Good King Wenceslas

My single favorite Christmas album is an old cassette tape given to me years ago by the friend who goes by “Marquee Movies” on this blog. Back during the years when I was attending Shirone Lutheran Church in Japan, I would often teach during the day on Christmas Eve (Christmas is just a plain old workday in Japan), then drive the twenty or so miles from the university to the little Lutheran church. Now, normally that drive wouldn’t take long; but Christmas Eve is a strangely special time in Japan. For whatever reasons, the Eve (not the day itself) has become, in Japanese pop culture, a time when two things happen: 1.) young couples go on hugely lavish dates to magnificent hotels or the upmost upscale restaurants they (usually the guy) can possibly afford; it’s the one night of the year when money is expected to pour out of wallets like Niagara Falls. And 2.) husbands come straight home from work so that the family can have a fancy dinner together (which is supposed to include Kentucky Fried Chicken among all the other feast items — expensive sushi platters, wine, cheese, caviar, etc. ) — and for dessert, there’s Christmas cake.

Stores take orders for Christmas cakes months in advance. If you haven’t ordered yours well ahead of time and try to search for one on Christmas Eve Day, you may be out of luck — the shelves in bakeries, department stores, and ice-cream shops are looking pretty barren. The cake can be of any flavor; it’s generally decorated beautifully. The point is, it’s CAKE — it’s what MUST be eaten on Christmas Eve, along with Kentucky Fried Chicken. (My students were always shocked and greatly amused to learn that these customs did not come from the U.S.A., since they firmly believed they were doing what all Americans do on Christmas Eve.)

Anyway, my point is that city streets and the roads to the suburbs are gridlocked with traffic starting in the afternoon of Christmas Eve. Cars creep along, bumper to bumper. So my twenty-mile trip to Shirone Lutheran Church could easily take three or four hours on Christmas Eve. Enter that wonderful tape Marquee Movies gave me! I would settle in, thinking the joyful thoughts of Christmas (church service and trombone-playing ahead, followed by a Christmas cake party at church, followed by a late-night feast with friends, followed by presents — and all in celebration of the birth of the Savior, Who provides a point to everything). I would settle into this long, long car ride. The car was a little island of warmth in the cold and dark. Sometimes snow would be falling outside, drifting large and soft and feathery into the bare rice fields. Sometimes the moon would be glimmering on the Shinano River, which paralleled my road. I would inch my way to church, immersed in the best Christmas music that Marquee Movies could assemble. And my favorite among the selections was a carol that had fascinated me since childhood:

“Good King Wenceslas.”

The funny thing about it is that it’s become a good, solid carol, firmly entrenched in the canon, but it doesn’t mention the Nativity. It seems to be associated with Christmas because the song’s story takes place on the feast day of St. Stephen, December 26th. If you’re willing to trust my Internet research, the tune is of Finnish origin, from the mid-1500s, and the text was written by John Mason Neale and published in 1853.

Wenceslas was King of Bohemia in the 10th century — a martyred Catholic king, assassinated by his brother Boleslaw (whose name, I can’t help noticing, is just like “Coleslaw,” but with a “B”–it definitely sounds like Monty Python material). Wenceslas is the patron saint of the Czech Republic, and his saint’s day is September 28th.

Bear with me, and I’ll include the words for you here. I hope they’ll carry you back to your childhood, as they always do for me:

 

Good King Wenceslas looked out

On the feast of Stephen

When the snow lay round about

Deep and crisp and even;

Brightly shone the moon that night

Though the frost was cruel,

When a poor man came in sight

Gath’ring winter fuel.

 

“Hither, page, and stand by me,

If thou know’st it, telling

Yonder peasant, who is he?

Where and what his dwelling?”

“Sire, he lives a good league hence,

Underneath the mountain,

Right against the forest fence,

By Saint Agnes’ fountain.”

 

“Bring me flesh and bring me wine;

Bring me pine logs hither.

