Christmas Carols and Hymns

Carol and hymn singing; Should the British Army...

  • Do Nothing?

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Ban all carol and hymn singing?

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Form the Queen's Choral Battalion?

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Pay trade pay to qualified choral singers?

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
I originally wrote most of this article a while ago but spiked it because it didn’t seem right to comment at that time. But things have moved on and the examples of military carol singing broadcast by the media this year have been excruciatingly bad! The BBC even broadcast an execrable performance by a group of in-theatre Medics who alleged, on camera, that they had formed a choir. I’ve seen some half-colonels be economical with the truth but only in closed meetings; rarely, if ever, on prime time television!!!

Please vote after reading my proposals!

Background. Just before Christmas, I was again invited to the annual ritual of the Regimental Christmas Carol Concert, where the Senior Officers and Officers sang with gusto and not much skill, the Seniors droned in unison and the Juniors stood there with their mouths open. The Padre actually stopped us twice, mid-carol, and suggested that it would be better if we started again!

The problem is that a lot of British schools no longer hold faith-based morning assembly, which is against the law of the land but when did you last hear of a head-teacher being hauled before the Beak? A large percentage of our soldiery, therefore, has never been taught to sing hymns or carols.

Proposal. I therefore think we should, as a largely Christian-based Army, reconsider our corporate attitude to hymn and carol singing. I suggest the following options should be staffed through the CoC and welcome an ARRSE vote and discussion:

Do Nothing. We continue with the current system of dragooning willing volunteers who can sing, and the unwilling who can’t and know not the words of any hymns or carols, into parading in the Kirk whilst leaving the members of minority faiths, Jedi Knights, agnostics, atheists and pagans on Sharkwatch outside the church in the freezing cold.

Ban the singing of all hymns and carols in the British Army on the grounds that it embarrasses all of the Juniors and some of the Seniors, and is not in keeping with a homogeneous, multi-ethnic and multi-faith Army. We could have a short silence instead; broken only by Gnr Smith’s special Xmas ringtone.

Hold regular singing lessons during the training year in order that all soldiers are able to sing carols at Christmas and hymns at funerals to a high standard. This option would need considerable staff effort to draw up a list of prescribed (and proscribed – All Things Bright and Bleeding Beautiful, for a start) carols and hymns but I am certain that the RAChD would be up to the task! Hymn and carol singing could be incorporated into the Moral Understanding ITD with a similar package for minority faiths, Jedi Knights, agnostics, atheists and pagans.

Form the Queen’s Choral Battalion (based around the Garrison Church in Aldershot) with Companies made up soldiers from each of the major religions and a Castrati Company for the very special stuff. Choral platoons would be ready at 48hrs NTM for funerals and massed carol concerts anywhere in the world. Media Ops would spread the message that singing carols is a highly technical skill and can only be undertaken by soldiers trained to the highest level. Of course, only those soldiers and officers with the right choral skills would be recruited to this Bn, but there wouldn’t be enough contraltos and sopranos to go round, so the operation would be available at Selly Oak for those soldiers willing to give their b(all)s for Queen and Country! :D

Have badges for choral abilities in the same way as we have skills-at-arms badges. Soldiers would be paid for achieving each level and would be awarded the relevant badge to be worn on the sleeve. Such soldiers would be required to sing a variety of songs, carols and hymns (but only those for which they are adequately trained) at short notice. Officers, of course, would be expected to sing anyway and COs would comment on their subalterns’ singing ability in their OJAR. Soldiers who are not trained would not be required to sing or attend church... ever.
So, there you are. My detailed plans are available for anyone who wishes to run this proposal up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes it. I have put on my helmet, gargled with some tincture, fastened my flak jacket, dug a deep trench and covered it with a large piece of wriggly tin! Over to you! I do realise that someone will pop up and accuse me of being a Choral Walt, but I write with some authority because I sang Once in David’s Royal City in front of the school at the age of 11. I sang well and was on my way to a glittering career in the Choir at Cambridge until my voice broke... :D

Watching soldiers sing xmas carols makes my skin crawl. I would wager most who are singing them don't want to and many don't even believe in this so called god who has done fcukall for anyone except make the church rich and make kids bottoms wider.
Surely frequent compulsory Church parades would solve the prob of not knowing the words, and would also act as the trial for who gets to sing representationally.
vampangua said:
Surely frequent compulsory Church parades would solve the prob of not knowing the words, and would also act as the trial for who gets to sing representationally.
FINE! But why bother God on one of his busy days?
Strangely, there's a couple I like the sound of. Stille Nacht, being the one that gets under my skin! Don't know why, just does.

Yes, I know it's not quite what this thread is about...
vampangua said:
Surely frequent compulsory Church parades would solve the prob of not knowing the words, and would also act as the trial for who gets to sing representationally.
I'd rather take my chances with the AGAI on the Monday morning than parade on a Sunday to listen to a peado tell fairy stories.
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