Please turn to number 49 and join with the clarinets in singing, “Thy Little Ones”.

First Line: Thy Little Ones
Name: Paedia.
Meter: L.M.
Tempo: Simply
Music: J. A. P. Shulz, 1747-1800
Text: Hans Adolph Brorson, 1694-1764
Tr. Harriet Reynolds Krauth Spaeth, 1845-1925

A short and “Simple” hymn for Christmas.

Refreshingly, instead of telling children to behave and mind their parents at Christmas, the lyrics of this one say that we best approach enlightenment as little children would, with innocence and wonder.

“Thy little ones, dear Lord, are we,
And come thy lowly bed to see;
Enlighten every soul and mind,
That we the way to thee may find.”

A sentiment I do not find wholly alien.

Clarinet arrangement: 049-thylittleones

All clarinets this time. Three times through, second time quietly, building towards a triumphant third. Technically, this is the last Christmas hymn in the book. After a single hymn for, of all things, “Circumcision and Name of Jesus”, we are on to Ephiphany and then Lent.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

Tosca Cafe, 09.23.2016


Apparently, Tosca Cafe agrees with Bruce Dern’s alcoholic Dad character in the movie “Nebraska” that, “Beer Ain’t Drinkin'”. The lowest ABV beverage on their drink menu is a 7oz pony bottle of Miller High Life clocking in at 4.2%. Now, admittedly, when I was drinking, I had a tendency to call Miller High Life, “Vaguely Beer Flavored Vitamin Water”. Ahem. We live and learn.

How about some statistics?

  • As anyone knows, you will sell more of any drink if you put it on the menu.
  • Leaving any drink as an off-menu choice to be explained by the bartenders and servers costs them time. Time they could be using to serve other guests or make drinks. Time is money.
  • In the dining room, it also adds a second problem of misunderstandings between customers and servers and also between servers and bartenders. More often than not, bartenders can make more than a few off menu non-alcoholic drinks, but few servers have been trained to understand the full spectrum of drinks the bartenders may know and be able to execute with the ingredients they have on hand. More than once I’ve told by a server that the extent of a restaurant’s non-alcoholic drinks is water, coffee, tea, and a few soft drinks, only to discover a completely different story when sitting at the bar and talking to a bartender.
  • Plus, asking about an off menu bar item means the server has to take a trip to the bar, get the attention of the bartender, ask what he can make, then bring that information back to the customer. More time wasted, and more money wasted.
  • When calculating pour costs for a bar menu, i.e. how much the ingredients in a drink cost, the management usually doesn’t even take into consideration the cost of non-alcoholic mixers, (unless they are exceptionally expensive.) Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, and Orange Juice, for example, must be squeezed every day, and are usually thrown out after a day or two. These ingredients are just part of the cost of doing business. Looking at it like this, selling non-alcoholic drinks is, essentially, making a profit on what is a “rounding error” for most bars and restaurants. Thus, non-alcoholic drinks may, in fact, help a bar to gain profit on what otherwise may go down the sink at the end of the night.
  • While we’re talking about costs, let’s not forget that most of the “pour cost” for drinks is usually in the spirits and alcoholic mixers, so from the restaurant’s perspective, putting a well executed non-alcoholic drink on the menu, even at a lower prices the regular cocktails, is probably going to have a higher profit margin for the restaurant than a regular cocktail. Something I am more than willing to allow for, if it encourages more restaurants and bars to serve good non-alcoholic drinks!
  • According to a Gallup Poll from 2004, on average, 37% of Americans totally abstain from liquor. A bit less for the younger folks, but significantly more once adults are over 50.

Americans and Alcohol

“According to the aggregated data, 63% of Americans report that they drink alcoholic beverages such as liquor, wine, or beer, while 37% totally abstain. Men are more likely than women to drink (69% vs. 58%), and adults under 50 are substantially more likely than adults over 50 to drink (70% of adults aged 18 to 49 drink alcoholic beverages, as do only 54% of those over 50).”

So, for adults, we’re talking about approximately 1 out of 3, to nearly 1 out of 2, Americans who don’t drink, depending on the average age of the patron in your restaurant.

If you don’t have an item on your food menu you can sell to one out of every three people that comes into your restaurant, would you consider it a success?

Likewise, then, is your restaurant’s bar menu a success, if the only option you offer to non-drinkers is water?


Please turn to number 48 and join with the winds on “What Child Is This”.

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First Line: What Child is This
Meter: 8 7, 8 7. With Refrain.
Tempo: In moderate time
Music: English, before 1642
Text: William Chatterton Dix, 1837-98

First, the tune is an English folk tune called “Greensleeves” of unknown origin.

Wikipedia, as usual, Greensleeves.

