Two Christmas Songs for You

Since the holidays are upon us, I thought I’d break out a couple of holiday songs. The links below lead to mp3s of two demos I recorded a couple years back. Each you about this time, I remember that I always intend to do a holiday CD, but that it’s too late again this year. (Truthfully, before that, it would be nice just to finish the second regular CD, huh?)

Anyway, since they’re laying around, mostly finished as demos, and waiting to be shared, consider these little Christmas gifts to you. Just click on the song titles below and it should pop up a new window and the mp3:

sno54d copy

The first song, “Come Home,” was written by my very good friend, Bill Nash. Bill, as I have said many times, is one of the finest human beings on the planet. And it is always a pleasure to get to play with him anytime and anywhere, although it doesn’t happen nearly enough these days.
Bill wrote this Christmas song while visiting his folks in Colorado. The way he tells it, the whole song took just a couple of hours, and simply poured out of him. Those of us who know Bill love his own very fine version of the song, and we love to sing along the background vocals with him. It’s always a highlight of his shows, and there’s no question it’s one of his best –and best loved– songs.
So, with gratitude to Bill for allowing me to mess with what was already a fine work, I’ve added my own touches. It’s a great song that evokes the best feelings of the holiday season.

sno50h copy

The second song, “Not So Silent Night Hometown,” is one of mine. I wrote it some years ago when we were living in a rent house in East Dallas. It was partially inspired by the roughness of that neighborhood, and partially by the story of a young boy named Travis Butler that was in the news that year. Just before the holidays, Travis’ mother died. She died right on the floor of their apartment. She had been sick for some time, and everyone knew she would die soon. But when she did, Travis didn’t tell a soul.
It seems he was so afraid of being shuffled off into foster care that he made a decision to just keep going to school as if nothing had happened. He fed himself cereal and pizza. When he ran out of food, we went to the store for more. He even cut his own hair. He got himself ready for school each day. And he and tried his best to keep the news away from everyone. He kept his secret for an entire month, until just weeks before Christmas, when family friends finally figured it out.
Something about this story really touched me…something about a little boy who was afraid of getting “lost” in some big system, some big, cold town. That combined with my thinking about how in East Dallas, the homeless shuffle down the streets, the sirens wail long into the evenings, and it’s still a rough place to be, even during the holidays.
So, the juxtaposition of that real-world, and the promise of the Christmas story, seemed profound.

If “incarnation” –God coming to earth as a person, the true meaning of Christmas– means anything, then it’s got to mean something on the mean streets too. If God is born into the world, then it’s got to be something that happens in the parts of the world that seem “lost” to an outsider’s eyes. And it’s got to happen in the lives of people that seem lost too.

After all, Jesus was born in a stable, not the Ritz Carleton. So, maybe, despite what we often assume, it happens in those places most of all.

Hope you enjoy the songs, and hope you’re having a blessed holiday.

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He has been Senior Pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas since 2001. During his tenure, church membership has grown almost 30 percent, and a completely new church facility (sanctuary and education building) has been constructed. Northaven is a leading progressive Christian congregation in the Southwest. Northaven is an eclectic collection of gay and straight families, artists, musicians, theater folks, academic theologians, lawyers and judges (go figure), socially conscious community activists, people who don't "check their brain at the door," and a wide array of others who either see it as their "last chance" inside the "institutional church," or their first trip back in decades. Eric is an avid blogger and published author.  Eric is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, who performs throughout Texas and the Southwest. He's an engaging live performer whose first CD was released in 2000. His songs have won honorable mention in both the Billboard and Great American song contests; and he's been a finalist in the 5th Street Festival and South Florida Folk Festival songwriter competitions. Eric is also a leader of Connections, a unique band comprised of United Methodist clergy and layfolk from throughout North Texas. Connections performs "cover shows" of artists like Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Eagles, Doobie Brothers, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor and others. Their shows draw crowds of between 300 and 1,000 fans, and they have raised more than $240,000 dollars for worthy charities. Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He's a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named "best judge" by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County. She was re-elected for a third term in 2010. They have the world's best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. (As always, if you like this post, then "like" this on Facebook by clicking the box below, so others can see too...)

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