Christmas Eve and Other Stories

Released October 15th, 1996 [Lava/Atlantic]

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  • (Christmas Eve and Other Stories Poetry) LYRICS
    1. An Angel Came Down LYRICS
    2. O Come All Ye Faithful/O Holy Night
    3. A Star To Follow LYRICS
    4. First Snow LYRICS
    5. The Silent Nutcracker LYRICS
    6. A Mad Russian's Christmas LYRICS
    7. The Prince Of Peace LYRICS
    8. Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24 LYRICS
    9. Good King Joy LYRICS
    10. Ornament LYRICS
    11. The First Noel LYRICS
    12. Old City Bar LYRICS
    13. Promises To Keep LYRICS
    14. This Christmas Day LYRICS
    15. An Angel Returned LYRICS
    16. O Holy Night
    17. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen LYRICS
    18. (Closing Poetry) LYRICS
    (Christmas Eve and Other Stories Poetry)
    In an old city bar
    That is never too far
    From the places that gather
    The dreams that have been

    In the safety of night
    With its old neon light
    It beckons to strangers
    And they always come in

    And the snow it was falling
    The neon was calling
    The music was low
    And the night
    Christmas Eve

    And here was the danger
    That even with strangers
    Inside of this night
    It was easier to believe

    For it was into this bar
    That I happened to wander
    To stare into a glass
    And my universe ponder

    So I walked up to the counter
    Shook the snow off my coat
    Then I ordered a whiskey
    That I used like a moat

    But an old man soon joined me
    And asked if I knew the time
    One word led to another
    And somehow I didn't mind

    Then he offered a drink
    From a bottle 'neath his coat
    And he smiled a little smile
    As it trickled down my throat

    And I felt myself relaxing
    Here among the ghosts that failed
    Then the old man topped my glass off
    And began this little tale

    In the moments of our lives
    Both the joyous and the tragic
    If the truth is to be told
    We are all pursuing magic

    And the magic that we seek
    As we're sure you have discovered
    Can be found in certain places
    Far more easily than others

    In the sand beneath the Sphinx
    In the dreams of candlelight
    But the surest place of all
    Is in the forgiving world of night

    And of all the nights throughout the year
    That come and gently leave
    None hold the dream of magic
    Like the evening, Christmas Eve

    And so it's on this night
    With its promise deep within
    As the snow now starts to fall
    Our story does begin
    An Angel Came Down
    An angel came down
    One night to the Earth
    A mission from God
    To find out the worth

    Of everything that
    His children had done
    Since that winter night
    The birth of His son

    And then a sound filled the night
    In the cold winter air
    And in the midst of his flight
    It was holding him there

    And as he looked toward the Earth
    For the source of this sound
    On that cold winter night
    It was pulling him down

    To bring something back
    This angel was told
    That no one could touch
    But angels could hold

    So on that night
    When the sky had cleared
    Among all the stars
    An angel appeared

    And then a sound filled the night
    In the cold winter air
    And in the midst of his flight
    It was holding him there

    And as he looked towards the Earth
    For the source of this sound
    On that cold winter night
    It was pulling him down
    O Come All Ye Faithful/O Holy Night
    A Star To Follow
    The sound that he had heard
    Was the ringing of the bells
    But now inside that night
    There were voices there as well



    A Star To Follow


    God rest ye merry gentlemen
    God rest ye merry gentlemen

    There up in the sky a star to follow
    There up in the sky a star to follow

    All
    Await the coming of the Lord
    Await the coming of the Lord
    Await the coming of the ...

    Christmas
    Lead and we'll follow
    Hope and tomorrow
    Magic and dreams

    You are all this and more now
    Childhood recalls how
    You are
    Visions and...

    Christmas
    We are your children
    You take us back whenever we call
    Each year we are here waiting
    Anticipating
    As the snow starts to fall

    Merry Christmas
    Merry, Merry Christmas
    Merry Christmas
    Merry, Merry Christmas

    Ornaments and evergreens
    With packages as yet unseen
    All wrapped in paper
    Colored bright
    Reflecting candles in the night

    With carolers and mistletoe
    And stockings all hung in a row
    Or fireplaces glowing red
    With children safely sent to bed

    Ring the bells, Ring the bells
    Let the churches ring the bells!

