Lyrics

Lyrics for the songs recorded on Christmas at the Desert Moon Hotel

The Huron Carol

Words by Jesse Edgar Middleton [modified]

‘Twas I the moon of winter time, when all the birds had fled
That Mighty Gitchi Manitou sent angel choirs instead
Before their light the stars grew dim
And wandering hunters heard the hymn

Jesus your King is born, in excelsis Gloria, Jesus is born, Gloria x2

Within a lodge of broken bark the tender babe was found
A ragged robe of rabbit skin enwrapped his beauty round
And as the hunter braves drew nigh,
The angel song rang loud and high

Jesus your King is born, in excelsis Gloria, Jesus is born, Gloria x2

The earliest moon of wintertime was not so round or fair
As was the ring of glory on the helpless infant there
The chiefs from ‘far before him knelt
With gifts of fox and beaver pelt

Jesus your King is born, in excelsis Gloria, Jesus is born, Gloria x2

O children of the forest free, o seed of Manitou
The holy child of earth and heaven is born today for you
Come kneel before the radiant boy
Who brings you beauty, peace and joy.

Jesus your King is born, in excelsis Gloria, Jesus is born, Gloria x2

The Oxen

Words by Thomas Hardy

Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
“Now they are all on their knees,”
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.

We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.

So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
“Come; see the oxen kneel,

“In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,”
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so.

The Cherry Tree Carol

Words Traditional

Joseph was an old man, an old man was he.
He married Virgin Mary, the Queen of Galilee.
As Mary and Joseph were walking, walking one day,
‘Here are apples, here are cherries,’ Mary she did say.

Bow down, cherry tree bow down

Then Mary said to Joseph, Mary so meek and mild,
‘Gather me fresh cherries, for I am with child.’
Joseph flew into a rage, into a rage flew he.
He said, ‘Let the father of the baby pick the cherries for thee.’

Bow down, cherry tree bow down

Then Jesus spoke a few words, a few words spoke he,
‘Bring my mother cherries, bow down, o cherry tree’
The cherry tree did bow down, low down to the ground.
Mary gathered cherries, and Joseph stood around.

Bow down, cherry tree bow down

Then Joseph he took Mary all on his left knee,
He said, ’What have I done Lord, have mercy on me.’
Then Joseph he took Mary all on his right knee,
He said, ‘Tell me little baby, when will your birthday be?’

Bow down, cherry tree bow down

‘On the sixth day of January, my birthday shall be
When all the stars in the elements will tremble with glee.
But I will not be found in a house or a golden hall,
But lying in a manger, in an oxen’s stall.’

Bow down, cherry tree bow down

Human is …

Words by Gordon Thompson, based on a short story by Philip K Dick

On some planet long ago, with mining towns set in the snow
A woman lived a life cold and confused.
Her husband worked, then he’d drink and curse, and getting home it got much worse
With the flat of his hand he left her stunned and bruised.
Sometimes she thought that she’d be better off dead
Except for the children – shivering in their bed.

Human is … Human is … Human is as human does.

An alien vessel crashed one day, on that planet so far away
The men ran with their guns on down the street.
They say they got those aliens good, but one escaped into the wood
Then came a flash of light that knocked them off o’ their feet.
They brought her man home – he couldn’t walk, couldn’t talk at all.
They said, ’he’s broken up bad – is there anyone that you can call?’

Human is … Human is … Human is as human does.

Well she nursed him over one whole week, and then he rose, but he didn’t speak,
But he knelt and hugged the kids, much to their surprise.
And in the night he held her near, and gently kissed away the fear
And then she saw the reason in its eyes.
She knew beside her lay that alien thing,
But she couldn’t betray what had made her heart take wing.

Human is … Human is … Human is as human does.

Well they finally twigged and they gave her hell – they took away the kids as well
Then they took that thing and threw it down a hole
Then they burned it up – it didn’t resist, it was gone into the morning mist –
Then they turned her out of the town to improve her soul.
She wandered far, she wandered unafraid.
Now there’s only snow to show the last place that she laid.

Human is … Human is … Human is as human does.

See the Little Baby in the Straw

Words by Gordon Thompson

See the little baby in the straw
See the shepherds by the stable door
See the way the stars begin to glow
How we love him so, o how we love him so.

See the way the past rests in his eyes
See the way his future paints the skies
The powerful are high, but he is low
How we love him so, o how we love him so.

See the way the wise men fade to grey
See the way the soldiers steal the day
He will walk the path that we must go
How we love him so, o how we love him so.

Christmas Island

Words by Gordon Thompson

I just wanna go to where the water tastes like wine
I just wanna go where it’s safe to sleep at night
I just wanna go where they don’t feed you a line
I just wanna go where they live up to the light

If there was a train then I would leave this town
If there was a plane I’d fly through smoke filled skies
If there was a ship I’d sail the darkening sea
I just want to get to Christmas Island

I just wanna go to where the palm trees sway
I just wanna go where they don’t have a lot to share
I just wanna go where they don’t lock you away
I just wanna go to where there’s laughter in the air

If there was a train … etc

I just wanna go to where there’ll be no more sorrow
I just want to look in at the stable door
I wanna go today, cos I won’t be here tomorrow
I wanna see those Wise Men giving their riches to the poor

If there was a train then I would leave this town
If there was a plane I’d fly through smoke filled skies
If there was a ship I’d sail the darkening sea
I just want to get to … I just want to get to …

A Soft Silver Light

Words by Gordon Thompson

There’s a soft silver light up ahead where I’m going
There’s a soft silver light far behind where I’ve been
There’s a soft silver light in the cold wind that’s blowing
There’s a soft silver light in the touch of your skin

There’s a soft silver light in the frosted earth
There’s a soft silver light when I look in your eyes
There’s a soft silver light in your voice, in your breath
There’s a soft silver light in the clouded skies.

A Thomas Merton Christmas

Words by Gordon Thompson

I stand in the kitchen and look out in the yard
No decorations deck this hall – there’s not even a Christmas card
No sprigs of mistletoe under which to steal a kiss
You’ve never had a Christmas day like this

One or two come in – o, but no-one says a word
A waking sparrow chuckles – it’s the only sound that’s heard
Rain cloud banking up like some undersea abyss
You’ve never had a Christmas day like this

I’m here with all the inmates in the Christmas Day hotel
It has a one star rating and the service looks like hell
I dream a distant hearthside on which roasting chestnuts hiss
You’ve never had a Christmas day like this

I came here looking for the light which has no place in this world
A zero point like diamond around which broken hearts lie curled
Maybe this year – maybe next – that unexpected bliss
You’ve never had a Christmas day like this

Bright Winter Stars

Words Traditional [modified]

Bright winter stars are shining x3
There is an aching in my soul

The longest night is ending x 3
There is an aching in my soul

There’s a warmth deep in the earth now x3
There is an aching in my soul

Come stand around the fire x3
There is an aching in my soul