Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I spent the past weekend with some dear, long-time friends in Fort Worth. I’ve known John and Jan Lee since I was 15 years old. Neither one of us actually added up the numbers and verbalized how that dates our friendship - but we all know.

John is the music of minister at Travis Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth and they invited me up to join their choir and orchestra for their annual Christmas music presentation.

I sang some Christmas songs off the new “King of Kings” album and a few off “One Christmas Eve” that was recorded in 1994. I forget how moving Christmas music can be – especially to sing! I get to do these songs a few times and a few different locations each Christmas season and, I have to tell you, some of them still choke me up every time.

The trend to try and keep the music current and relevant seems to get put on the back burner at Christmas. All kinds of radio stations from rock to Christian contemporary play Christmas songs from artist like Paul McCartney to Bing Crosby to, well….me.

The local Christian music giant in Houston, KSBJ is playing a tremendous variety of music this season – as long as it has the word “Christmas” in it. I think it’s great and probably reaches an audience that otherwise might never tune in to hear normal contemporary worship and other types of Christian music.

As a writer and singer, these traditional songs like “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” and “ O Holy Night” and “The First Noel” inspire me and make me want to get better at writing things that are deep – things that will last way beyond my lifetime.

I’m thankful that we still gather together at Christmas and sing these songs. I’m sure some people think they’re corny and frankly, some of the stuff we hear and sing along with is corny. But it’s Christmas and it’s fun and it moves us all at the same time.

Thanks to my friend John and the church at Fort Worth for allowing me to be a small part of their special Christmas celebration this year.

I hope you all are able to push back the urge to try and buy yourself a merry little Christmas – and just have one!



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My name is Margaret Clary,I have commented on one of your other blogs. I think that the Christmas songs you mention are ones that are very deep and meaningful. Like O Holy Night for instance. I have sang that song in school and church choirs all my life. You are right about how some Christmas songs are stupid. I get sick of hearing them year after year. You know, grandma got run over by a reindeer, or jingle bells. I hate jingle bells. That is one Christmas song that needs to be put in the shredder. Then you have rap artist rapping out some Christmas songs, which is ok as long as it glorifies the Lord, but make it at least to where you can understand the words. I think some beatbox music for Christmas would be cool. Imagine beatbox with I'll be home for Christmas. I can already hear that one in my head. But the older more traditional songs of the season are the ones I do prefer. I love Amy Grant and her Christmas songs. We live in a world of very diverse music, and so many artist can turn something traditional into something else to fit their style now. And no one seems to mind it. If rappers and r&b is going to try gospel and Christmas songs I would like to hear some of the old traditional ones done in this style. Wayne, have you ever tried to update a traditional song? If not, why? I play violin, and some guitar, and love to write songs. But I have not tried to do any rap or beatbox. It is a cool form of music. God did not say what style of music to use, the bible just says make a joyful noise unto the Lord, and that is what I would like to do. I wrote a Christmas song that could go with a beat, it goes:
Christmas is a time for peace
A time for war and woe to cease
A special day to stop and care
and feel the love that's in the air
This is the day that God did send
Wrote the name Jesus on the wind
So long ago, on this day sweet
Jesus came for the world to meet
Christmas day is like no other
On this day we forgive our brother
And hold dear our saviors birth
And remember so what life is worth
Do keep Christmas in your heart
From day to day, never to part
Hold it close, hold it dear,
For Christmas day is very near

I think God gives all us so many ways of writing and making music that is really is all beautiful. Just like the music you do, keep doing it, he is blessing you always with your music. Songs might be traditional, or they might be just plain stupid to some of us, but I think they are all important to the creator of us and all things. I thank you for a chance to post a response. May I add, Ya'ateeh Keshmish (Merry Christmas In Navajo). God knows no boundry for languages either. Take care. Margaret Clary, from ULM If anyone would like to post things to me my email is marathreeofnine@aol.com