Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Songs and Thoughts

I love most Christmas music, including the strongly religious carols, even though that's not much of a fit with the rest of my life. So I was very struck by this song I just discovered by Tim Minchin, called "White Wine in the Sun." It might become my new Christmas anthem.

Or if not that, the song "Birth of the Rebel Jesus," which Google tells me was written by Jackson Browne. The recording I've heard is by the McGarrigle Sisters.

All the streets are filled with laughter and light
And the music of the season
And the merchants' windows are all bright
With the faces of the children
And the families hurrying to their homes
While the sky darkens and freezes
Will be gathering around the hearths and tables
Giving thanks for God's graces
And the birth of the rebel Jesus

Well they call him by 'the Prince of Peace'
And they call him by 'the Savior'
And they pray to him upon the seas
And in every bold endeavor
And they fill his churches with their pride and gold
As their faith in him increases
But they've turned the nature that I worship in
From a temple to a robber's den
In the words of the rebel Jesus

Well we guard our world with locks and guns
And we guard our fine possessions
And once a year when Christmas comes
We give to our relations
And perhaps we give a little to the poor
If the generosity should seize us
But if any one of us should interfere
In the business of why there are poor
They get the same as the rebel Jesus

Now pardon me if I have seemed
To take the tone of judgment
For I've no wish to come between
This day and your enjoyment
In a life of hardship and of earthly toil
There's a need for anything that frees us
So I bid you pleasure
And I bid you cheer
From a heathen and a pagan
On the side of the rebel Jesus

As Occupy Denver sent out today in honor of Christmas:

Today, some are celebrating an underprivileged mom giving birth in a stable to a baby who grew up to be a prominent activist for peace, love and anti-capitalist values; who preferred the company of honest prostitutes, the poor and the disabled than that of the religious or financial elite; who partook in radical direct action against the banking system and who, at the conclusion of his life, was executed publicly as an enemy of state. Jesus was a revolutionary.