Notes: This song began to appear Sunday morning, December 4th, as I was making breakfast, thinking about snowy drives through our town, looking at Christmas lights. It was one of those warmish, wet days with snow on the ground, so there was a mist lifting up from the snow, and the sky was the same color as the fields. December is a complicated month for me, with rich memories of so much happiness as a child, and difficult loss as an adult... the longing to connect with and create happiness for all whom I love -- the rueful recognition that I can't "make" anyone happy. Thinking of all the stories in December about light in dark, fraught journeys, seeds, births, miracles -- all the hope and determination we try to share with each other in lights and decorations and candles. For me, the song is a good companion to the bittersweet, reflective mood I often find myself in in December.
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Songwriter Info: Patricia is the fourth of five siblings, with eight years from oldest to youngest. Growing up in Boulder, Colorado, and western New York State, a snowy Christmas was virtually guaranteed, and the house was filled with beautiful traditions, from a fat Christmas tree we would go cut at a local farm decorated with white paper doves, tinsel, red balls, and lights, to much gift planning, making & secret, careful wrapping. Christmas cookies left out for Santa, waking up to go to midnight mass, the Westminster Choir College singing Britten's Ceremony of Carols on the turntable, holiday songs on the radio and the whole family watched whatever holiday specials were on tv. A special meal with tablecloth and candles on the table, sledding and snow forts and tunnels, plastic bread bags in the boots and over the mittens to try to keep us warm and dry... my childhood memories are of magical, generous, happy Christmases with music everywhere.
Of course, the world appeared more complex and nuanced as I grew, and the loss of loved ones I wanted to celebrate with, ugly commercialism, knowledge of economic disparity and the dark history and abuses of religious belief also became part of December.... and, as a church musician, holiday performance pressure -- the collision of expectations and what actually happens. This song is one of the ways I can be present with the whole catastrophe, as Jon Kabat-Zinn might say.
Nuts & Bolts: 6:8, Aeolian, unison with harmonized accompanying line
All 1:1 (Unmetered) 12:8 2:2 3 3:4 4:4 5 & 6 Mixed Meter 6:8 Accept Acceptance Sing Be Grateful Be Present Calm Celebrate Change Dawn Earth Empower Farewell Fire Flex Flow Friendship Gather Generosity Grieve Grow Heal Hope Journey Lullaby Moon Night Notice Nuts & Bolts Open Pain Play Release Rest Scale: Aeolian (minor) Scale: Dorian Scale: Ionian (Major) Scale: Minor Scale: Mixolydian Scale: Mixolydian Flat 6 Song Form: Ballad Song Form: Call & Response Song Form: Harmonized Song Form: Layer Song Form: Round Song Form: Unison Song Form: Unison With Separate Harmony Line Song Form: Verse And Layer Song Form: Verse & Chorus Song Form: Zipper Songwriter Conversation Stars Sun Tend Trees Trust Water