December 23rd, 2008

Christmas Time (Is Here Again)

I suspected Beatles Week might run on past Christmas this year and I wondered what I might do when it did. Luckily, The Beatles themselves solved my problem for me.

On December 4, 1995, the group released “Free As a Bird,” their first new single in 25 years (source), using a tape John Lennon had recorded in 1977 and building around that with harmonies and more music by the remaining band members. The song was released on a mini-CD with three other studio recordings, one of which was “Christmas Time (Is Here Again).” I’ll let the album notes describe it from here:

From 1963 to 1969 the Beatles gave members of their official fan club a special gift at Christmas: a record unavailable elsewhere. The 1967 disc was titled “Christmas Time (Is Here Again)” and extracts from a song of that name were scattered among the sketches. Issued here for the first time is an uninterrupted recording of the number. Superimposed near the end are some spoken-word seasonal greetings, taped in 1966, followed by a John Lennon.

So this year for Christmas, I would like to wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and would also like to let The Beatles do the same from 1967. Click the following link to stream the song or right-click and save it before listening (it’s a little over 4 Mb):

Christmas Time (Is Here Again)
December 24th, 2006

Rose Of Bethlehem

There’s a Rose in Bethlehem
With a beauty quite divine
Perfect in this world of sin
On this silent, holy night

There’s a fragrance much like hope
That it sends upon the wind
Reaching out to every soul
From a lowly manger’s crib

Oh, Rose of Bethlehem
How lovely, pure and sweet
Born to glorify the Father
Born to wear the thorns for me

There’s a Rose in Bethlehem
Colored red like mercy’s blood
Tis the flower of our faith
Tis the blossom of God’s love

Though its bloom is fresh with youth
Surely what will be He knows
For a tear of morning dew
Is rolling down the Rose

There’s a Rose in Bethlehem
With a beauty quite divine
Perfect in this world of sin
On this silent, holy night

Merry Christmas, friends.

December 21st, 2006

Wrap Master D

My dad’s favorite thing to do at Christmas is to obfuscate wrapped packages. Some of his more famous wrapping have included chains and logs, for example. Square packages end up rhomboid, the original present might have something else inside it — mysteries wrapped in enigmas wrapped in conundrums.

We had our family Christmas this past weekend, and for some reason, dad’s history never crossed my mind. Well, it actually did cross my mind when I saw a package with my name on it and I hadn’t the slightest idea what it could possibly be. I figured there was creative wrapping going on and didn’t put too much more brain power to it.

When it came to to open presents, Mom said, “You kids all need to open your presents at the same time.” (Kids = me, my brother, and his wife) Dad added, “And open them carefully.”

We knew something up, but we didn’t know what. So we all started tearing off the wrapping paper… to find another different layer of wrapping underneath with a card taped to it that said, “This present actually belongs to _______.” We swapped and opened to find things we’d all wanted.

Pretty sneaky. We all agreed this one’ll go down in the archives as one of his best efforts.