AF Band Flash Mobs Smithsonian with Christmas Songs (Video)

This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The babe, the son of Mary.

Continuing a tradition begun last year, the US Air Force Band “flash mobbed” the Smithsonian and performed What Child is This? and Carol of the Bells, to the delight of the crowd:

The Air Force Times Flightlines blog noted that the official Air Force Band website said the first song was Greensleeves.  While Greensleeves is the same tune as What Child is This?, the vocalists were clearly singing the lyrics to the latter.

Military members can express Christmas cheer, even publicly and in uniform — though, as with every public expression even remotely associated with religion, not everyone is happy when they do.

Last year, a few atheists criticized the Air Force Band’s choice of a “religious” Christmas song.

Michael “Mikey” Weinstein was particularly offended, complaining to Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh about the Band singing “Joy to the World” [unique Weinstein formatting original]:

….Well done, Mark!……WHAT a fabulous statement for the USAF to make here….[] of ALL the holiday songs they could have performed, they chose THIS one?????……..yeah, I wonder why??……Mikey

Somebody needs an eggnog.

Noted at USA Today.



  • Greensleeves doesn’t “have the same tune” – it’s the name of the tune itself. If you open up the Episcopal hymnal and look at the hymn “What Child Is This?”, you’ll see that it says “Tune: Greensleeves” right there in the hymnal.

    The Flightlines blog was, however, incorrect when they said that the event began with “a single oboist”. That was very obviously an English horn, not an oboe. When the third instrumentalist enters at 0:43 with an actual oboe, you can clearly see and hear the difference with the English horn (which is larger and lower-pitched).

    • @Alex
      Well, if you insist, you misquoted “have the same tune.” The phrase was actually “is the same tune.” Since the definition of “tune” is “a series of musical notes…,” it is not at all inaccurate to say the two songs are the same “series of musical notes.”

      Now thats out of the way, it was a nice performance, wasn’t it?