    Joy to the world, the Lord has come
    Let his light shine on everyone

    Christmas, lead and we'll follow
    First Snow
    When the final note had faded
    The angel continued on his search
    For he knew the answer to his quest
    Was somewhere on this Earth

    And from London, Rome and Paris
    To Berlin and Tokyo
    Wherever the angel flew that night,
    The skies would start to snow

    The Silent Nutcracker
    As he flew over the Ural
    He came upon a little town
    Shining in the Arctic darkness
    So the angel, he set down

    Then he walked among the people
    In a fitting Earth disguise
    So no one recognized him
    Though they wondered at his eyes

    And there was one other thing
    The people found both wonderful and strange
    How no one who saw him there that night
    Was ever quite the same

    It was the way they saw their neighbor
    It was the way they saw this night
    It was the way they saw each stranger
    By that star’s distant light

    He joined them in their merriment
    Which was about to start
    For angels love a happy soul
    Like they love a childlike heart

    A Mad Russian's Christmas
    Then he asked a village peasant
    What do Russian hearts desire?
    He answered peace on Earth, of course
    and a little, "Stolichnaya"
    The Prince Of Peace
    As the angel flew those endless miles
    He thought about the Christmas Child
    Born in a time now far away
    And how that Child’s dream had reached this day

    And he wondered what
    That Child had thought
    And when he slept
    What dreams he sought

    And did the shepherds understand
    All the hopes in that Child’s hands?

    And how those hopes
    Would still survive
    As dreams within
    Each newborn’s eyes



    The Prince Of Peace


    In the middle of a forest
    There's a clearing by a stream
    Where a mother holds her newborn
    And the Child begins to dream

    And He dreams of hopes unspoken
    When the tears of man will cease
    And His mother holds Him closer
    For He is the Prince of Peace

    And the moon is looking downward
    Casting shadows through the trees
    And the stars are shining brighter
    As they whisper what they see

    How the emperor and the pauper
    With the lion and the lamb
    Kneel down before the Infant
    For his peace they understand

    Hark! the herald angels sing
    Glory to the newborn King
    Peace on Earth and mercy mild
    God and sinners reconciled
    Glory all ye nations rise
    Join the triumph of the skies

    With the heavenly host proclaim
    Christ is born in Bethlehem
    Hark! the herald angels sing
    Glory to the newborn King

    Let the bells ring out these tidings
    Let it echo across the land
    That a King is born in Bethlehem
    And his Kingdom is at hand

    Let the world rejoice together
    As it looks upon the stars
    Knowing every man's our brother
    And that every child is ours
    Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24
    As he flew o'er Sarajevo
    There were scars upon the land
    There were scars upon the people
    It was hard to understand

    And the deepest scars of all
    Which to humans are unseen
    But the angel could see clearly
    Were the scars upon the dreams

    Like Belfast and Burundi
    Rwanda, Palestine
    The only decorations here
    Had been awarded for their crimes

    And in gardens where the children played
    Now soldiers only trod
    And stranger still, he heard some say
    That they were killing for their god

    Now the angel heard God speak many times
    And he had always paid attention
    But this killing of one’s neighbor
    Was something the Lord had never mentioned

    But as he neared the Earth
    Of a recent battleground
    From among the ruins
    He once more heard the sound

    It was a single cello playing
    A forgotten Christmas song
    And even on that battlefield
    The song somehow belonged

    And as he flew away
    The angel did take note
    That where he found this music played
    One always could find hope
    Good King Joy
    As he flew over the countryside
    He was still listening
    When from a little church below
    He heard a voice begin to sing



    Good King Joy


    Joy to the world
    The Lord has come
    Let Earth
    Receive her King

    Now it was long ago
    When it all began
    Back in Bethlehem
    In the Promised Land

    When a single star
    Appeared in the sky
    And three kings saw
    And they each asked why

    And they checked the books
    Full of prophecy
    And the one king said
    Why it's plain to me

    You see it means
    That a King is born
    Who will save mankind
    On this blessed morn’

    So they packed some gold
    Myrrh and frankincense
    On some old camel
    With some fancy tents

    Closed down the house
    Set the servants free
    And three kings rode
    Into history

    It was long ago
    In a foreign land
    When the Lord looked down
    Said to make a stand
    So He sent His son
    And said, 'Through Him you'll know me!'

    Then the angels came
    And when they start to sing
    All at once the past

    It doesn't mean a thing
    And the star comes out
    And the wise men say, “Hey show me!”

