A New Lyric for a Classic Christmas Song

A year ago, I published an earlier version of this essay. Since then I've revised significantly, so I'm going back to the well for Christmas 2021. Most of this reworked version also appears here. I am pleased to share a new English translation—or singable free paraphrase—of an iconic Danish hymn, Dejlig Er Jorden. It shares a … Continue reading A New Lyric for a Classic Christmas Song

12 Songs for Christmas: Dejlig Er Jorden (Beautiful is the Earth)

I created not just one new song, as we've already discussed, but two new lyrics inspired by a Christmas concert by Harald Haugaard and Helene Blum. Both are rough translations—or loose paraphrases—that allow us to sing great Danish music in English. The second one is on deck today. It extends my recent train of thought … Continue reading 12 Songs for Christmas: Dejlig Er Jorden (Beautiful is the Earth)

12 Songs for Christmas: Kanye’s Christmas Opera

A year ago, Kanye West was in the news because he had premiered a high-concept and well-publicized Christmas “opera” at Lincoln Center. I wrote about it then, and today I am bringing this earlier reflection back so that people have another chance to find it. I do this, in part, because of how interestingly this … Continue reading 12 Songs for Christmas: Kanye’s Christmas Opera

12 Songs for Christmas: “Every Star Shall Sing a Carol (new millennium peace version)”

Trigger warning! I am the sort of geek who actually cares both about schisms among subtypes within subtypes of Calvinists (Presbyterian and Congregationalist) in the antebellum US (which mattered for things like ending slavery and the ongoing curricula of US liberal arts colleges) as well as which factions of the academic left have a correct … Continue reading 12 Songs for Christmas: “Every Star Shall Sing a Carol (new millennium peace version)”

I Watched Kanye’s Christmas Pageant So You Don’t Have To

…Or… if you want to watch, or already did—if you are into that sort of thing—it’s not a problem, we can compare notes. This production is interesting in several ways— especially if you care about the cultural politics of religion in US popular music, or are the sort of person who was turned on by … Continue reading I Watched Kanye’s Christmas Pageant So You Don’t Have To