Christmas and Beyond
Christmas is at once a very public and very private time of the year. The all too public part is captured in the song "Wait", re-recorded from my first CD, which was also first meant to be Christmas gifts. I tilt toward the private, introspective side-something that should be obvious from the selections on this album. 'Christmas I Am' is a new song for this season, but it isn't far removed from old carols such as 'I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day', 'O Little Town of Bethlehem', and 'What Child is This?'. The recurring theme is that of Emanuel, or in English, 'God with us'. Further, I believe it resonates with something even older: The revelation, definition, recognition of God as the current of our existence or simply the progressive tense of our English verb 'to be'. The story related by Moses says God represented by the burning bush is identified as 'I am.' This 'Being' born as a baby is what Christians celebrate at Christmas. The title of this collection, however, is "Christmas and Beyond". Often, I'll write a song on New Year's Eve. My favorite is "The Cat Doesn't Know It's New Years". I wanted it to be a part of this album. Find other New Years songs on other albums. Advent, Christmas, and the New Year can be a cleansing, redeeming time--A time for new beginnings. I wrote the last track on this album the night of Barack Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic Party Convention. That day was also the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Junior's "I Have a Dream" speech. "Yes, We Can!" is undoubtedly one of scores of songs with that title. This one is mine. It wrote itself as I looked into the eyes of those who were watching history. I was one with tears. Please note the connections with water, a substance we all need for life throughout. Also, there is an intentional tie to faces at the beginning and the end of the song/poem. In poetry, they call it something like 'organic unity'. I was reaching for that ideal, because the song and the times demanded it.