Thou and I will see him dine

When we bear them thither.”

Page and monarch forth they went,

Forth they went together

Through the rude wind’s wild lament

And the bitter weather.

 

“Sire, the night is darker now

And the wind blows stronger;

Fails my heart, I know not how,

I can go no longer.”

“Mark my footsteps, good my page;

Tread thou in them boldly;

Thou shalt find the winter’s rage

Freeze thy blood less coldly.”

 

In his master’s steps he trod

Where the snow lay dinted;

Heat was in the very sod

Which the Saint had printed.

Therefore, Christian men, be sure

Wealth or rank possessing:

Ye who now will bless the poor

Shall yourselves find blessing.”

 

That gives me gooseflesh even now! Christmas carols just don’t get any better than that. I love it for the way it gives us a glimpse beyond the walls of this world. In the ancient stories and songs, Saints are essentially magical people. They can perform miraculous feats . . . banish dragons (Saint Columba sent the Loch Ness Monster packing!) . . . and in this case, melt the snow underfoot and warm up the ground for us poor little pages who stumble after them in awe. I know that sort of happening appears in many tales. It reminds me most recently of Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke; in that film, the Shishigami, the most sacred Wild creature/god of the forest, leaves hoof-prints in which flowers sprout up.

Back in our carol, I love the pure impulsive charity of this king who spies a wretched peasant and leaps out of the castle to go and help him. Sure, there’s a lot outside the borders of the song that cynics will be quick to note: what about all the other peasants out in the cold? And what about all the other cold nights of the year? Does the saintly king have a plan for improving the lot of his people, or is he just full of self-indulgent good cheer because it’s the feast of Stephen, and tomorrow it will be business as usual? “Pay your taxes, poor man!”

Clearly, the carol is focused elsewhere, showing us something better, something beyond our winter’s cold. It may not reference the Nativity, but there is Gospel here. I’m sure scholars have written about it more eloquently in the going-on two centuries that this carol has been around, but Wenceslas displays some Christ-like qualities here. He doesn’t send the army. He goes himself; the King becomes the bringer of help, down in the snow, out in the cold. He ministers to the one in need; he “fills the hungry with good things” by preparing a banquet, the best that there is. And more, he blesses and comforts those who serve him. “Walk in my footprints. I’ll press down the snow and I’ll heat the ground for you.” Why does Wenceslas choose to take only that page along on the mission? If they’re carrying food and firewood, wouldn’t a team of servants be in order? How about a carriage? How about all the king’s horses and all the king’s men? But Wenceslas chooses to make the trek with one faithful page. Interesting, huh? He doesn’t fault the page for his limitations, either — doesn’t mind that the page points out he’s about to collapse. Wenceslas simply says, “Come on. I’ll enable you to do this.”

My other favorite part of this carol is the explanation of where the peasant lives: a good league hence, underneath the mountain, right against the forest fence, by Saint Agnes’ fountain. That is evocative and atmospheric. It’s a Breughel or a Bosch painting. The peasant doesn’t live up on Route 8 across from the McDonald’s. This is a quieter, greener, greyer land, a country of shadows, dappled light, scudding clouds, and mystery.

I doubt it’s a very good thing in this kingdom to live “right against the forest fence” — on the doorstep of wolves, robbers, and evil spirits. The peasant lives there because he’s poor. (I had a discussion with a local friend about this on Monday: my interpretation is that there’s no man-made fence; “forest fence” means “the edge of the forest; the barrier that is the forest.” Do you agree with me? I grew up looking across the field at a “forest fence,” which seemed a green cliff, the boundary of another world.) The landscape is marked with such wondrous things as the fountains of saints — crosses and cairns, stones, pools, and boscages, each with its own legend.

What remains in this world of Wenceslas of Bohemia, in addition to a handful of facts in dusty tomes, is a song that is still played each year as the winter solstice approaches. The portrait that carol gives us is most likely anything but an accurate historical account; nevertheless, it preserves some enduring truths. Compassion is a quality to be sought after and practiced. We are empowered with a light and warmth that radiate from beyond this world; and in the best of our actions, we are in turn blessed.

That, and there’s a fantastically cool landscape of the imagination out there, hinted at in our old legends and songs, always ready to be tapped by the storytellers and celebrated by those who love them!

So that’s my Christmas carol story. A good discussion this month might be: What are your favorite Christmas songs, and why? Do you have any memories to share with appreciative listeners? — memories, perhaps, of great times spent listening to them, and/or what they meant to you? Any Christmas thoughts/stories/memories in general are most welcome!

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44 Responses to “Good King Wenceslas”

  1. Patrick Doud Says:

    Agreed: the fence in the carol is surely the forest’s edge itself.

  2. tandemcat Says:

    My experience with this carol was a little different. I had it on a 78-rpm record, and at the end of the first stanza, on the word “fu-el,” the groove was damaged so that the word repeated over and over, on the low and high notes of the second syllable, like this: “Fu-U-u-U-u-U-u….” I rarely tried to get it to go beyond that — it was the last cut on the disk, so I just lifted the tone arm off and stopped listening. It was years before I heard it sung — not popular where I lived. I agree very much about the message of the song, though.

    Another unusual Christmas song, rarely heard, is Geistliche Wiegenlied (Holy Cradle Song) by Brahms, for alto and viola, with piano accompaniment. It begins by quoting a familiar Spanish carol in the introduction, but that exact melody is never put to words. Instead, it is changed, and the solo voice sings of Mary’s efforts to get her child to sleep, disturbed by the wind in the treetops. The center section speaks of the baby Jesus as already bearing the grief and pain of the world. Since it is in German, it is not well understood in this country and difficult to share with others, but I have been able to do so a few times.

  3. Catherine Says:

    My (current) favorite is an old Kentucky carol called “The World is Old”. It’s basically the shepherds singing about how cold, dark and eternal the winter nights are. It’s peaceful and yet there’s an understated undercurrent that something is going to happen. Though it isn’t a hymn since it doesn’t really mention anything religious, it fits better with Advent. I have spent years trying to write some Christmasy words to it and have failed miserably in the attempt . . .

    “The world is old tonight, the world is old
    The stars around the fold do show their light, do show their light
    And so they did and so
    A thousand years ago
    And so will, good lads, when we lie cold.”

  4. Daylily Says:

    Great post! It’s good to think about the way of Christ in this time of Advent.

  5. Marquee Movies Says:

    Thanks, Fred, for the kind words about a 1997 tape! The lyrics are very interesting to read, but the detail that stands out for me is the use of footprints in Princess Mononoke, that lovely and powerful Miyazaki film. Thinking of footprint scenes in the movies – in Empire of the Sun, young Jamie sees that his parents have been dragged from their house by the distressed footprints in the talcum powder all over the floor. And of course, the footprints played a role in saving a young boy’s life in the snowy labyrinth at the end of The Shining. One of the most beautiful scenes involving footprints is in Jane Campion’s haunting film The Piano. A mother, her daughter, and a friend are on the beach. The daughter has created an elaborate sand sculpture of a seahorse, which we see in an overhead shot. The mother walks away from her piano on the beach, leaving a curved set of footprints. The daughter steps away from her seahorse, and, forming a different curve, joins up with her mother. The male friend, waiting for a moment, almost seems to be watching their footprints in the sand. Then, in a bit of foreshadowing, follows them, joining their singular line of footprints. As for favorite Christmas Carol – when it’s done right, nothing can hold a candle to O Holy Night. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all, and to all a good night!

  6. Binsers Says:

    Thank you for transporting me to a far way place to ponder a carol which I truly never understood because I do not think that I have ever heard all of the verses.

  7. morwenna Says:

    Wonderful post for Advent, Fred.

    Marquee, I love “O Holy Night.” And thanks for your great comments on The Long Winter. The long-delayed Christmas dinner in that book is such a touching scene.

  8. Chris Says:

    I LOVE saint stories! That is why I beelined it for Liege on my first weekend in the Benelux countries. Home of St Christina Mirabilis, patron saint of the mentally ill and by all accounts one of the strangest insane saints around. As in descriptions make it sound like she was genuinely mentally ill! And her story is kinda creepy too.

    But Fred says “Saints are essentially magical people. They can perform miraculous feats” and I am reminded of one of my NEW favorite Saints: St. Joseph of Cupertino. He was generally agreed to be relatively dim witted yet he could levitate. The bar for sainthood is not necessarily a linear bar. You apparently can be kinda dumb but if you can float around in the air you get extra points.

    As for Christmas songs I think I’ve mentioned this before but generally I really, really dislike Christmas music. “Sleigh Ride” is about the only exception and that’s because the instrumental version is a perfect song for all year long.

    I actually like Vince Garauldi’s Charlie Brown Christmas music but only because it is kind of haunting in a way.

    Christmas _carols_ on the other hand are generally the sonic equivalent to waterboarding for me.

    This week I’m bachelor Chris as Rita is back home taking care of her mom so I can play my Blue Oyster Cult Christmas Classics at top volume all over the house! (hint for the rest of you all: I simply took a disc of my favorite BOC songs and wrote on it in marker “Blue Oyster Cult Christmas Classics” and put it in Rita’s car one Christmas season in hopes that when I was riding with her I could hear something that was at least enjoyable to listen to. She really likes regular Christmas songs, she isn’t so fond of BOC Christmas Classics, not even “Volume II”)

    And now for your Christmas Listening Pleasure I present to you the most annoying use of a synthesizer I’ve been able to achieve so far! Behold: Arpperginatrix!

    http://soundcloud.com/hagiograph/arpergginatrix

    It’s only 2 minutes and 5 seconds but FEELS like 10 minutes!

    Does THAT give you goosebumps?

  9. Chris Says:

    Speaking of saints and things of “finnish” origin. There’s a Finnish version of the story of St. Christopher (if I understood it correctly) that has him with the head of a dog. Why you may ask?

    Well in the Finnish and Syrian version of the story St. Christopher he was SO HANDSOME that he was being tempted constantly by women. So he prayed to God to give him the head of a dog so as not to be so attractive to them.

    That of course resonates with me, I mean, on so many levels.

    Really. Honestly. Yeah.

  10. fsdthreshold Says:

    Thanks, Morwenna! [The remainder of this comment has been deleted because it no longer applies to the edited post; but this much has been preserved so as not to affect the replies below.]

    • Chris Says:

      I was somewhat confused by that bit. Good King W. clearly SEES the peasant who is by definition NOT at his home (hence his asking the page, who apparently knows everything about all local peasants, like addresses etc.) but instead of saying “Hey, Peasant, it’s me, Good King W., come on over here and walk in my pre-warmed footsteps and we’ll treat you to dinner.

      Nope, said peasant apparently had to make it home on his own.

      Presumably upon arrival he wouldn’t be SURPRISED by Good King W’s being at the house waiting for him.

      No, the peasant is expendable. We are now onto worrying about the Page.

      And I don’t know about all y’all, but if I’m walking out in the cold and about to expire for exposure walking in “pre-heated footprints” really isn’t going to do much for me. It will, however, probably result in my feet getting wet thereby hastening my hypothermia and eventual death.

      So I think you all have this song completely wrong. I think Good King W. is trying to KILL his page who clearly knows “too much information” and is a potential political threat (kind of a J. Edgar Hoover of Bohemia, probably working for Boleslaw gathering information to use against Wenceslas).

