One of those songs that’s probably only a Christmas song to me. I have a few like that. Like Cohen’s “Famous Blue Raincoat” and EBTG’s “Come On Home”.
Oh I wanna make something
So lovely for you
‘Cus I promised that’s what I’d do for you
With the bible I stole
I know you forgave my soul
Because such was my need on a chronic Christmas Eve
And I think we’re agreed that it should have been free
And you sang to me
They dress the wounds of my poor people
As though they’re nothing
Saying “peace, peace”
When there’s no peace
ETA: Apparently, I am not the only one who sees this as a Christmas song. “Christmas can serve as a hollow, ironic and painful reminder for many that beyond the season, the give and take of our society has often not served them with the justice of enough.
In this vein I love the song ‘Something Beautiful’ by Sinead O’Connor picking up the themes of Jeremiah at Christmas. Talk about one cantankerous prophet quoting another!”
Always love her bluesy way.
Oh, Tracey Thorn. Your voice undoes me.
Lovely love oh love divine.
c) this song always makes me crazy happy/nostalgic
Funtimes between musician friends.
Here’s a fun non-Christmas one by these same set of folks
My favorite traditional song by a number of folks, though none of them as good as this local performance I saw when I was about 16 years old that dissolved me into tears. That was one amazing pair of pipes on that woman. I’ve never heard the like again.
According to Donna Summer, the world was in sin and error whining. I’m down with that.
Shush, David Archuleta is made of tiny magic, okay?
Rhiannon from Carolina Chocolate Drops
This isn’t really my preferred style of singing, but I for some reason I couldn’t stop listening until it was over.
And a live Sufjan Stevens sing-a-long from a few nights ago. Very charming until the noise of the end overpowers the microphone on the recording device.
You can find any of these artists except the mom and daughter on Amazon, okay? I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by life, so please feel free to look them up there. *shifty eyes* Sorry! This is a link to Amazon! Use it well!
As you can see, Sufjan Stevens is way into Christmas. If the photo isn’t proof enough, perhaps his multiple Christmas albums will convince you.
Here are a few of his original compositions that I enjoy. He also does Sufjan-y versions of standards which I might link in other posts.
A Christmas film short set to the music of Sufjan Stevens. Created by John P. Gelety.
A live version complete with Sufjan-wings.
The “Coventry Carol” is a Christmas carol dating from the 16th century. The carol was performed in Coventry in England as part of a mystery play called The Pageant of the Shearmen and Tailors. The play depicts the Christmas story from chapter two in the Gospel of Matthew. The carol refers to the Massacre of the Innocents, in which Herod ordered all male infants under the age of two in Bethlehem to be killed. The lyrics of this haunting carol represent a mother’s lament for her doomed child. It is the only carol that has survived from this play.
There are many versions out there, including one by Tori Amos, but this is my preferred version. Because it is creepy like it should be–especially near the end. Singing about the slaughter of innocents should be creepy.
This version by Shawn Colvin has long been my favorite. I was considering posting other versions like I did yesterday with Fairytale of New York, but, no. This is my favorite version and I really don’t even enjoy most of the others I’ve heard because I keep thinking, “But Shawn Colvin’s is perfect.”
According to Wikipedia:
“In the Bleak Midwinter” is a Christmas carol based on a poem by the English poet Christina Rossetti written before 1872 in response to a request from the magazine Scribner’s Monthly for a Christmas poem. It was published posthumously in Rossetti’s Poetic Works in 1904 and became a Christmas carol after it appeared in The English Hymnal in 1906 with a setting by Holst.
Also, some people take their carols very seriously, my friends:
Hymnologist and theologian Ian Bradley has questioned the poem’s theology: “Is it right to say that heaven cannot hold God, nor the earth sustain, and what about heaven and earth fleeing away when he comes to reign?”
But have no fear!
However I Kings 8.27, in Solomon’s prayer of dedication of the Temple, says: “But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you.” Regarding “heaven and earth fleeing away”, many New Testament apocalyptic passages use such language, such as II Peter 3. 10-11: “The heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will be destroyed by fire… That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.” So Rosetti is wholly biblical except, perhaps, for the description of snow and frost at the birth of Christ, which owes more to Dickensian tradition than to the New Testament!
Also, I had no idea this poem/song was by Christina Rosetti. I’m rather fond of the Rosetti siblings, if I do say so myself. Learn something new every day!