Wednesday, December 22, 2010
A Choo Choo Christmas
For those of a certain generation, train sets were on the top of Santa's list.
I loved the whole imaginary world you created with an electric train set. Train culture was very predominate in my hometown. Moncton was a major hub for the CNR (Canadian National Railway) in the Maritimes.
Perhaps the attraction is that, as a kid, there is very little in the grown up world that you have any say in. In this world of tiny shops, stations, stores and landscapes, you were king.
It was like being the Friendly Giant holding the power to do whatever you wanted with your little kingdom. (Sort of like Stephen Harper, really.)
Of course each Christmas I would decorate the train village with the assorted buildings, tiny trees, but also a assorted collection of cowboys, indians and assorted animals from my toy farm.
I remember first hearing "Old Toy Trains" in the sixties when Roger -"You Can't Rollar Skate in a Buffalo Herd"- Miller released it.
I bought the book The Polar Express, complete with silver bell, for my kids when they were very young. The book is beautiful; the story now a classic. They retained much of the same graphic look in the film version, and while the humanoid appearance of the characters are a bit creepy, once you get past that, it is an enchanting and very moving experience.
The song, "Believe" written for the movie by Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri, and sung by Josh Groban is one of those Andrew Lloyd Weber-ish big ballads that get on my nerves. But when sung over the visuals from the movie, the lyrics come alive and the song soars like wind tossed snowflakes.
Can you hear the bell?