Street Music

euphonium705088I was out and about today in the city of Glasgow doing good works and healing the sick and raising the dead and all the things that a busy clergyperson does the week before Christmas when I came upon a familiar sound. It was the sound of a Salvation Army band playing Christmas Tunes. I hesitate to call them carols because I heard them playing Jingle Bells, Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer and We Wish You a Merry Christmas in that order before packing up and leaving.

The sight of a Salvation Army band brings up all kinds of mixed thoughts. After all, going carolling (yes it is a verb) in a Salvation Army band was an integral part of the run-up to Christmas in my childhood. It is what I was brought up to do.

This lunchtime it was Govan Band playing rather well. I can still be a connoisseur and the tenor horn parts will never leave me. I watched them for a while whilst wondering what the financial transaction between those giving and those receiving represents. In my childhood, people often gave money to the Salvation Army because of “cups of tea in the war”. However, it can’t be that these days, I suspect.

A little further down the street, I was treated to some of the same music but played on Scotland’s national instrument of war.

Whatever other conclusions I may have come to as I walked from one place to another, this one thing is sure. I prefer Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer played by a brass band than played on the bagpipes.

Happy holidays to you all.