      That’s why the peasant is expendable here. Good King W. doesn’t care about the peasant, he just wants to burden the Page with some extra weight and make him walk in slush until he expires from hypothermia.

      No doubt the excised verses include a fullness of this.

      But anti-Boleslaw partisans editted it out.

      • fsdthreshold Says:

        I think getting out of the castle must be quite a feat. King Wenceslas, being a saint, has various super-powers, including long-range night vision. He spies the peasant from the high window of his tower and asks about him. The page, using a telescope and the brightly-shining moon, identifies the peasant as the poor man who lives by Saint Agnes’ fountain. It takes a while to gather the flesh, wine, and pine logs. Then the king and the page, in true Monty Python animation fashion, have to run down the seventy-five spirals in the castle stairway. The poor man has trudged most of the “good league hence” by the time they reach the outer gates. So, no, they don’t arrive at the cottage before the peasant. I just hope King Wenceslas has an easier time than Graham Chapman’s Arthur of persuading the peasant that he’s the king, and why he’s the king . . .

    • Chris Says:

      “Oh but if I went ’round sayin’ I was Emperor, just because some moistened bink lobbed a scimitar at me, they’d put me away!”

  11. fsdthreshold Says:

    Three more of my favorites, in no particular order:

    1. “The Holly and the Ivy” — SO medieval! There’s the sense of the entire landscape under the glow of joy, all the parts fitting together, a stoppage of time and an immense comfort.

    2. “Do You Hear What I Hear?” — I love this one because it’s another numinous one. Another world encroaches on ours, and everyone, from lowest to highest, participates in it. It’s another song about a godly king, because even the earthly king acknowledges the kingship of the Christ, and he broadcasts the message “to the people everywhere.”

    3. “The Little Drummer Boy” — This one takes a lot of flak for being commercial, sentimental, sappy, stupid . . . [place your denigrating adjective here] . . . but when the drummer boy plays, presenting the only gift he’s got, and then there’s that dramatic pause, and then the baby smiles at him, I always get SHIVERS of awe and happiness!

    • Chris Says:

      “The Little Drummer Boy” topic redux. Yes, I feel I must renew my personal attack on Fred over this every Christmas season (tradition don’tcha know).

      This song is awful.

      Now I don’t normally like to pull this, but I’m a PhD SCIENTIST. That means my opinion carries a the weight of lots and lots of investigations and numerous studies.

      When I “run the numbers” (as we SCIENTISTS say) I get a definitive analysis that indicates that “The Little Drummer Boy” is a horrible, horrible song (confidence interval = 99.5%)

      As a scientist I have also discovered that it is _impossible_ to put a sufficiently denigrative adjective in Fred’s post where it is called for that would apply to “The Little Drummer Boy”.

      As they say: Q. E. Fn’ D.

      • fsdthreshold Says:

        I don’t know why “The Little Drummer Boy” is despised by so many! There are some Christmas songs that are truly irritating, but this isn’t one of them.

        Yes, arguing about this song is becoming a Christmas tradition with us, isn’t it? Heh, heh!

  12. fsdthreshold Says:

    Here’s an intriguing bit of Christmas lore for you. According to an old legend, if you go out to the stable (your stable; any stable where animals are kept) at midnight on Christmas Eve, what will you see?

    • morwenna Says:

      I’ve always heard that the animals can talk at midnight on Christmas Eve.

    • Chris Says:

      Oh I know this one! A STABLE!

      • fsdthreshold Says:

        Chris, that’s a pretty good answer . . . Morwenna, I think I may have heard that tradition, too. (In Roger Zelazny’s A Night in the Lonesome October, Snuff the watchdog can talk to his human master every night from midnight to one a.m.) But the bit of folklore I was hinting at is one I first encountered in Thomas Hardy’s poem “The Oxen.” (I think we may have discussed this in a Christmas past on this blog, come to think of it.) Apparently there’s an old tradition that at midnight on Christmas Eve, all the animals in the stable kneel. If you went out there, you’d find all the animals on their knees.

