Monday, December 24, 2012

25 Days of Holiday Music: Day 24

Image by @UberDorkGirlie

December 24 is a date observed by both Christians and non-Christians the world over as Christmas Eve. Not all of them observe this date, let alone Christmas Day, in quite the same way. But for just about anyone who observes Christmas, today's date marks a countdown: T-just-one-day until the big event. Food, shopping, wrapping, etc., it all has to be done today! (Note: For many families, Christmas Eve Day is the date for the big gift-giving event, so those folks had the crazy rundown yesterday).

Of course, as you've read here and other places, there are many parallels between Christianity and ancient Pagan religions. Still, a considerable percentage of the world's population looks to this season to celebrate the coming of light into the world -- some celebrate the return of the Sun, while others celebrate the birth of the Son (of God). And while we may disagree on the details, some of which may be rather important, we can all agree that this is a season of giving, of love, and of coming together. And it is in that spirit that I offer up today's holiday tune, "The Christians and the Pagans" by American singer-songwrite Dar Williams. This tune was the second single from Dar Williams' second studio album, Mortal City (1996). There was no music video associated with it, and it didn't chart, but it has become a concert favorite. It tackles issues of both interfaith and sexual orientation: Amber, a lesbian and a Pagan, asks if she and her partner can spend the holiday with her devout Christian uncle and family. What ensues are a number of scenarios illustrating opposing cultural and political views, yet the family members try to get by on politeness as the "christians and the pagans sat together at the table." They all come to see that -- maybe, just maybe -- their differences do not need to keep them apart after all.

As I mentioned, there is no official music video for "The Christians and the Pagan," but I found a fan video with lyrics, and I've included them after the video, so that you can enjoy this holiday tale.

The Christians and the Pagans

Amber called her uncle, said ’we’re up here for the holiday,
Jane and I were having solstice, now we need a place to stay.’
And her christ-loving uncle watched his wife hang mary on a tree,
He watched his song hang candy canes all made with red dye number three.
He told his niece, ’its christmas eve, I know our life is not your style,’
She said, ’christmas is like solstice, and we miss you and it’s been awhile,’

So the christians and the pagans sat together at the table,

Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able,
And just before the meal was served, hands were held and prayers were said,
Sending hope for peace on earth to all their gods and goddesses.

The food was great, the tree plugged in, the meal had gone without a hitch,

Till timmy turned to amber and said, ’is it try that you’re a wtich? ’
His mom jumped up and said, ’the pies are burning,’ and she hit the kitchen,
And it was jane who spoke, she said, ’its true, your cousins not a christian,’
’but we love trees, we love the snow, the friends we have, the world we share,
And you find magic from your god, and we find magic everywhere,’

So the christians and the pagans sat together at the table,

Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able,
And where does magic come from? I think magics in the learning,
Cause now when christians sit with pagans only pumpkin pies are burning.

When amber tried to do the dishes, her aunt said, ’really, no, don’t bother.’

Ambers uncle saw how amber looked like tim and like her father.
He thought about his brother, how they hadnt spoken in a year,
He thought hed call him up and say, ’its christmas and your daughters here.’
He thought of fathers, sons and brothers, so his own son tug his sleeve, saying,
’can I be a pagan? ’ dad said, ’well discuss it when they leave.’

So the christians and the pagans sat together at the table,

Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able,
Lighting trees in darkness, learning new ways from the old, and
Making sense of history and drawing warmth out of the cold.

If you like my music posts, I would appreciate you giving me some +K in Music on @klout. And, please, do check out the other entries in my 25 Days of Holiday Music series!

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