    And they followed it
    Over hills and sand
    Til' they found the Child
    Like it all was planned
    And as they knelt before
    The newborn King

    The angels were singing
    In their angel style
    How all of our hopes
    Had come down to this Child
    Ornament
    Then he reached for the song
    And he held it in his hand
    (It was something that he did
    Because you see, angels can)

    And he wondered to himself
    "Is this the answer that I sought?"
    But something was still missing
    Or at least, so he still thought

    And so he journeyed on
    Through the midnight winter air
    When all at once our angel
    Felt the touch of a man's prayer

    And looking once more to the Earth
    To determine whence it came
    He felt a million souls below
    But one was not the same

    For there he saw a man alone
    Though he was walking in a crowd
    And though this man had rarely prayed
    Tonight his head was bowed

    For even in a crowd, you see
    A heart can feel alone
    When the night is Christmas Eve
    A child is not at home

    So from a father to the Lord
    A prayer did swiftly race
    But the angel saw it first
    And he listened to its case



    Ornament


    There is an ornament
    Lost inside the night
    There on a Christmas tree
    With a thousand lights

    No one can see her
    She's standing all alone
    Somewhere she glistens
    Where no one can see

    I don't believe I can say what had happened
    All of those words that we put into play
    No longer matter, I should have known that then
    I just know you're far away

    On this Christmas day
    On this Christmas day
    On this Christmas ....

    Somewhere the wind
    Carves moments in the snow
    And if he sees her
    He never lets it show

    He just drifts behind her
    Erasing every step
    Tinsel and garland
    Are whispered through trees

    I don't believe
    I can say what had happened
    All of those words
    That we put into play

    No longer matter,
    I should have known that then
    I just know you're far away

    On this Christmas day
    On this Christmas day
    On this Christmas ....

    Come, Christmas
    Stay, Christmas
    Watch over her this day
    Keep her
    Protect her
    From harm now in every way

    Shelter her
    Gently
    There in your arms she'll be
    Until the day
    When you
    Bring her back home to me

    There is an ornament
    Lost inside the night
    The First Noel
    After he had heard the prayer
    The angel gently set it free
    And followed it to the father's child
    In a far away city

    And there the girl in desperation
    Was searching through the sky
    For a star that she could wish upon
    But stars were in short supply

    And the only light that she could see
    There shining all alone
    Was a neon sign on an old bar
    And so on this, she wished she was home

    Old City Bar
    Now every light can be a star
    Just depends on where you are
    And the distance that you're looking
    Past the places you have been
    And the dreams you’ve left behind
    And the dreams you’ve left within



    Old City Bar


    In an old city bar
    That is never too far
    From the places that gather
    The dreams that have been

    In the safety of night
    With its old neon light
    It beckons to strangers
    And they always come in

    And the snow it was falling
    The neon was calling
    The music was low
    And the night
    Christmas Eve

    And here was the danger
    That even with strangers
    Inside of this night
    It's easier to believe

    Then the door opened wide
    And a child came inside
    That no one in the bar
    Had seen there before

    And he asked did we know
    That outside in the snow
    That someone was lost
    Standing outside our door

    Then the bartender gazed
    Through the smoke and the haze
    Through the window and ice
    To a corner streetlight

    Where standing alone
    By a broken pay phone
    Was a girl the child said
    Could no longer get home

    And the snow it was falling
    The neon was calling
    The bartender turned
    And said, “Not that I care
    But how would you know this?”
    The child said “I've noticed
    If one could be home
    They'd be all ready there”

    Then the bartender came out from behind the bar
    And in all of his life he was never that far
    And he did something else that he thought no one saw
    When he took all the cash from the register draw

    Then he followed the child to the girl ‘cross the street
    And we watched from the bar as they started to speak
    Then he called for a cab and he said, “J.F.K.”
    Put the girl in the cab and the cab drove away
    And we saw in his hand
    That the cash was all gone
    From the light that she had
    Wished upon

    If you want to arrange it
    This world you can change it
    If we could somehow make this
    Christmas thing last

    By helping a neighbor
    Or even a stranger

    And to know who needs help
    You need only just ask

    Then he looked for the child
    But the child wasn't there
    Just the wind and the snow
    Waltzing dreams through the air

    So he walked back inside
    Somehow different I think
    For the rest of the night
    No one paid for a drink

    And the cynics will say
    That some neighborhood kid
    Wandered in on some bums
    In the world where they hid

    But they weren't there
    So they couldn't see
    By an old neon star
    On that, night, Christmas Eve

    When the snow it was falling
    The neon was calling
    And in case you should wonder
    In case you should care

    Why we're on our own
    Never went home
    On that night of all nights
    We were already there
    Promises To Keep
    Then all at once inside that night
    He saw it all so clear
    The answer that he sought so long
    Had always been so near