    • jhagman Says:

      Fred’s comment on “The Oxen” is actually something Chris can test on Christmas,,,that is if he can find a stable in San Diego County.

      • Chris Says:

        I WILL be testing that out. I’m working right now on making a controlled “Stable Environment Simulator” in my backyard. I will be filling it with various animals of the “barnyard grade”. The floor will contain load bearing sensors to let me know if any animals have gone down on their knees. I am planning on attaching markers to all the animals knees and doing motion detection to determine which knees go down first and at what time.

        But should it result in a “negative finding” I will install speakers all around the simulator that will blast “Little Drummer Boy” until the animals acquiesce to my DEMANDS AND KNEEL!

        Most animals, wild or domestic, are unable to stand The Little Drummer Boy for more than 15 seconds, but it scales exponentially downward at much higher decibels.

        Those animals will KNEEL or they will know Christmas PAIN!

        Oh the thought of it is just exciting the scientist in me! Sensors, negative reinforcement, animal testing! It has it all!

        Oh yes, almost forgot:

        Bwahahahaahaha.

        Ha.

        Bwa.

      • Chris Says:

        Oh, and I will include some atheist animals for “controls”. And by atheist animals I mean the most hard-core atheist animal known to mankind, the soul-less beast even unwelcome in hell: the common housecat.

        Yes this evil monster will kneel to no God. It knows no morality, nor does it know shame. Humility in the face of its creator is as foreign to it as common decency.

        My dog, Fleshy, keeps our home safe from an invasion of these “kitty-cabras” nightly. He knows their evil and can recognize it by the smell, just as St. Christina Mirabilis knew and avoided the stench of human sin!

        So I will include some cats in the Stable Simulator.

        and, of course, can’t sign off without:

        bwahahahahahaha.

      • morwenna Says:

        Chris, when the animals gain the power of speech at midnight, they will report you to the humane society.

      • Chris Says:

        Yes…I have to admit I hadn’t thought of that. Hmmmm.

        Drat! This ALWAYS happens with my best developed experiments. Those meddling kids at the Humane Society!

      • fsdthreshold Says:

        Speaking of the diabolical nature of cats: have you ever noticed that in the paintings of Pieter Breughel the Elder, cats are about the size of pigs and look truly terrifying? Given that Breughel’s people look like real people (albeit sometimes truly terrifying), we know the man could paint. Did cats look different in the Middle Ages, or was Breughel showing us their true nature as he perceived it?

      • Chris Says:

        I love Brueghel but I hadn’t noted that! I will have to look closer next time!

        Last month when I was hanging in Brugge I found a museum that was focused on various Flemish painters. Sadly they only had a couple Brueghels and a couple Boschs.

        Apparently the really well known ones are in various other famous museums.

        When I got to spend some time in the Louvre a couple months before I bee-lined it for Dutch painters but they mostly had 18th-19th century Dutch, none of the Flemish “Primitives” like I like.

        I’ve seen “The Temptation of St. Anthony” (Bosch) in the Prado in Spain back in ’94 but still haven’t seen “Garden of Earthly Delights” tryptich yet.

        I have determined, however that if black pigment had never been invented most of 18th century Dutch painting could never have been pulled off. Either that or everyone in the paintings would have been nude.

  13. morwenna Says:

    I’ve just read “The Oxen.” Thanks for sharing this, Fred!

  14. jhagman Says:

    I love it! A “stable environment simulator”, and w/felines as the “control”! Impeccable Monty Pythonesque logic.

  15. Carl Schalk Says:

    Do you remember when Marquee Movies jumped up on the boat? Do you remember?!?

    • fsdthreshold Says:

      I do indeed! But I don’t believe you’re the real Carl Schalk! Here’s a screening question: the pastor orders the congregation to sit down, but the rubrics say to stand up. What would you do?

