I love Christmas and for those who have been following this series, you know I love Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” I have watched about 50 different adaptations of this story and am trying to watch every filmed adaptation. The first one I can remember watching is the 1970 musical “Scrooge” with Albert Finney.
I love “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol” and Razzleberry Dressing. When Alex Keaton’s family portrays the various ghosts, to the Smurfs, to a “Ghost and Mrs. Muir” TV episode where the great late comic genius Charles Nelson Riley, as the goofy uncle Claymore plays Scrooge in a dream sequence.
My #6 and #5 songs both come from musical adaptations of “A Christmas Carol” and there are more of these than I thought.
#6 is “I Like Life” from “Scrooge.” It is a song that the Ghost Of Christmas Present sings to Scrooge.
Scrooge had 40+ years of hating people, hating life and yes, of hating himself.
Huge in girth as well as Christmas spirit, getting Scrooge drunk on the milk of human kindness he begins to show Scrooge all the good things about life. Even Scrooge gets in on the fun. And he starts to turn.
It starts with The Ghost Of Christmas present listing a litany of the darker things of life:
Ebenezer Scrooge The sins of man are huge. A never-ending symphony Of villainy and infamy Duplicity, deceit, and subterfuge. And no one’s worse than Ebenezer Scrooge Though man’s a handy candidate for Hell I must admit life sometimes has it’s brighter side as well.
The Ghost then sings about how life is good and can be good if you just see it and make a vow with life to enjoy it and make it better. But Scrooge of course does not see it this way
That’s all very well for you
But I hate life
Ghost of Christmas Present
Because life hates me, that’s why!
Sometimes it seems that life is designed to kill the spirit. We start life all wide eyed and bushy tailed but disappointments, hurts, and other things kill that spirit. I do believe that there are no irremediable people. It takes wanting to change and people helping you to change but I do believe that change is possible. In this song when Scrooge feels giddy and happy for the first time in decades, and you, the viewer, can’t help but feel happy.
That leads to #5 “Bless Us All” from the “Muppets Christmas Carol.”
This is another one of my favorite adaptations. Michael Caine is great as Scrooge, acting against Muppets with a straight dower face. From the opening number “Scrooge” this song talks about how loneliness and bitterness turns someone into a man like Scrooge. You have the entire Muppet population of London against him. One muppet street vender sings “Even the vegetables don’t Like him.”
A group of Muppet carolers sing “ He must be so lonely. He must be so sad. He goes to extremes to convince us he’s bad. He’s really a victim of fear and of pride, look close and there must be a sweet man inside.” After a pause all the Muppets say “Nahh!” Again nobody in the beginning believes that there is an ounce of good in him. Scrooge
But “Scrooge” is not my number five. My number five song is also sung in the Ghost Of Christmas present segment, by the Cratchetts played by Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog. “Bless Us All” is a song of love and a song of hope. It starts with the famous line “May God Bless Us Everyone.”
I look into the eyes of love and know that I belong.
As a Christian, I believe that there is no greater love than the love we get from God through Jesus Christ. The belonging I feel is stronger than anything.
We Always Comfort And Forgive.
It Is so easy to become bitter and angry like Scrooge. That is why forgiveness and community are so important. We get comfort from each other.
But my favorite lines of this song are:
Let us run from anger and catch us when we fall. Teach us in our dreams, and please yes please, Bless us one and all.
This is a perfect prayer. Scrooge did not run from anger or bitterness. He ran right to it. Weare not perfect. We will fall and fall a lot, but God loves us and protects and will lift us up. That is why loneliness is the worst thing, because it allows us to fester in our despair and become angry and cynical and bitter. But with God and community we can share our pain and let our pain go so we can truly love life.