Saturday, December 15, 2012

Silent Night / ABC News (Newtown, CT shooting)

In 1966, Simon & Garfunkel released a version of Silent Night, which had the 7 O'clock news playing in the background. Here is the background:

"7 O'Clock News/Silent Night" is the twelfth and final track on Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, a 1966 album by Simon and Garfunkel. The track consists of an overdubbing of two contrasting recordings: a simple arrangement of the Christmas carol "Silent Night", and a simulated "7 O'Clock News" bulletin of the actual events of 3 August 1966.
The "Silent Night" track consists of Simon and Garfunkel singing the first verse twice over, accompanied by Garfunkel on piano. The voice of the newscaster is that of Charlie O'Donnell, then a radio disc jockey. As the track progresses, the song becomes fainter and the news report louder. Matthew Greenwald calls the effect "positively chilling".[1] Bruce Eder describes the track as "a grim and ironic (and prophetic) comment on the state of the United States in 1966".[2]

It is indeed chilling, but also a reminder of the peace that comes through Jesus Christ and the evil and tragedy that mankind creates. I thought of this juxtaposition in the wake of the Newtown, CT shooting and decided to put this together. Nothing can erase the pain of this tragedy, but with the Savior, peace is still possible.

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