Several versions of the song were registered, the earliest in the late 16th Century:

A broadside ballad by this name was registered at the London Stationer’s Company in September 1580,[2] by Richard Jones, as “A Newe Northen Dittye of ye Ladye Greene Sleves”.[3]

The tune was apparently quite popular at the time, as Shakespeare mentions it in a couple places in “The Merry Wives of Windsor” (written, c.1597; first published in 1602).

The text of the hymn “What Child is This?” comes from a Poem by William Chatterton Dix:

At the time he was writing the lyrics to “What Child Is This?” in 1865, William Chatterton Dix was working as the manager of an insurance company.[5] He was afflicted by an unexpected and severe illness that resulted in him being bedridden and suffering from severe depression. Hisnear-death experience brought about a spiritual renewal in him while he was recovering. During this time, he read the Bible comprehensively and was inspired to author hymns like “Alleluia! Sing to Jesus!” and “As with Gladness Men of Old“.[1][4] The precise time in 1865 when he wrote the poem “The Manger Throne” is disputed. While the St. Petersburg Times details how Dix penned the work after reading the Gospel for Epiphanythat year (Matthew 2:1–12) recounting the journey of the Biblical Magi;[6] Singer’s Library of Song: Medium Voice contends that it was actually authored during the Christmas of 1865.[4]

They Hymn version was first published in an English Hymnal in 1871.

Here’s the clarinet and Soprano Sax Arrangement: 048-whatchildisthis

I’ve been enjoying playing Sax as the melody on these, so I continued the trend with What Child is this. Doubled all the clarinet parts and used the usual Audacity “Large Room” Reverb effect.

I was thinking I might try some improvisation the second time through, but listening to Coltrane’s version just made me feel self conscious of my own inadequacies.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

Dear Reluctant Teetotaler

“Dear Reluctant Teetotaler,

I have to go to a party this weekend and I am not sure what to do?

Yours in teetotaling solidarity,

A fellow traveler”

First, as discerning drinkers, we need to be aware that whatever beverages are available at any party, they may not be our ideal, alcoholic or non-alcoholic. So the my first recommendation is to do exactly as you would do if you were drinking alcohol: Bring Your Own Beverage

Bring enough tasty beverage for yourself, some to share, and, (if you think they’d enjoy it,) leave whatever is leftover with your hosts. (If you don’t think they’d enjoy it, feel free to recover the leftovers and take them home with you.)

However, your larger question may be, “Help! I have to go to a work party! I hate small talk. I can’t stand my coworkers! I can’t imagine going without drinking myself into a coma. Everyone else will be drinking! What should I do?”

Well, yes. The easiest answer, if you truly think attending this party will trigger some sort of alcoholic episode, is to make an excuse, (cat’s sick, family emergency, no sitter for kids, transport problems, &c.) and not go. Attend a meeting, if you have to. I hear meetings can help.

However, if you must, or really want to attend said party, perhaps some hints are in order.

First off, aside from the alleged therapeutic and psychoactive benefits of booze, mostly, in social situations, it is just something to do while you’re not talking. Occupy your hands, take a sip with your lips. Maybe you can avoid making a funny face, or exclaiming out loud in dismay, while your neighbor posits a horrible theory regarding the nature of human existence.

Alcoholic Beverage is, essentially, a PROP.

So, the first thing you need to do, is to get yourself a decoy prop, because there is nothing sadder than the clunk of a plastic water bottle or empty hands when someone is making a toast.

So, rocks glass with soda water, bitters, and a twist. Who could tell you weren’t drinking an old fashioned. Perfect. Tall glass of tonic or soda with a lime or lemon wedge. Why it might be a Gin and Tonic or a Tom Collins. Personally, I like a mix of Knudsen’s Just Cranberry, Cloudy Apple Juice, and a little water or soda in a wine glass. If you get the mix right, it looks, and pretty much tastes, like a glass of wine. Well, better than most non-alcoholic wine, anyway. It took almost 3 dinner parties until my in-laws noticed the color was a bit off from their Zinfandel and ask if I wasn’t drinking.

Alternatively, you can carry around a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a cocktail and just NOT drink it. The old skill of many a bartender. To appear to be drinking, while you are, in fact, not. At one of my jobs, we used to give a hard time to one of the managers (*cough*Trevor*cough*) for leaving full bottles of beer all over the restaurant every night while pretending to drink with his friends. Now, however, I admire the skill with which he carried non-drinking of alcoholic beverages off. Only the few of us who knew him pretty well even noticed. However, this is a bit of a slippery slope, especially if you forget you’re carrying a loaded drink.

Most importantly, let’s get back to the idea that drinking is really just “something to do”. Strip it of its ritual meaning and associations, just let them go, and suddenly drinking loses much of its power over you.

