Editorial: A song or two
The history of Valentine's Day is a little murky, with roots dating as far as the Roman Empire, some scholars and historians say.
Most scholars believe that the St. Valentine of the holiday was a priest who attracted the disfavor of Roman emperor Claudius II around 270. Before he was executed, he allegedly sent a letter to his love signed "from your Valentine." Probably the most plausible story surrounding St. Valentine, infoplease.com says, is one focused on agape (Christian love); they say he was martyred for refusing to renounce his religion.
It was not until the 14th century that the Christian feast day became associated with love. According to UCLA medieval scholar Henry Ansgar Kelly, author of "Chaucer and the Cult of Saint Valentine," it was Chaucer who first linked St. Valentine's Day with romance. In 1381, he composed a poem in honor of the engagement between England's Richard II and Anne of Bohemia. As was the poetic tradition, Chaucer associated the occasion with a feast day.
Now we associate Valentine's Day with candy, flowers, cards and expressions of love. A day set aside for those sentiments ought to be recognized, don't you think? And one way to do it — one fun, different way — is to have a singing Valentine delivered by members of the Sevier County Choral Society.
This group, which performs Christmas and spring concerts each year, raises money for various needs through the singing Valentines. For $30 you get a visit, a couple of songs and the pleasure of watching co-workers, friends and loved ones be the focus of a lot of special attention.
The singing Valentines will be done from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday. They'll visit almost anywhere people congregate. Call 429-0252 to make an appointment. Remember, the singing Valentines help raise money for the Choral Society’s community endeavors, including the scholarship program for high school students who participate with the group in rehearsals as well as the group's own singing engagements.
Support the Choral Society. Have fun on Valentine's Day.