Monday, December 14, 2015

A 9th Street Christmas Song

This song was written and recorded quite a few years ago not long after we came to Modesto. A friend, Josh Davenport (who you'll hear on the track) was making an impromptu Christmas CD for his family as a gift. We were recording some standard Christmas songs together and Josh asked me if I wanted to include anything in the collection.

I told him to give me a minute and I went out into the next room and wrote this little song in about 10 minutes. Listening now, it sounds a bit like I wrote it in 10 minutes. But there are a few things that commend it.

I love how the chorus worked out. And I also love Josh's improv of the bridge.

This is a good snap shot of where my heart was in this time. Once, I came up on a woman's room in an old run down motel on 9th Street here in Modesto. I was going to let her know we were there to share food with the residents. This is a woman I see and have some interaction with every week to this day. She was passed out from drink in a fitful sleep on her bed.

I realized that I had a certain image of this woman's life just based on my small interactions with her for maybe an hour a week. But she lives in a hovel on South 9th Street all the time. She is still there when I am not.

But I have also come to realize that God is there whether I am there or not. The Christmas story is that God enters our reality and brings His healing and grace through our broken systems and "realities."

I suppose this song doesn't have anything new to say in the way of Christmas reflection. But, sometimes, saying the old thing is good enough.

"He has mercy on those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm
and has scattered the proud in their conceit,
Casting down the mighty from their thrones
and lifting up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty."
~Mary, from Luke 1

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