If you’re going to a party and aren’t going to drink, the best thing to do is to find something else to do!

Help out in the kitchen, I’m sure they’ll appreciate some sober help. Volunteer ahead for different duties, since you know you won’t be drinking. Can you bring a punch? Heck, if you know how, make drinks for other people. The bartender is supposed to be sober, or at least less drunk than the other people. Or make a game of finding an interesting person to talk to. As a sober person, you have a certain advantage!

But most of all, try to find some way to have fun or at least be occupied.

Parties are supposed to be fun and no one wants you staring at them, sad and mopey because you don’t have a drink.

Get over yourself.

(OK, this note is really just to myself…)


Please turn to number 47 and join with the winds in, “Away in a Manger”.

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First Line: Away in a Manger.
Meter: 11 11, 11 11.
Tempo: Tenderly
Music: 19th Century, American
Text: St. 1,2, Anonymous
St. 3, John Thomas McFarland, 1851-1913

Another of your Christmas Hymn war horses, I felt I needed to do something a little different. It was also kind of odd in that it only had a unison voice part, so adapting the keyboard part for the harmony instruments was a little odd. Went too low, even for Bass Clarinet.

Clarinet & Soprano Sax Arrangement: 047-awayinamanger

I added the Soprano Sax into the mix as the lead part. Played through once, improvised (Hymnprovisation!) a bit on the second time through, and then returned to the melody on the third time through.

The rest of the parts were doubled by the usual clarinets.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal


Please turn to number 46 and join with the clarinets in “Christmas Brings Joy”.

First Line: Christmas Brings Joy
Meter: 8 7, 9 7, 8 7, 8 7.
Music: C. E. F. Weyse, 1774-1842
Text: Bernhardt Severin Ingemann, 1789-1862
Tr. Cecil Cowdrey

Another fine hymn which suggests to small children that they should behave, especially at Christmas.

Christmas brings joy to every heart,
Sets old and young rejoicing,
What angels sang once to all on earth,
Oh, hear the children voicing.
Bright is the tree with lights aglow,
Like birds that perch together.
The child that holdeth Christmas dear
Shall keep these joys forever.

Joy comes to all the world today,
To halls and cottage hasting.
Come, sparrow and dove, from roof tree tall,
And share our Christmas feasting.
Dance, little child, on mother’s knee,
The lovely day is dawning;
The road to paradise is found
This blessed Christmas morning.

Once to this earth our Savior came,
An infant poor and lowly,
To open for us those gardens fair
Where dwell his angels holy.
Christmas joy he bringeth us,
To Christ-child King of heaven,
‘To every little child,’ he saith,
‘Shall angel wings be given.’

I’m joking a bit, there are some really nice, vivid, turns of phrase here. I especially like, “Dance, little child, on mother’s knee, the lovely day is dawning.”

Clarinet arrangement: 046-christmasbringsjoy

The usual, twice through on each instrument and Audacity “Large Room” Reverb Effect.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal

The Dark Horse Inn, 09.16.2016

Note, this is a collaborative post authored by both Missus and Mister Flannestad.

Aside from Old Bus Tavern, the place you are most likely to find the Missus and myself on a Friday night is The Dark Horse Inn on Geneva near Mission St in the Excelsior District.

Our exceedingly cool next-door neighbors also find themselves there on a regular basis, so we recently plotted to head there together to celebrate our shared discerning local expertise. It was great fun to enjoy the glee of their 5 year old son as he raced to the door in anticipation of the Dark Horse Inn’s secret kid’s menu item “chicken fingers”.  It was also hilarious when, in the spirit of buying rounds, we ordered him another glass of milk and he sighed, “I don’t need ANOTHER milk” when it was delivered.  It was not a double milk kind of night.

Last Friday night, we had the good fortune of being spotted at the bar by another friend (and a longtime Dark Horse regular) who graciously waved us over to join him and his wife at their table.  It turned out to be a wonderful night of trading stories, Midwestern brat haus experiences, and shared musical interests.  It was only after we realized that there were others waiting on our table, that we were able to tear ourselves away, and depart the good company.  On our way out we traded hellos and hi-fives with another regular at the bar who laughingly accused us of stalking him.

It’s this sort of friendly neighborhood atmosphere that reminds me a lot of the Taverns and Bars that the Missus and I grew up with in Wisconsin.

Dark Horse Inn keeps their beer taps filled with tasty and interesting local beers like Epidemic Ales’ Brain Bash, Local’s Hetch Hetchy IPA and St. Florian’s Bella Rosa Engine Stout (find Dark Horse’s always evolving tap list on BeerMenus.com). They also have a very good beer bottle list.

(For those of you for which only hard liquor will do, note The Dark Horse Inn is Beer and Wine only. Plan ahead, or bring a flask, if you really need a post work Martini or Manhattan.)

