128 thoughts on “GOH: The First Noel”

    1. It’s what I get for mentioning my current location. This morning I am leaving sun, sand and palm trees for a foot of snow back home.

      1. Close! I don’t envy your travel plans, though it was only 27 degrees here when I got up this morning…

        1. O_O Oh man, that’s miserable. Where are you? I want to be sure I never go there during winter.

        2. Not what I expected. I’m not too far away from you in MD. And I was thinking that this morning coming to work, “I don’t remember last year being this cold!”

        3. It only gets this cold in MD every few years. I was seeing <20 F this morning, but I'm in the central highlands where it's slightly colder. We're enjoying the weather, especially the dog. Longhairs love subfreezing temps.

        4. Dear Ungodly Pamphlets:

          I didn’t know you lived in NE Ohio! Should we meet at the pub some time?

          Christian Socialist

      2. THAT’S where you are!!! I thought you dropped off the face of the Earth… Or are really Santa Claus. In that case, I’ll have a black Cadillac XLR with limo tint on the windows, world cruise tickets for HF and me, a house on the beach, and 5 trillion dollars. Thanks and Merry Christmas. :mrgreen:

        1. Only 73 degrees? Brrr, break out the sweaters! And the hot chocolate while you’re at it, can’t go wrong with hot chocolate, and pile on the marshmallows while you’re at it, yum. 😎

      3. Dear Scorpio,
        It could be worse. You could be here in Alaska with me in the driving wind and snow.

        1. See, in our neck of the woods, wind and snow are not allowed to drive (unless they have a license) :mrgreen:

    2. Careful, across the midwest storms are a brewing.

      May I get the snack cart out? When will you be turning off the seatbelt light?

      1. Flight to Phoenix was smooth but I did not see the beverage cart once. This is unacceptable. I plan on writing a letter (do people still do that?) to the CEO of Southwest.

    3. I am from the other end of Ohio, but currently residing on the other side of the world where it is warm year around 😀

    1. I wish they’d stop painting murals for long enough to TUNE that piano.

      Of course, the fact that somebody plays it with their fists may have something to do with its state of tuning.

      1. Speaking of murals, let’s not get Rev. Anderson riled up; he might turn around and literally piss on the whole world.

    1. Lol!! Yep, it doesn’t matter if he’s speaking with his mouth or his hands, it’s all meaningless!!

      Good call Mag!

      1. Pretty good technique. He should get decent distance, but his aim may be a little off. The little wrist twist at the end of his motion needs work.

        (Don’t even go there, friends. I’m referring to Bro. Anderson’s frisbee-throwing technique, not pissing technique.)

    2. Hah! I just realized that now we can all claim to know South African sign language. You just flap your hands around rhytmically.

    3. I thought he was making the sign of the cross. Trying to exorcise the piano demon? With him, there’s no telling…

  1. So, this is one of those hymns that sounds like “no-hell, no-hell,” instead of “noel, noel.”

    It’s their subtle “witness” during song, right? 😉

  2. Thanks a lot, Darrell. The title loaded, and I was all, “:) Aw, I <3 The First Noel!"

    Then the vid loaded, & I saw Steve "Pisseth" Anderson with his arm raised like a bingo-playing granny. You can be a real jerk sometimes. 😉

    My only takeaway was wondering where they found an old saloon piano, and why using it for church wasn't the appearance of evil.

    Oh, and that Dr. Cook would have thrown him out of choral conducting. With good reason.

    1. I’ve got a long running theory that’s been mostly proven: Darrell gets some jollies by imposing his pain on the rest of us! 🙂

    2. That was my exact thought! If you close your eyes and listen; it is not hard to imagine you are standing in an early 19th century saloon out west. This however is what passes as “godly music” in fundy churches for the most part. (those churches with larger in attendance have a larger pool of talent and usually have a little bit better caliber of music. but not always)

    3. I lol’d at the saloon piano reference. Still chuckling 🙂 As fundy missionaries, my family and I were in over 200 churches on deputation. And for the most part, that was the way all the pianos sounded.

    1. ^This.

      It was always so depressing to be singing a glorious, uplifting song such as “It is well” only to notice the rest of the congregation looks like they just witnessed their dog being run over…

    2. Speaking of dirges, I never understood why “O Happy Day” sounded like you got a root canal, then came out of the appointment to find your best friend stole your woman, your truck, and your dog; then left you a wussy Prius to drive to your appointment with the IRS. That song always made me want to run out of the building screaming. Fortunately the Religious Leaders didn’t pick that one more than maybe twice a year.

        1. Thanks, U. W. That made me get a bit misty. So few words…so much conviction and enthusiasm. Powerfully joyous.

  3. This is one of my favorite Christmas songs, and so I cannot listen to this for fear it will be ruined forever for me.

    1. I’m with you on that one, PP. Hark, the Herald Angels Sing used to be my favorite…until I heard it butchered in a fundy service. Now, whenever I hear it – no matter how good/great the rendition is – all my brain hears is that awful version.

  4. That is a great song, Silent Night is probably my favorite. But it is just like the books of the Bible, my favorite is the last one I read or in this case sung. 😀

  5. Why do they have to have a “song leader”? I love my church where the liturgist announces the hymn and we stand up (as we are able) and sing. Just follow the organ.

  6. Thankfully, I cannot listen to this at work. Like PP, I’d rather not have a decent carol blasted in my memory. So we’ll continue with Water Music here. JEG is a safer bet that SA.

  7. NO, NONONONONONO, NNNOOOOOOOOO. I will NOT listen to that crazy jerk, no matter what he’s singing. I don’t care if he thinks song leading is akin to bringing in a plane.

  8. Dear Mr. PATW:

    What do you think you’re doing? You uploaded that Dec 12, ’11! That’s Advent, not Christmastide. Do you honestly not know the difference?

    If you go off on a riot of Christmas carols now, what are you going to sing during Christmastide?

    Christian Socialist

    1. I used to leave “Christmas Shoes” on the radio when we were out to annoy my children. Now that they have moved out, I can’t hit the change station button fast enough.

      1. You know how some stores play certain music to discourage teen-aged delinquents from hanging around?
        “The Christmas Shoes,” as led by Steven Anderson, would be perfect for that. He could fund his church by charging stores for it.

    2. Our sadistic kids made us watch the Christmas Shoes made-for-TV movie one year. I still haven’t fully recovered.

  9. Aaaaaa-Men! Now that’s the way to attack a song! The energetic arm waving! The piano played like a game of Whack-A-Mole! The congregation joining in with majestic, off-key drone notes! I felt so manly I just had to go outside to piss against my wall, bless God!

  10. And what a coincidence that I find myself in Phoenix on my way home today.

    Wait, maybe it is not a coincidence. Maybe I am being called to Anderson’s church? This plane bettr take off quickly.

      1. He and Jack Hyles, Oral Roberts, Tammy Faye, and Bill Graham maybe… Graham got heat because he started endorsing the prosperity gospel and TBN/PTL Club.

        1. Not so fast, Billy Graham isn’t in the the best of shape, but he’s not pushing up the daisies quite yet. 😳

  11. @Don,

    Happy No “L” to you too, Sir! And can we assume that Santa will be cut down because he is a “midnight rider?”

  12. There were actually brief intervals when the arm waving coincided with the song. But it was clear that the piano and one strong voice in the congregation were the ones leading.

      1. Many verses? That’s so inspiring I decided to write my own.

        Verse 1:
        “You’re goin’ to hell” the fundies did say
        To NIV users and people who’re gay,
        To Catholics, and lib’rals, and drinkers of wine,
        Their fun will run out and they’ll eat with the swine.

        Hell no, hell no, hell no, hell no
        You must keep our rules
        Or to hell you must go.

        1. Nico,

          There are still decent, humble men standing behind pulpits in churches that are both Baptist and Independent. The following piece of doggerel is not written in their “honor”:

          Naturally to the tune of “Here Comes Santa Claus”

          Here comes Pastor Boss! Here comes Pastor Boss!
          Don’t use Pastor’s first name!
          All of his yes men and all his people
          Bow before the same!

          Pastor knows he’s he’s called and chosen
          That means he’s always right!
          So write your tithe checks, and know your place
          When Pastor Boss is in sight!

          By the way, it’d be interesting to see someone dance to “The First Noel,” wouldn’t it?

      2. Mais oui, Grand Gary, mais oui. Noël est décidement un mot de notre belle langue française. Bien joué!

    1. There’s also the Day of the Holy Innocents, December 28, which commemorates Herod’s massacre of children in Bethlehem.
      In Mexico, it’s celebrated as a day to play pranks on your friends, like April Fools’ Day in the U.S.
      It also happens to be my wife’s birthday.

  13. This is a song that drives me around the bend when people skip verses.

    They skipped the second verse, which talks about how they “looked up and saw a star, etc.” and went straight to the third verse about “By the light of that same star…” What star? That SAME star? That’s the first time a star has been mentioned in the song!

    The second verse is there for a reason.

    IMHO, verse skipping should be done rarely, and only after due consideration.

