Thursday, December 24, 2009

Pink Floyd as Advent Music

Yesterday morning, a small band of us gathered in the darkness to practice our ritual. No, it wasn't some pre-Christmas Eve religious group. It was my spin class, which met 15 minutes earlier, so that we could launch the fight against Christmas fat early.

My instructor brought the wrong soundtrack (spintrack?) with her. Instead of the one she'd spent so much time crafting for yesterday morning, she brought the Pink Floyd spin music. We hopped on our bikes and cycled off into the morning.

I associate Pink Floyd with the music of my late adolescence, and so I have conflicted feelings towards it. It launches me back to that nihilism that comes with the territory of late adolescence and that hopelessness of the Cold War that we didn't know was about to end.

Yesterday as we cycled, I first thought, well, this music isn't exactly Christmasy. No, it's not, but it seemed a good fit for Advent. Advent, after all, has apocalyptic themes and darkness and suffering and people waiting for salvation--I could make the same case for most Pink Floyd songs. Advent is the season of the lone, prophetic voice crying in the wilderness--the modern equivalent could be the rock star.

As we came to the end of our Pink Floyd ride, the dawn sunlight tried to peek around the curtains, and I thought, yes, the people who have lived in the darkness have seen a great light. I made my way to work humming "O Come, O Come Emmanuel," with some Pink Floyd chords banging around in my head. If I was a musician, I'd noodle around and create a new Advent classic. But since I'm not, I'll let you imagine your own music.

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