a recorder. (Do children still have to learn to play the recorder in elementary school anymore, or am I just that old?) I have almost no musical talent, but I remember the excitement when we all received our elegant, plastic pipes in music class in 6th grade. I can still play you our first tune of “C-A-C-C-A C-A-C.”

Though not a Christmas story, slightly older children will still find this unusual tale of the Pied Piper intriguing, so a wonderful activity might be to sit down and read them the picture book of it together. Then, if you’ve got Christmas baking to finish up, let them help you pipe the icing onto cookies or cakes.

And if you have a sophisticated (and over 18) man in your house, perhaps he’d like a holiday pipe to enjoy during the season. I don’t smoke, but I have a couple of family members that do, on a special occasion. And there’s nothing nicer than that comforting smell of tobacco. (After all, I am from Kentucky, we can’t forget.) For our many Florida readers, don’t miss the wonderful Edwards of San Marco store. Just walking in is a sensorial treat. From the rich colors, to the intoxicating smell, to the downright quaint cuteness, I can almost convince myself I’ve stepped back in time and across the pond, and am about to meet C.S. Lewis for a chat. If you don’t have a pipe shop nearby, there are a host of resources available online, but I assure you, for the experience and company alone, I’d suggest it’s worth seeking out a local shop.

The ten in the Twelve Days stands for the Ten Commandments, given to Moses by Yahweh to the Israelites in Exodus of the Bible. Wherever you stand on religion, we life in a society formed on Judeo-Christian laws, and I think most would agree that these are great rules to follow (I mean, who isn’t teaching your kids not to swear, kill, steal, lie, and so on).

P.S.- Just for fun, you have to watch this video of the a capella group singing their version of the 12 Days. I think a capella music is staging a come back with the new popularity of the great show The Sing-Off.

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