Monday, December 22, 2014

Mr. Cope’s Cave: Day of the Dead

Posted By on Mon, Dec 22, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Mr. Cope, I believe you made a mistake with your Christmas music last Monday.

What are you talking about?

It was Tony Bennett.

Yes, that’s right. It was Tony Bennett. So?

Well, he’s not dead.

I know that. He’s not only not dead, he isn’t even retired yet.

But you told me once you only liked musicians who were dead.

I’m sure you misunderstood me, Skippy. It’s true that a great share of the musicians I like are gone now, but that’s not the same thing as liking dead musicians only.

So what are you putting on today?

Well… funny thing. Since this is the last blog before Christmas, I’d planned on using the Christmas song of all Christmas songs. You know the one I mean. It was originally composed to celebrate Easter, but it’s the king of the Christmas songs now. So I went looking for…

I’m sorry, Mr. Cope, but I don’t know which song you mean.

The Hallelujah Chorus. You know, by Handel? Good old George Frideric. So I went looking for it, but…

Is he dead?


Yeah. Him.

Uh, yeah. He’s dead. Extremely dead. Like, 260 years dead. Why?

Just wondering.

So anyway, as I was saying, I went looking for it, but I couldn’t find a video I liked. They were either too amateurish or too slick or too contrived or too over-produced or too under-produced or too something-or-other. So I changed my mind and settled on...

What’d he die from?

Jeez, Thumper, I don’t know. How would I know? What’s it matter what he died from?

Well… nothing, I guess. Just wondering.

OK then, so anyway, I changed my mind about Hallelujah Chorus and I settled on Mel Torme singing a song he wrote himself. Then I’m going to follow it up with one of those long-, long-playing pictures of a crackling fireplace on the screen while a collection of…

He’s dead, isn’t he?

Gad Almighty! Is who dead?

That Mel Torme guy.

Yes dammit! He’s dead! And why are you so… so… obsessed with whether these people are dead or not?

I’m just trying to keep track, Mr. Cope. 

Keep track of what?

Oh, nothing, I guess. It’s not important. Now, what’s this about a crackling fireplace?

It’s a video of a crackling fireplace with a lot of Christmas songs playing. There were like a thousand to choose from on YouTube, and I thought it would be a nice to put on the blog so that during Christmas Eve or Christmas dinner… you know, people could have it running in the background. Sort of… you know… juice up that Christmas spirit, and all.

Is that something you would do, Mr. Cope? Have a fake fireplace playing Christmas songs on your computer while you’re eating ham and pies and stuff? 

Well… no. Probably not. But somebody might. And whoever that is will thank me for sending them a couple of hours of that gooshy Christmas music. Don’t you think?

Yeah, probably. Actually, that sounds like something my grandma would have liked.

That’s right. That’s the way I see it. It’s sort of a grandma thing.

So are the guys playing that gooshy music…

Don’t ask me if they’re dead. I have no idea. The video doesn’t identify who the musicians are.

But some of them are likely to be dead?

Uh, Junior, I gotta tell ya’, this is getting just plain creepy.

I suppose you’re right. Mr. Cope. But I don’t mean it to be. It’s just that I’ve noticed one of the things about Christmas is how people think about the ones who aren’t here anymore. You know… the loved ones. Grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles and friends… maybe even children and brothers and sisters… all the people they loved and still love that … you know.

That have died?

Exactly. That have died. And it’s like whatever else Christmas is, it’s also a time to remember those who used to be here… who used to make Christmas what it was for us. Like my grandma. It’s like we can’t help but think about them. Because, maybe it’s natural to think about them at Christmas. Maybe it’s one of the only natural and honest things that happens at Christmas, know what I mean? Because Christmas really is a time for family, even the family who are gone. And it’s the best time to think about them… to remember them… because Christmas was always when we were happiest to be with them, all together. Does that make sense?

It does. Absolutely.

And it’s a good thing, don’t you think?

One of the best.

Do you have people you think about at Christmas, Mr. Cope? People who are gone?

Oh brother, do I.

Well, I’d better go now. Still have some shopping to do, and all.

OK, pal. I’ll see you later. And hey, you have a happy one, OK?

You, too, Mr. Cope. You, too.

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