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Backlash after school banned ‘Jingle Bells’ over Christmas


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Backlash after school banned ‘Jingle Bells’ over Christmas

Source - New York Post

By - David Reilly

Date - 02-01-2022

Some upstate New York residents are riled up after there were no “Jingle Bells” on Christmas, with the holiday song banned by a local school because of its ties to 19th century blackface minstrel shows.

school-christmas.jpg?quality=90&strip=al

Council Rock Primary School had axed “Jingle Bells” from the school’s holiday repertoire because the holiday mainstay may have been first performed at minstrel shows in 1857, according to an academic article from Boston University professor Kyna Hamill published in 2017.

The school replaced the tune with others that don’t have “the potential to be controversial or offensive,” Council Rock principal Matt Tappon told The Rochester Beacon, who first reported the news on Dec. 23.

Brighton Central School District Superintendent Kevin McGowan defended the decision amid the lingering outcry from people who condemned the school for killing a popular, seemingly harmless holiday tradition.

“This wasn’t ‘liberalism gone amok’ or ‘cancel culture at its finest’ as some have suggested,” he said in a letter posted to the district website.

“Nobody has said you shouldn’t sing ‘Jingle Bells’ or ever in any way suggested that to your children. I can assure you that this situation is not an attempt to push an agenda.”

McGowan said “This is not a political situation, it was a simple, thoughtful curricular decision” adding that teachers were not  “discussing politics about the song or anything regarding its history” with the school’s students, who are in kindergarten through second grade.

Hamill, whose article apparently inspired the decision, wrote in an email to the Beacon that she was “actually quite shocked the school would remove the song from the repertoire… I, in no way, recommended that it stopped being sung by children.

“My article tried to tell the story of the first performance of the song, I do not connect this to the popular Christmas tradition of singing the song now,” she continued.

“The very fact of (“Jingle Bells’”) popularity has to do (with) the very catchy melody of the song, and not to be only understood in terms of its origins in the minstrel tradition. … I would say it should very much be sung and enjoyed, and perhaps discussed.”

But the superintendent’s message said “Jingle Bells” wasn’t likely to have been on the curriculum in the first place.

He wrote, “it may seem silly to some, but the fact that ‘Jingle Bells’ was first performed in minstrel shows where white actors performed in blackface does actually matter when it comes to questions of what we use as material in school.

“I’m glad that our staff paused when learning of this, reflected, and decided to use different material to accomplish the same objective in class,” he said. “Our staff found that their simple objective could be accomplished by singing any one of many songs in class and therefore they chose to simply choose other songs.”

 

SOURCE: https://nypost.com/2022/01/02/backlash-after-school-banned-jingle-bells-over-christmas/

 

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The world really has gone mad!!!

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I hear the need for a Choral Musicology comment, so here here is my reply, ( I knew my DMA would be of use to the Claus Community, someday) …

James Lord Pierpont (1822-93), was a Medford, Massachusetts composer who wrote “In A One Horse Open Sleigh” in the fall of 1847. It was intended for his Sunday School class to sing at Thanksgiving that year. He was an active composer who wrote hymns and other parlour songs and was represented by the Boston Publisher, Oliver Dittson, & Co. Jingle Bells, was we now call the Thanksgiving song, was published in September 1847 and quickly gained popularity. It was performed in a Minstrel Show in September 1847. However, Pierpont wasn’t commissioned to write this for that minstrel show.

We live in difficult time and everything is being questioned. We need to look at the origins and the intent before making a general statement. There is any works that I will review before programming for my choirs. Jingle Bells is one of the most popular Holiday Songs and has had more association with Community, Church, Educational, and Family based celebration. I will continue to program and perform this song knowing that Pierpont intended this to be sung with the most innocents. If the School Board would have analyzed the verse text, they may have found concerns about dating habits of young men driving their sleighs to fast down the county roads back in the late 1840’s.

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24 minutes ago, Santa Bruce Geron said:

I hear the need for a Choral Musicology comment, so here here is my reply, ( I knew my DMA would be of use to the Claus Community, someday) …

James Lord Pierpont (1822-93), was a Medford, Massachusetts composer who wrote “In A One Horse Open Sleigh” in the fall of 1847. It was intended for his Sunday School class to sing at Thanksgiving that year. He was an active composer who wrote hymns and other parlour songs and was represented by the Boston Publisher, Oliver Dittson, & Co. Jingle Bells, was we now call the Thanksgiving song, was published in September 1847 and quickly gained popularity. It was performed in a Minstrel Show in September 1847. However, Pierpont wasn’t commissioned to write this for that minstrel show.

