When I was little our house was full of music and never more than in the holidays. Everyone in the family except my dad was in at least one church choir and us kids were in more than one, usually at least a bell choir and regular kid’s choir but Cam and I were also in a special kids choir that sang during the second service and was in Wylie Chapel. It was a miniature service just for the children from 4th to 6th grade.
The holidays meant lots of rehearsal and lots of singing at Church events and when we got to Junior Hi through High School we got to sing in the 1000 voice choir at Disneyland every year because our Minister of Music founded it. It was hard work but we thought a free night at Disneyland was worth it and we got to have adventures we probably shouldn’t have because we were back stage at Disneyland.
But my earliest memory of Christmas music was singing in the car with my mom. We were at the school my dad taught at. I can remember being in the backseat and my mom had moved to the passenger seat so dad could drive us home. Mom usually didn’t take time with me other than reading to my brother and I and that’s probably why it sticks in my mind. But I can remember sitting there in car and learning to sing “Away in the Manger” which is probably why it’s still my favourite holiday song.
It was probably because I could always sing and hold pitch and that was important to mom so it’s something I remember so clearly that I was alone with her and she was paying attention to just me.
It’s a rate good memory of my mom when I wasn’t disappointing her in some way,
Here is the pagan version I wrote so I could still sing it:
Away as I’m walking ( I prefer the Flow Gently Sweet Afton Tune)
DRUM THE SUN (to the tune of “The Little Drummer Boy”)
Sun, they told me, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
Would rise again some day, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
Her finest gifts She brings, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
Sustain us to the spring, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum Prrum-pa-pum-pum, Prrum-pa-pum-pum
We will honor Her, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
When she comes.
Winter Solstice, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
We come to celebrate, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
You have a flame to bring, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
A source of warmth ’til spring, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum Prrum-pa-pum-pum, Prrum-pa-pum-pum
We will honor you, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
With our drum.
May we meet again, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
May hand and drum keep time, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
We play our drum for You, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
We play our best for You, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum Prrum-pa-pum-pum, Prrum-pa-pum-pum
May You smile on us, Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum Eternally drum.
This tune was cooperatively adapted by Coven of the Mother Mountain Aerie and guests at their August 2000 “Christmas in August” song bastardization workshop.
Brothers and sisters join and sing, Glory to the newborn King. Gardens peaceful, forests wild Celebrate the newborn child.
Now the time of glowing starts, Joyful hands and joyful hearts, Cheer the Yule log as it burns
For once again the Sun returns. Brothers and sisters join and sing, Glory to the newborn King!
Brothers and sisters singing come, Glory to the newborn Sun.
Thru the winter and dark of night, Celebrate the coming light!
Sun’s glad rays thru fear’s cold burns.
Life thru death the Wheel now turns,
Gather round Yule log and tree, Celebrate life’s mystery.
Brothers and sisters singing come, Celebrate the Sun’s return!
God rest ye merry pagan folk
Let nothing you dismay
Remember that the Sun returns
Upon this Solstice Day!
The growing dark is ended now
And Spring is on it’s way.
O tidings of Comfort and joy
Comfort and joy!
O tidings of Comfort and joy!
The Winter’s worst still lies ahead
Fierce tempest, snow and rain!
Beneath the blanket on the ground
The spark of life remains.
The Sun’s warm rays caress the seed.
To raise Life’s songs again!
O tidings …
Within the blessed apple lies
The Promise of the Queen
For from this pentacle shall rise
The orchards fresh and green.
The Earth shall blossom once again.
The air be sweet and clean.