Just the other night K’s school held its “Holiday Concert.” I proposed an informal over/under bet. Which would be greater, the number of unexpurgated Christmas Carols or the number of Hanukkah songs? While I thought myself to be clever, the question was moot. The single “Hanukkah” song was only tangentially related to the holiday — simply stating that “Shalom Aleikhem” means “peace to you” — and the “Christmas” songs were two: Jolly Old St. Nicholas and Here We Come a-Wassailing (Caroling). So the Christmas songs would have won the day, if only technically, but hark! The latter carol has been altered! Now you are saying to yourself, “Come on. A real live communist could barely object to that song.” I concur. Leave it to your local public school choir teacher, however, to find something objectionable. Here is the chorus to Here We Come a-Wassailing:
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail too;
And God bless you and send you a Happy New Year
And God send you a Happy New Year.
And here are the last two lines as sung by the second-graders:
And we wish you and send you a Happy New Year
And we wish you a Happy New Year.