Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holiday Hash: "A Simple Prayer"

The household I grew up in didn't worship Christ so much as it worshiped Christmas. I have ecstatic childhood memories of Christmastime: the tree, the decorations, the food, the gifts, and the music. The holiday playlist was heavy on operatic vocal music (livened up here and there by Nat King Cole and John Denver and the Muppets), and Christmas still inspires a magical wonder and awe for me that I find to be best accompanied by reverent music, despite my secular beliefs.

One of my favorite records that my Dad would play was from the Harry Simeone Chorale, who popularized both "The Little Drummer Boy" and "Do You Hear What I Hear?" (the latter of which I've just learned was written as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missle Crisis). But my guilt-free holiday pleasure is the exultant "A Simple Prayer", which is not about the Nativity but is unabashedly religious nonetheless, with an interpolation of the Prayer of St. Francis. It's also fairly swingin', in a tent-revival sort of way.

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