The Virtual Musical Advent Calendar, December 25: The Rebel Jesus/Skyline Jig
I have gone back and forth trying to decide which song I wanted to post on Christmas day. Originally I had planned on going with Joy to the World, which is the song that so many churches sing to end their Christmas and Christmas Eve services. I also considered O Holy Night, a perennial favorite of mine — mostly for the melody of its astoundingly sublime refrain. (You should still definitely click on both links for fabulous renditions.) But ultimately, I have decided to go a very different direction and post the song that most captures my feelings about Christmas after a long, arduous yuletide season.
My selection, therefore, is Jackson Browne and the Chieftan’s The Rebel Jesus/Skyline Jig.
I won’t bore you with the details of the song’s recording, because hey, it’s Christmas, and whether or not you’re celebrating the holiday you have family and friends who love you that could be bonding with right now. Instead, I’ll simply say that as a non-believer, Browne’s lyrics perfectly sum up both my love of the season and frustration with the politics needlessly embedded in it, and that the jig that follows reminds me that at the end of it all, there is drinking, and dancing, and music, and loved ones, and a remembrance that being alive is amazing. It is hopeful, cranky, augmentative, and ultimately joyous. As I listen to it now, I realize it may well be the perfect Ordinary Times Holiday song.
I always wait until holidays and anniversaries to say what I need to find a way to say more often in 2014: that I love this place, and I love spending time with all of you. If I had a single Christmas wish, it would be this: that we could somehow all magically gather, feast, argue, imbibe, and hoolie together — and not just this season, but often and everywhere. That would be fishing space awesome.
Click here to see all selections for The Virtual Musical Advent Calendar.