My favorite part of Christmas is playing Christmas music all the month of December. For me, Christmas music brings out the Christmas spirit like nothing else. And I’m not talking about songs that celebrate a reindeer’s red nose and such, but about the hymns and carols that celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Savior of the world. My family gathers each Christmas Eve to recite the story of Jesus’ birth and to sing the songs of Christmas. I previously posted my little Christmas lullaby Nativity. With this post I bring you the happy song Christmastime. What it may lack in musical sophistication it hopefully makes up for in simple Christmas cheer. Here is the sheet music for you to enjoy: Christmastime.
The star on my 30-inch-tall Christmas tree is this Pysanky egg blown, waxed, and dyed by my daughter Laura (20). I treasure it.
The mere thought of adding to the Christmas repertoire intimidated me from making the attempt. But one quiet evening, as Christmas approached, I began to think of the baby Jesus, and to hum. I thought of the star and the heavenly choir, of the Magi and their gifts, and of Mary holding her child wrapped in rags. The Christmas lullaby “Nativity” arose from my musings. Here is the sheet music for you to enjoy: Nativity. Sing it softly to your own little ones as you put them to bed.
My children, when they were young, liked to be put to bed with a song. I composed many little lullabies and songs, some of which are posted on this blog. I tried to compose tunes and lyrics that would sooth and inspire each child. But sometimes I composed something to just make them smile and laugh. “Dreaming” is one such song and contemplates a child’s nonsensical but humorous dreams, ending with mother’s call to wake up in the morning. I hope you enjoy it! Click here for the sheet music: Dreaming.
On summer evenings as the desert heat dissipated, we would open all the windows in the house to let in the fresh, cool air. As I sat on the porch, or weeded in the garden, or fed the hens, the sounds of Erin’s violin would pour gently from her window, hovering above the quiet countryside. Her music was like the smell of perfume from a Purple Robe Locust, or the flash of blue from a Western Bluebird, or the taste of ripe mango. I haven’t heard Erin play her violin for several years due to her being away at university and missionary service. But I can still hear the music in my memory and feel the soothing sensation of my mind and body loosening their many knots. I miss her playing. I miss her. This poem brings Erin and her music back to me.
Notes dance through the window:
cheerful young notes
tip-toeing prettily upon the air,
swirling soft, slow pirouettes above
Fall sunset’s deep-green grass;
a blanketing balm
come to rest upon
a tired brow,
a twitching muscle,
an anxious heart.
Youthful hand and hopeful heart
send the bow searching the strings,
like a songbird upon the breeze,
like a breeze along the tree branch,
like tree roots through the earth.
Bring me through.
The lonely apple tree on our one-acre property had survived from pioneer days, had made it through the decades of when the property housed the old Mormon church. After pruning my apple tree, I was able to climb into its highest branches, whence I could gaze over the sloping valley toward the silver ribbon of the Great Salt Lake to the north and west, or look the other direction to the Oquirrh Mountains to the east and south. From high in my apple tree, and on my walks on Rabbit Lane, I contemplated many strange and wonderful and dreadful aspects of life and living. These thought slowly distilled themselves into my song Wandering, attached here for you to enjoy.
(See the Rabbit Lane: Memoir page, Chapter 43: Trees post, for further reference to my apply tree.)
Caleb (2) and I, lying together on his bed, looked out the window at the moon, talking quietly. He asked rather suddenly, “Would you write me a song about the moon?” Well, I thought, I guess I could try. The notes came quickly, and soon I was humming a tune to him with occasional key words rising up. As the song came together, I imagined the moon and the stars being living entities giving their light to the universe under the direction of benevolent gods that also watch over sleeping children. Here is the link to the sheet music for Caleb’s lullaby, Moonlight. (See this lullaby referenced in the post Chapter 30: Good-Bye Harv in the Rabbit Lane: Memoir page of this blog.)
I composed the little song “Baby Zebra” to help baby John go back to sleep, laying spread-eagle on my chest, when what he really wanted was for his mother to nurse him back to sleep. He asked me for a “be-be ze-ba” song: Baby Zebra, and I obliged. The animal “zebra” can be replaced by most any other land animal, including elephant, ostrich, horse (horsie), or pig (piggie). Change a few words around and it can work for birds and dolphins, too. I hope you enjoy the song. Here is a link to the sheet music to Baby Zebra. (This song is referenced in the post Chapter 30: Good-Bye Harv of the Rabbit Lane: Memoir page of this blog.)