Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Christmas Love Song (which just happens to be atheistic)

One of the more frustrating aspects of blogging is that you can't do it when the power is out. And the power is out in a six-state region right now. Not a huge deal--just get out the candles and oil lamps, light the wood stove, and you're good to go. Or to stay, as the case may be. I still don't have power, actually. (How am I posting? Magic.)

So once it gets dark (shortly after 4 PM, actually), there is a bit less that one can do. Our oil lamp is plenty bright enough to read by, but all the reading I had planned to do (ok, technically you might call it grading, or marking, depending on your regional dialect) is on my computer--or rather, on my students' computers, to be turned in online sometime between when the power went out 2 days ago and last night. So I was without a lot of what I had planned to read, and what I *wanted* to read was in my office. Oh well.

Once it gets even darker, the most fun is to be had with the AM radio. I was pulling in at least 4 languages (one I did not recognize, but also French, Spanish, and of course American), and everything from New York City to Quebec. Hockey games, basketball, Billo's replacement, local talkers who think the way to make it big is by pretending to be conservative, irate, and obnoxious... and of course, religious stations. Once again, I was reminded that there is a war on christmas going on. Without a trace of the merest hint of an inkling of a nod toward the pagan origins of a solstice celebration, I was chastised to remember the true meaning of christmas... excuse me, the True Meaning of Christmas.

So I am taking it on myself again to fire another salvo for the side of the righteous (or the rational) in the war. Dammit, I will not celebrate the True Meaning of Christmas, because I prefer the true meaning of christmas--this season, to me, is a time of love, of giving, of caring... and as an atheist, I will cruelly and heartlessly love my neighbors, support them in these trying times, and genuinely care, all without so much as a mention of the birth of god's chosen human sacrifice.

This time, a love song. I was trying to write something else, when I realized I had just written the intro to a song I had had kicking around for some time. This is a real song, and a beautiful one if I say so myself, in 3/4 time (except the intro/outro which are in 4/4); I have chords and melody for it and everything, except that I don't have the ability to write music for posting here. Sorry. You'll just have to take my word for it.

The stories told this time of year
To bring us hope, or joy, or cheer—
Who cares if, really, none of them are true?
The season brings the shortest days
And with the sunlight’s dying rays
The longest nights, that I can spend... with you.

(actual song)
Christmas is the time when I can say to you “I love you”
Kiss you if the mistletoe is hanging right above you
All through the year,
my friend we’ve grown near
And now when I see you this Christmas, it’s clear

I want to be more than friends this Christmas
I want to be closer than ever before
I want to be more than friends this Christmas
That’s what this Christmas is for.

Christmas is the time to cuddle up beside the fire
Feel the kind of love that only Christmas can inspire
Outside there’s snow,
but in here, a glow
And I’m warm when I’m with you, and that’s how I know:


Christmas is the time to hear the carols sung so sweetly
Let the magic of the season fill your heart completely
Love is brand new,
and wishes come true
I’ve just one wish this Christmas, and that wish is you:


Christmas is the time to walk the snowy world together
Face the coming year as boldly as we face the weather
Come and be strong
and join in my song
And the love that is Christmas can last the year long


The stories told this time of year
To bring us hope, or joy, or cheer—
Who cares if, really, none of them are true?
The season brings the shortest days
And with the sunlight’s dying rays
The longest nights, that I can spend... with you.


Kevin Zelnio said...

If you want to send the chords you wanted to use. I'll breathe a little life into for you :)

Glenn Martin said...

Send me the sheet music or whatever, I'll see what I can do with it.

Unknown said...

Lovely song. My feeling about Christmas exactly. Hope you get some light and heat soon. But meantime, maybe a nice warm cuddle with Cuttlespouse and Cuttlekiddies while you serenade them with this song... Sounds romantic.

(Probably much more romantic than the reality, which is downright uncomfortable and inconvenient, but we, out here, appreciate your creative use of the occasion.)

Happy Holidays, dear Cuttles.

Melissa Gay Art said...

This is a very moving song! :) I love it!

Weemaryanne said...

I can hear a lovely music-box tune when reading this -- thanks DC!


An Atheist Xmas Song
The Little Bummer Boy


Cuttlefish said...


Thanks, all--I will try to find some staff paper and write it down; I know how to read and write music, but I am no composer, so it does not come easily. I know the chords by ear, but that doesn't help until I get a little guide to translate...

And right now, Cuttlehouse is still without electricity; this is day 4! Fortunately, we are much better off than many of our neighbors--our small house is easily heated by a tiny wood stove, where their larger houses are dark, with them off at shelters or hotels. Bathed this morning in hot water from the wood stove, carried to the tub. Could be worse.

And Anfractious, it actually is fairly romantic. But I do not serenade with this song (indeed, my Cuttlefish persona is a secret from everybody in the three-dimensional world--I think there are a total of six people who know, and none are within a thousand miles of me... one might be just within).

Johnny Vector said...

Hmm... I'm risking a fisking, but it doesn't do much for me. Too sweet for my taste. (Something I never though I'd say about any Cuttlefishin', but there you go. Nothing to be done.) The prose beats the verse this time!

But then I've always gone in for the darker stuff. (I'm the Kevin B who posted about Sondheim a couple days ago; finally got my "normal" ID into Google.) My idea of a good Christmas love song is "Footprints", by Ed Robertson. But there's a reason nobody ever plays any BNL songs at weddings (except mine, but as I said I'm a bit odd).

I can't imagine creating your kind of output and keeping it separate from the offline world. Man, if I write something I'm bloody well singing it at the National Air and Space Museum!

Cuttlefish said...

It's ok, J-Vector; it is supposed to be sweet--this is a war, after all! Since the True Meaning Of Christmas has actual (or fictional) human sacrifice, I had to bring out the sweet...

And you didn't ask, but it was indeed inspired by a particular person. Very very innocently.

Johnny Vector said...

Nothing wrong with sweet, especially if the melody is good. It's just that I've come to expect gloriously emotional cleverness from the likes of you (of which there is of course just the one). I'm going to be very sad when I finish the book. I try not to read too many poems each day. Savoring, savoring...

Cuttlefish said...

You'll be happy to hear, then, that I just got (before the power outage) a new, beautiful piece of artwork that cries out to be the cover of Volume Two--so now I have to keep writing, if only to do this gorgeous drawing justice!

Anonymous said...

That's very sweet. Reminds me of "Merry Christmas Everyone" by Shakin' Stevens. Same kind of sentiment.