      • Carl Schalk Says:

        Never question someone who holds a Master’s degree in Divinity and a doctorate from Eastman — wanna see that “B” dive to a “D”, Durbin?!?

      • Scott Says:

        OK. He’s obviously not going to answer the question. As a non-Concordia/Divinity student, I’m curious, what is the answer to the question? What do you do if the pastor orders the congregation to sit down, but the rubrics say to stand up?

      • Scott Says:

        Oh, and what are Rubrics?

      • fsdthreshold Says:

        The rubrics are the instructions printed in the liturgy that tell the congregation when to stand or kneel, when to sit, etc. The professor we’re talking about here was extremely dedicated to the liturgy and how it was put together. The music and traditions of the church were a great passion of his, and he made absolutely sure that his students knew why we do things in certain ways during church services. Well, he also had fiercely strong opinions about those traditions and practices, and when he was sitting in the congregation, he would instantly and perfectly follow the rubrics no matter how slowly the pastor got around to advising the congregation to do so. We often joked about what would happen if it came to a direct conflict . . . if the pastor pulled out a nine-millimeter from beneath his robes, leveled it at our professor, and commanded “Sit . . . down . . . now.” Our professor, if the rubrics were on his side, would undoubtedly remain standing. For in the words of Martin Luther: “Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen.”

      • I am Mr Brown Snowflake Says:

        but this professor never KNEALT in church before the Lord, did he?

      • Scott Says:

        Thank you for the explanation. It reminds me of a wedding that I went to about 20 years ago in Chicago. It was a Byzantine Catholic service. The priest didn’t motion the congregation up and down. Everyone was supposed to know when to stand up and sit down. The only ones that knew the proper times were the bride’s family. They would stand up followed row by row behind them. Then the groom’s side would stand up starting in the back first and proceeding forward as they realized what was going on. Everybody sat down in the same order. Imagine an entire church full of people doing the wave! There were plenty of Roman Catholics from Taylorville on the groom’s side, but even they were confused. They said they had never seen anything like it.

        One of the other strange things was that the entire ceremony was sung.

  16. Marquee Movies Says:

    Oh, Carl, funny! Hey, do you remember when Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff jumped up on the boat? Or do you remember when Das Boot jumped up on the boat? (For those who don’t remember – Fred always HATED it when people referred to the shark in Jaws as “Jaws,” as in, “Remember when Jaws bit that Kintner kid in half?” Or, “Remember when Jaws jumped up on the boat?” So it’s a fun game to play – just put in any movie title for “Jaws” – Do you remember when Duck Soup jumped up on the boat? (P.S. Fred, I think Carl’s middle name might be Richard. Just a guess.)

    • fsdthreshold Says:

      Yes, Marquee, I know who our Carl impersonator is, but thanks! What impresses me is that he even gets his electronic trail to lead back to our alma mater! (I was hoping he’d answer the screening question, though, because I knew he’d answer it well.) :-)

      The way I like to play the “Jumped Up on the Boat Game” is to 1. pretend you actually think the movie’s title is the name of someone or something in the film, and 2. use an element from the individual movie, such as:

      Remember when Groundhog Day got trapped in that time loop in that town that he hated?

      Remember when True Grit was throwing biscuits into the air and shooting at them?

      Remember when The Thorn Birds moved up in the Church hierarchy and had to leave Australia, but he kept coming back?

      Remember when Cast Away talked to that volleyball?

      Remember when Labyrinth paid off that Dwarf with her plastic bracelet?

      Remember when Field of Dreams plowed down his cornfield, and everyone thought he was crazy?

      Remember when Spirited Away and all those other girls had to scrub that floor?

  17. Carl Schalk Says:

    Remember when Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo did that one thing? Neither do I — you kids and your rap music make no sense!

  18. larri odland Says:

    puddingstone.com
    they have an amazing christmas cd and a fab. rendition of GKW…
    my all time favorite… give it a try.
    order it online.

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