Sunday, January 11, 2009


In "A Southern Christmas Carol," the character of the child Tiny Tim becomes Eppie's polio-afflicted young adult son Tim, who is nicked-named 'Tiny.' In this version the nickname is meant to be something of a gentle joke since Tim--despite his handicap--is a tall young man. Looking to Southern literature of the period (the Depression), the character of Porgy (from the novel of the same name...which later became immortal in Gershwin's opera "Porgy & Bess") served as the inspiration.
Whereas in the original Bob Catchit and Tiny Tim are but two members in a large family, in "A Southern Christmas Carol," Eppie and Tiny live alone in poverty--each dependent emotionally and financially on one another. Tiny is the most important thing in Eppie's world--which makes his death later on all the more devastating.
Whereas Eppie's sufferings and misfortunes have left her somewhat cynical, Tiny retains optimism and faith. He epxresses this in the song "God Bless Us Everyone"--even while acknowledging the adversities that he and his mother have experienced.

In Dickens' original story, he includes the following when describing the Cratchits' Christmas dinner:

" All this time the chestnuts and the jug went round and round; and by-and-bye they had a song, about a lost child travelling in the snow, from Tiny Tim, who had a plaintive little voice, and sang it very well indeed."

In "A Southern Christmas Carol" Tiny begins his song using the symbolism of a traveling child lost the snow; he continues by evoking a prayer for his absent father, for Eppie, and then evokes a blessing on humankind in general--using images found in the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament gospels:

Sometimes don't you know
I feel just like a child lost in snow:
Cold and numb
From where I've come
But not knowing where to go.
When I get to feeling
Like I belong nowhere,
And my soul yearns for healing
I say a little prayer:

God bless my mama
Who was always there for me,
Forgive my daddy
For not bein’ what he should be.
When I’m blind and bitter
Give me eyes that I might see.
God bless us everyone!

Bind up the wounds
Of those in pain,
And those who hunger,
Fill them up again.
As for the captives,
Free them from their chains.
God bless is everyone!

Sometimes it’s tempting
To think about your life
As nothing’ but a tale of woe.
Yes, you’ve have heartache,
Anger, pain and strife
But if you’re strong
Despite the wrongs
You’ll be a victor don’t you know!

Lord, give us hope
To see beyond our tears!
Lord, give us wisdom
To last throughout the years!
Give is the courage
To conquer sin and fear!
God bless us everyone!
Redeem us!
God bless us everyone!

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