Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The ReverbNation Christmas Blog for 2010

An Early Holiday Present!

November 14, 2010 at 11:47 am

It’s Christmas Time Again!

[NOTE:  We are fully aware of the issue of “liturgical correctness” and I actually fully agree with keeping Christmas music for Christmas season in church AND it’s a GOOD thing to ‘feel the flow’ of the seasons of Advent and Christmas.  However, there’s nothing wrong with privately listening to sacred Christmas music during Thanksgiving and Advent and that it actually enhances a spirit of expectation.  Thanksgiving is next week and Advent begins November 28 this year.]

During Advent & Christmas this year, our website will celebrate in several ways.  We will feature Christmas songs at the top of the song list   We are posting a song we did with John Drahos, “Christmas Time” and a version of “O Holy Night!”.  And we are going to debut several LIVE versions of some of the songs that we already have on here, like “Glory”, “The Joy”, “God is With Us” and “Merry Christmas”.  We will also feature the tracks of Christmas songs without vocals that you can sing along with, in effect, “Christmas karaoke”!  [You can find these tracks right under the Christmas song section.]

We are also sending out to everyone on the mailing list a special ChristmasTunePak with all the Christmas songs including the karaoke tracks.  You can just click on it and it will automatically play all the songs.  It could be nice to have on while you are doing all your Christmas preparations!

We have already talked about how much Christmas meant to us as a group (for instance:  Christmas In July & O Little Town Of Judah &  Glory &  God Is With Us .)  But I thought we should talk more about what we did every year for a couple of decades.

Way back in the very beginning, we were doing an annual Christmas concert.  [We have a ‘thank you’ for a Christmas show we did for patients at a hospital in 1978.]  This continued pretty much every year for at least until the mid 90’s at Sons of Mary and Sheepgate.  I remember always being conscious of the Advent season.  In the early days, we often did “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord” from Godspell and “A Voice Cries Out in the Wilderness”.  And, of course, we did Christmas songs.  We started the tradition of doing a Christmas carol medley, which in the early days went on for about twenty minutes (!), starting with “O Come Emmanuel” and culminating in “Joy to the World”.  At some point, we had the idea of doing the “Twelve Days of Christmas” with Chuck leading the way in his inimitably jocular style.  That was great fun for everybody and something we looked forward to every year.  {That song was a coded Catechism device for persecuted Catholics in 17th century England, in case you didn’t know.}

We were also doing Christmas concerts in the area.  For a while we were doing “Little Drummer Boy” with Dave’s little brother singing it.  One particular time, the girls never made it to the show wherever it was, so it was up to the guys to pull it off – and as I recall we really didn’t do half bad (we got it on tape).  {I think I recall someone suggesting that we lose the girls from then on, but, of course, they were only JESTing!}

Probably the best thing about these shows was how it spurred us to write so much original material.  Writing Christmas songs is such a joy in so many senses.  That night when Christ was born IS all about JOY JOY JOY.  I had already written “Glory” a few years before, but making it into a group song completely transformed it and prepped it for the laboratory of the recording sessions of 1984 and the wonderful Christmas cassette we made.  The rehearsals leading up to these shows were full of energy and excitement and the buzz of the actual night was something wonderful, almost like a foretaste of heaven.  Jesus Christ is the source of all this joy.  We hope He can be born into more hearts this season and help bring the Body together.