away with the manger …. new version?

Christmas is closing in and it will not be long.  Usually my favorite season but I’ll tell you the truth. It is nothing like it was when I was a kid back in ancient times.
You youngsters 60 and under won’t know.  Times Sq. and Broadway and the Great White Way with theater after theater after theater and many with live shows.
And some of the big bands were still trying to hang in. I saw the great Benny Goodman and got to say hello and we shook hands. Hey, I must have been 8 or 9. I don’t recall.  Saw Woody Herman too.  Spent every Christmas in NYC at the Edison Hotel. And the restaurants were wonderful especially the Automat. Which is no more, like a lot of other nice things.
And somehow perhaps because of a young age and we now are talking 1943 to 1947. Maybe a bit beyond that, the Christmas Carols really sounded nice to my young ears. No pc back then, and nobody trying to show off their own personalized version of Silent Night.  Ever try and listen to how some of these new age self styled pop singers screech out notes and all manage to sound like they’re in extreme pain? 
And nobody was offended by public displays of the Nativity because I guess it was simply taken for granted that the country was, in spite of other religions, basically a Christian country. And anyone could enjoy the season without even being religious. Really.  Nobody took offense.  Nobody felt “isolated” and less a citizen.  That’s because it was the happy days (ok, not always for many ppl) before we had the aclu and others and the internet, telling us how miserable we were and how oppressed we were and how our rights were being violated by the public display of a manger and a cross.

How times have changed.

Away in a manger, two crooks stole the bed: How one school decided to change the story of Christmas

* Essex school criticised by parents for dumping traditional nativity play
* Canvey Junior School is staging a ‘cops and robbers’ themed play
* One parent has withdrawn their child and parents have said the play is inappropriate following a number of armed robberies in the town

By Mario Ledwith


A primary school has been criticised after they ditched the traditional Christmas nativity, opting to stage a ‘cops and robbers’ themed play.

Parents have been left fuming by the school’s decision to choose the modernised play, in which their children sing Away in a Manger with a completely different set of lyrics.

The play, which will be performed by 11-year-olds at Canvey Junior School in Essex, gets rid of traditional characters Mary and Joseph, instead focusing on the tale of two violent robbers.

But parents have described the school’s decision a ‘tasteless’ in light of a number of armed robberies in Canvey Island, where the school is based.

Parents have also complained that themes of theft and violence are inappropriate for young children to intake - with one parent reported to have withdrawn their child from the production and complained about the play’s content.

One parent, who did not want to be named, said: ‘I can’t see that this gangster story is going to be better than something from the Bible.
‘What are they going to have our children saying? ‘Sorry Mary and Joseph, but there is no room in the cells?’

They added: ‘I think it is a little tasteless to stage the play with all the recent reports of armed robberies on the island.
‘I don’t understand why the politically correct brigade has had to get rid of the traditional story anyway?’

The school has defended the decision not to stage the traditional nativity play - a staple in schools across the UK.
Headteacher Janet Vaughan said the play, which has been previously published and was downloaded from the internet, is ‘fun’ and ‘lighthearted’.

She said: ‘The outcome is the robbers are caught and banged to rights and the true meaning of Christmas comes across very strongly with a nativity at the end.’
‘It is nice to have a fun element to any sort of Christmas production and we always have a religious basis to it as well.

‘It is very, very funny and nothing more than a light-hearted version of events.’
Referring to the updated lyrics to Away in a Manger, she said: ‘It’s nonsense to say the words are anything other than tongue-in-cheek and the children understand that.’

After receiving a parent’s complaint, Mrs Vaughan wrote to all parents saying if they had similar concerns their child could be withdrawn from the play.
However, she said despite one child not taking part, other parents have been supportive of the production.
She added: ‘Our productions are always absolutely excellent, the kids get such a lot out of it.’

source: The Daily Mail

Just so the reader here has a bit of the background. When the article mentions robberies recently, here’s what they’re referring to.

MASKED robbers held up a seafront arcade at gunpoint in the latest in a string of incidents on Canvey.

A handgun was pulled on staff at Canvey Amusements, in Furtherwick Road, as two thieves demanded cash from the safe.

The thugs, one in his 20s and the other older, made off with a four-figure sum of money following the incident which happened just before 6pm last Sunday (Nov 18).

It is the eleventh armed robbery the Echo has reported on in Canvey so far in 2012.

Since August alone the Co-Op in Linden Way has been targeted twice, Bargain Booze in Long Road has been struck twice by robbers, and Canvey Island Dry Cleaning in High Street was held up by a robber brandishing a metal pole.

Posted by peiper    United Kingdom   on 12/01/2012 at 04:56 PM   
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