We live in difficult time and everything is being questioned. We need to look at the origins and the intent before making a general statement. There is any works that I will review before programming for my choirs. Jingle Bells is one of the most popular Holiday Songs and has had more association with Community, Church, Educational, and Family based celebration. I will continue to program and perform this song knowing that Pierpont intended this to be sung with the most innocents. If the School Board would have analyzed the verse text, they may have found concerns about dating habits of young men driving their sleighs to fast down the county roads back in the late 1840’s.

What he said. 🤣

Awesome response, Santa Bruce! Honestly, the whole notion we need to simply stop doing things because they might, distantly, somehow be or get associated in the most remote way possible with something unsavory, even though it was certainly not the intention of the author (in this case, James Lord Pierpont), nor, obviously, the intention of anyone living today, is utter and complete foolishness. It's yet another case (in a long string of cases) of political correctness run amok. Ugh. Of course, a part of my mind immediately goes into the fact songs of this nature are associated with community, church, and family as the reason they're being opposed in the modern public school system (unlike back when I was a child in school), but that's just me!

Edited by Sundblom Santa
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Ignorance knows no limits.

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9 minutes ago, Black Hills Santa said:

Ignorance knows no limits.

Can't seem to fix it

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1 hour ago, Santa Craig Maxwell said:
1 hour ago, Black Hills Santa said:

Ignorance knows no limits.

Can't seem to fix it

Nope, unfortunately.

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Wow, just wow. The reasonings being used to simply eliminate something that has no way harming anyone. Wow!

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  • Management

Please always include link(s) to source article.

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14 minutes ago, Michael Rielly said:

Please always include link(s) to source article.

Can you try the link Michael a when I click it on here it doesn't do anything?

Thanks

NYPOST.COM

Council Rock Primary School had axed "Jingle Bells" from the school's holiday repertoire because the holiday mainstay may have been first performed at minstrel shows in 1857.

 

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1 hour ago, Michael Rielly said:

Please always include link(s) to source article.

Sorry, here are some links about the background of the composition:

https://www.history.com/news/8-things-you-may-not-know-about-jingle-bells

EN.WIKIPEDIA.ORG
WWW.KUSC.ORG

James Lord Pierpont Hit play below to listen to our Arts Alive feature.  …

 

http://www.americanmusicpreservation.com/jinglebellssong.htm

 

WWW.BU.EDU

Most of what we know about the history of Jingle Bells is wrong, says Kyna Hamill, a CAS senior lecturer. For starters, the song was first performed in blackface.

 

 

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On 1/2/2022 at 11:36 AM, Santa Bruce Geron said:

 

James Lord Pierpont (1822-93), was a Medford, Massachusetts composer who wrote “In A One Horse Open Sleigh” in the fall of 1847. It was intended for his Sunday School class to sing at Thanksgiving that year. He was an active composer who wrote hymns and other parlour songs and was represented by the Boston Publisher, Oliver Dittson, & Co. Jingle Bells, was we now call the Thanksgiving song, was published in September 1847 and quickly gained popularity. It was performed in a Minstrel Show in September 1847. However, Pierpont wasn’t commissioned to write this for that minstrel show.

 

All the documentation shows 1850 is when the poem was written. Could you please provide documentation that shows the 1847 date? Thank you

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46 minutes ago, Warrenton Santa said:

All the documentation shows 1850 is when the poem was written. Could you please provide documentation that shows the 1847 date? Thank you

Sorry, a typo; it should read 1957.

Thanks for the sharp eyes!

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It's ok though, the Superintendent said "Now you can still sing jingle bells, no one is going to stop you there..."

I wish I could find a video or transcript of the school board meeting afterward.

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1 hour ago, SantaFredNY said:

It's ok though, the Superintendent said "Now you can still sing jingle bells, no one is going to stop you there..."

Indeed! "Kids, you can still sing jingle bells--just not in school, not at the concert, not anywhere on school property, probably not even in public, and only in the quite of your own home under the cover of total darkness!" Of course, they aren't going to stop you . . . until they do. Then it's too late. Singing is (in a sense) a form of free speech, and hence is constitutionally protected. When they banned singing Christmas carols in public school (as in, songs celebrating the Nativity of the Lord Jesus), not everyone stood up to them. Now, they've gone after jingle bells. They won't stop until they've wiped out everything about Christmas. Welcome to 1984, everybody!

1 hour ago, SantaFredNY said:

I wish I could find a video or transcript of the school board meeting afterward.

I'd like to see it as well. While we've seen enough power-hungry school boards lately (with regards to mask mandates, COVID, and parental rights, Critical Race Theory, etc.), I'd be curious to see the debate at least so we could see the parents' reaction to this nonsense!

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