    It's every gift that someone gives
    Expecting nothing back
    It's every kindness that we do
    Each simple little act



    Promises To Keep


    Christmas time
    On a cold December morning
    All is calm
    And the world is still asleep
    Christmas lights
    That have been caught without warning
    Gently glitter on
    Stars to wish upon
    All the world is at peace

    Christmas time and the year will soon be leaving
    Cloaked in time til it's just a memory
    Christmas stays if we don't forget its meaning
    Days go quickly by
    Years they multiply
    And we go searching for thee

    And the dream is still alive
    From that first December morning
    And it always will survive
    As long as we can see
    That the dreams we find in life
    Are the dreams we tend to seek
    And Christmas has its promises to keep

    Christmas time
    And the moment’s just beginning
    From last night
    When we'd wished upon a star

    If our kindness
    This day is just pretending
    If we pretend long enough
    Never giving up
    It just might be who we are
    This Christmas Day
    And so it's good that we remember
    Just as soon as we've discovered
    That the things we do in life
    Will always end up touching others

    So from a fading neon star
    Somewhere shining in the night
    We find a father far away
    Now reflecting in its light



    This Christmas Day


    So, tell me Christmas
    Are we wise
    To believe in things we never see
    Are prayers just wishes in disguise
    And are these wishes being granted me
    For now I see
    The answering
    To every prayer I've prayed
    She's coming home this Christmas Day

    So tell me Christmas
    Are we kind
    More this day than any other day
    Or is it only in our mind
    And must it leave when you have gone away

    It's different now
    It's changed somehow
    And now you're here to stay
    She's coming home this Christmas Day

    And all at once the world
    It doesn't seem the same
    And in a single night
    You know it all has changed
    And everything is now as it should be

    I have the ornament
    I have the perfect tree
    I have a string of lights
    I have a chance to see
    Everything that my heart thought could be

    For of all the dreams
    You were the first I knew
    And every other one
    Was a charade of you
    You stayed close when I was far away

    In the darkest night
    You always were the star
    That always took us in
    No matter who we are
    And so she's coming home this
    Christmas Day
    An Angel Returned
    So the girl had reached her home
    And the bar was closing down
    As the angel started back
    To bring his Lord what he had found


    An Angel Returned


    An angel returned
    That night through the sky
    But time it was short
    He had to decide

    And so as he flew
    Back over the land
    A gift for his Lord
    Was there in his hand

    It was the glow of a light
    It was the heart of a song
    It was the tear of a child
    Where they never belonged
    It was the wish of a soul
    On an old neon light
    And the Lord smiled at him
    On that cold winter night

    Hear as they ring through the night
    Kyrie among nations
    Kyrie among nations
    Kyrie among nations
    Here the bells ring through the night

    Kyrie among nations
    Kyrie among nations
    Kyrie among nations
    Hear as they ring through the night

    Listen to the bells as they ring
    Listen to the message they bring
    Listen to the sound
    As they sing as one voice in the night

    Hoping that we'll all understand
    Every dream we have's in our hands
    And for every bell
    May they ring all through the night

    Kyrie among nations
    Kyrie among nations
    Kyrie among nations
    Hear as they ring through the night

    Kyrie among nations
    Kyrie among nations
    Kyrie among nations
    Here as they ring through the night

    Listen to the bells as they ring
    Listen to the message they bring
    Listen to the sound as they sing
    As one voice in the night

    Hoping that we'll all understand
    Every dream we have's in our hands
    And for every bell
    May they ring all through your life
    O Holy Night
    God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
    (Instrumental)
    (Closing Poetry)
    And so with his story over
    And our bottle nearly through
    I asked, “Did this really happen?”
    He swore every word was true

    Then he said, “I see you're puzzled
    For your mind tells you to doubt me
    That my story can't be true
    But your heart tells you, it might be”

    He then asked, did it entertain me
    And I admitted it had charm
    Then he said, “Perhaps you have learned something
    Or at worst I've done no harm”

    Then he rose up from his chair
    And he said it's time that he should leave
    “But may God keep and protect you
    This, and every Christmas Eve”

    Then he left through the front door
    And I ran out to ask him back
    But he was already gone
    And stranger still he left no tracks

    So I walked back to my home
    Recalling all I've heard and seen
    And for the first time since my childhood
    That night I dreamed a Christmas Dream

    MERRY CHRISTMAS!

    Producer: Produced by Paul O'Neill
    Co-Produced by Robert Kinkel
    Credit: