Christmas Carol

 

Can’t think of why this song was written but I have this vague memory that somewhere on a Joni Mitchell album, either in the lyrics to one of her songs or in the liner notes, Beethoven and Sylvia Plath were juxtaposed for some reason. And so this song erupted out of my guitar, with the two of them accounting for the first two verses. I tag Carolyn on this song only because I wrote it during the time I was seeing/not seeing her. The last verse contains the line: I’m heading now towards Bethlehem perhaps to be reborn. Originally it was: I’m slouching now towards Bethlehem… but the song is already so incurably pretentious I didn’t have the guts. 

 

Christmas Carol

 

Listen to the deaf musician

Barely keeping time

Won’t you help him carry on

He maintains that no physician

Can release his mind

Won’t you help him carry on

You have never seen him smile

His words are unkind

Yet God has smiled at his Mass

For Brothers Left Behind

A sculptor struck by leprosy

A painter going blind

Won’t you help them

Carry on.

 

Witness the frustration

Of a poet giving birth

Won’t you help her carry on

Doomed to try to cultivate

The hard, unyielding earth

Won’t you help her carry on

Though she stutters when she speaks

The power of her verse

Has warmed the hearts of sisters

Long imprisoned and accursed

A dancer crippled by her age

The baby that she’s nursed

Won’t you help them

Carry on

 

I am just an orphan now

Searching for a storm

Won’t you help me carry on

Wondering to what discipline

I’ll finally conform

Won’t you help me carry on

That my soul might yet be freed

My body has been torn

And my brain to ease the pain

Assumes another form

I’m heading now towards Bethlehem

Perhaps to be reborn

Won’t you help me

Carry on

Carry on.