Information on Christmas Waltz

The Viennese waltz is the original Western forbidden dance because partners dance close, facing each other and closely touching. This was quite a scandal for traditional authorities because of the dance’s moral turpitude and vulgarity. The dance of the masses was different from the intricate court dances. This view changed with the acceptance of the dance and later the dance was elevated as orchestral art. With waltz we learn to embrace dynamism and change with optimism, vibrancy and enjoyment. These same lessons we accept with the song – Christmas waltz.

The Christmas waltz, a song by Sammy Cahn and music by Jule Styne, represents the accepted form of modern secular Christmas music which describe the wonderful joy of the season without necessarily being religious. The song has been reprised by many singers including Frank Sinatra and the Carpenters. The active celebration of Christmas was a vigorous effort of the clergy to superimpose Christian ethics and principles over the ancient pagan practices. The modern songs do not necessarily mean a reversion of the celebration to those of Saturnalia. The change of Christmas chants and hymns to merry novelty type of Christmas waltz songs result from the secularization of what used to be somber religious rituals.

Like its dance equivalent, what used to be condemned as a hedonistic ritual became a solemn Christian celebration and now is a community celebration of life and merriment most represented by the Christmas waltz song. The acceptance of Christmas is now a spiritual message and need not dress itself in a totally serious religious ritual. The lightness of secular celebration when conjoined with Christian values of gift-giving, charity and renewal becomes the deliberate spiritual practice of without the superficial walls imposed by traditionalists and dogmatics.


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