Most of all, their hamburger is our current favorite in San Francisco.  The Missus, (a beer geek who enjoys the eclectic tap list and evil eyes anyone at the bar who ignorantly orders an Old Style,) argues it’s consistently the hands-down BEST BURGER IN SF! They also offer unique daily salads, custom burgers, and other specials advertised via Instagram teasers. Chicken & waffles! Sunday night dinners! Brisket! We need to step-up beyond our regular Friday night visits to take advantage of these opportunities in deliciousness.

The non-alcoholic drink list isn’t fancy, but provides good options for grown ups, (even if the Mister would rather not have the taste of rose petals in his lemonade). Also, the free re-fills on regular non-sugary iced tea is an (un)sweet deal.

Dark Horse Drink Menu
Dark Horse Drink Menu

The Mister’s current go to non-alcoholic beverage is Milwaukee’s finest root beer, Sprecher Brewing, available at all times.

Sprecher Root Beer at the Dark Horse.
Sprecher Root Beer at the Dark Horse.

There are many options at the Dark Horse Inn beyond beverages, whether sitting alone at the bar or with a table of your ten best friends. Along w/ a few TV sets airing sports games there is always one screening esoteric film classics. What a pleasant array of options!

Whether you are craving a burger, the “Kimchi Reuben” (made with house smoked pastrami), interesting beer, good company, or all of the above, The Dark Horse Inn is a great place to go. Sit at the bar. You’ll probably make some new friends.


Please turn to number 45 and join with the clarinets in “I am So Glad Each Christmas Eve”.

First Line: I am So Glad Each Christmas Eve
Meter: C.M.
Tempo: With movement
Music: Peder Knudsen, 1819-63
Text: Marie Wexelsen, 1832-1911
Tr. Peter Andrew Sveeggen, 1881-

I just want to be clear, this song should be sung with a heavy Scandanavian accent. Sort of, “Eye Em So Glad each Chrismas Eve”.

I am so glad each Christmas Eve,
The night of Jesus’ birth!
Then like the sun the Star shone forth,
And angels sang on earth.

Definitely a folkier tune, and again with the 5 sharps. No rest for the wicked.

Clarinet arrangement: 045-iamsogladeachchristmaseve

Doubled each part, played three times through. Applied Audacity “Medium Room” Reverb Effect.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal


Please turn to number 44 and join with the clarinets in “Long Ago and Far Away”.

First Line: Long Ago and Far Away
Meter: Irregular. With Refrain.
Tempo: Brightly in unison
Music: German Carol Melody, 14th Century
Harm. by R. Vaughn Williams, 1872-1958
Text: Edward Traill Horn, III, 1909-
Written for this Book
Refrain XV cent., German, Tr. Oxford Book of Carols

Another well known composer providing Harmonization to this hymn. From the Wikipedia:

Ralph Vaughan Williams OM (Listeni/ˈrf ˌvɔːn ˈwɪljəmz/[n 1] 12 October 1872 – 26 August 1958) was an English composer. His works include operas, ballets, chamber music, secular and religious vocal pieces and orchestral compositions including nine symphonies, written over nearly fifty years. Strongly influenced by Tudor music and English folk-song, his output marked a decisive break in British music from its German-dominated style of the 19th century.

I wasn’t sure about this hymn when I first listened to the sounds from the arranging software, or, indeed the first couple times I played through. The harmonies are kind of delicate and it is quite a bit more complicated than the usual hymns. Almost a small choral piece, more than a hymn.

Clarinet Arrangement: 044-longagoandfaraway

But eventually, when I got the phrasing worked out, I really liked it. Another hymn I don’t remember hearing as a child.

The usual, at this point, method. Doubled all parts, applied Audacity “Large Room” Reverb Effect.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal


Please turn to number 43 and join with the clarinets in “Under Feeble Stable Light”.

Meter: 8 8, 9 9, 8 8.
Tempo: Tenderly, in unison
Music: Arnold F. Keller, 1890-
Music composed for this book
Text:Arnold Frederick Keller, 1890-

Under feeble stable light,
Come and behold the wondrous sight!
Lies here a babe so heavenly sweet,
Mother and angels the Infant Keep.
Angels on wing, What do they sing?
‘Glory to God, the Saviour, King!’

I can’t say I think much of Mr Keller’s skills as a lyricist, but the tune and harmonies of this hymn are pretty cool. One of the more modern settings I’ve run across in the book so far, short of the Holst piece.

Clarinet Arrangement: 043-underthefeeblestablelight

The tenor part was too low, so I had to play it on bass clarinet. Doubled each part, twice through. Audacity “Large Room” Reverb Effect.

Red Service Book and Hymnal
Red Service Book and Hymnal