Friday, 18 January 2013

My thoughts in a song

A couple of days ago I came across the wonderful Dar Williams, singer-songwriter (songwriter-singer?), and her song Christians and Pagans, taken from her album Mortal City.

The song sketches out what happens when an American family gets together for the Christmas holidays. Some members of the family are Christians, others are pagans. Dar doesn't try to make one group better than another; she simply tries to show that the season (Christmas/Yule) can be celebrated by those of many beliefs.

The choruses of the song vary slightly. Here's the first:

So the Christians and the pagans sat together at the table,
Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able,
And just before the meal was served, hands were held and prayers were said,
Sending hope for peace on earth to all their gods and goddesses.

I've listened to the song several times in the last few days. One line sticks in my mind - it's from Jane, the mother of the pagan family, as she speaks to her (Christian) nephew at the dinner table:'s true, your cousin's not a Christian, 
but we love trees, we love the snow, the friends we have, the world we share,
And you find magic from your God, and we find magic everywhere.'

Something about this line makes me want more, makes me want to find the magic everywhere. It says something which Christians seem to find it hard to do, or at least to express.

The song makes me wonder where I would sit at that table. On just one side, or on both?

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