    OK. Rant over.

    1. IKR?!?

      The one song I’m ok with skipping verses on is “Joy to the World.” Nothing says joyous occasion like the verse talking about thorns infesting the ground and “far as the curse is found.” 🙄

  14. I wonder if the fact he’s leading the song instead of a song leader indicates he thinks the pastor is authority in every thing in the church – and everything about the congregants.

    1. His church doesn’t have many, if any, congregants besides Pastor Anderson and his wife and their kids.

  15. Well, there is bad singing and there is my singing. Were I to lead congregational singing, the church would be emptied quickly enough. Probably including rodents and pests.

    Yes, my singing is that bad.

    My speaking voice isn’t too bad. But when I sing, it is a noise, joyful or not.

  16. Several professional church musicians have told me, over the years, that unless there is a gargantuan congregation (such as Cliff Barrows used to lead at the Billy Graham crusades), where the acoustics warrant a director to keep the voices together, there is no point whatsoever in having a song leader for congregational singing. The congregation sings better WITHOUT someone standing up there directing them.

    This guy in the video knows the basics of how to conduct in 3/4 time, but he has no understanding of the subtleties of how to lead a hymn. You don’t just end one stanza and begin the next without taking a breath.

    You don’t pound the damn piano, either. 👿

  17. I for one enjoyed the rendition of the First Noel that Darrell gave to us. Thank you Darrell. They just needed some goose stepping Nazi soldiers to make it complete.

    Darrell, on another note, thank you for tweeting that Stephen Jones resigned as president of good old BJU. I remember him when he was a really nice little boy.

    Anyone know the nature of Stephen Jones’ health problems that caused him to resign?

  18. To digress just a bit, sort of:
    I was in the local wireless provider store taking care of a problem Thursday. While waiting I was listened to the holiday music being played, thinking that it was a pretty good playlist for a change. No Bolton, Kenny G, or other lame artists. (At least while I was there) When it was finally my turn, I was at the counter while the lady tried to figure out why my plan had mysteriously changed when Joy to the World came on. Whoever put together the list was either not paying attention or was being funny. I hope the latter. It was Three Dog Nights 1971 hit that played.
    While that was one of my favorite songs at the time, and I still like it a lot, it has never made it onto any of my Christmas mixes.
    I might have even considered playing air drums and moving to the music, but for the sobering affect of the two women with long hair and longer denim skirts. I was afraid the would report me.

    1. “Jeremiah was a bullfrog …”

      That song (which has nothing at all to do with Christmas or Advent) was written by Hoyt Axton. Axton has never been very famous as a singer, but he wrote many songs that were hits when other artists recorded them.
      Hoyt’s mother, Mae Boren Axton, was the co-author of the mega-hit song “Heartbreak Hotel.”

      None of which is relevant to much of anything, but I think it’s interesting.

      1. I almost wrote “the Hoyt Axton song performed by Three Dog Night,” but decided not to. My wife tells me not everyone is as interested in trivia and odd facts as I am. I did not realize his mom wrote songs also. Thanks for another fact to amaze and bore my friends with.

    2. I will happily listen to Three Dog Night’s “Joy to the World” over the Steve Anderson’s Church’s version of “The First Noel” any day of the week.

        1. @UncleWilver

          And which apparently made up for the fact that everything he said was unintelligible.

      1. I guess I should have quoted the old windbag.
        Anytime you get in the car alone with a purdy girl or a boy, here’s what you’re doing. You’re crazy

        1. In Jack Hyles’ case, he was crazy when he was in that car, and he was crazy when he wasn’t in that car.

  19. The title “Hymn “The First Noel” Christmas Song Sung in a Baptist Church”

    I saw the title of the youtube video and figured it was a Darrell titled re-post, but this is an authentic sanderson1611 upload.

    It would fit much better for an outsider to describe it this way, its how many of us would title it after walking out of the movement..

    It is nothing to be proud of and I can’t fathom why sanderson1611 promotes baptists with this kind of lifeless video. This is horrible PR.

    Is this the best he’s got? Youtube users searching the word baptist are going to see this, what is he thinking?

  20. Rick Danko and The Band: “This Must Be Christmas” is my favorite carol. Perhaps Uncle Wilver or Big Gary would be so kind as to provide a link? God bless us… everyone.

    1. Joan Osborne’s is my favorite version of “Christmas Must Be Tonight,” but I can’t find it on YouTube. Maybe I’ll upload it myself one of these days.

      In the meantime, here’s Joan with Pavarotti, an orchestra, and a choir. Osborne and Pavarotti are a little mismatched musically, but it’s still nice.


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