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Lyrics by Joel Mabus

How Like The Holly

(Fossil 1299)

 

All songs 1999 Joel Mabus or as noted
(The rest of the CD is instrumental)
all rights reserved -- do not post this material to another website!

Scroll down or click on title to read the lyrics.

To learn more about this CD, click here
To order this or any album, click here

My Christmas -- from the liner notes

How Like The Holly
The Cherry Tree Carol
The Friendly Beasts
Christmas Bells
Children Go Where I Send Thee
Let's Do Christmas Right

 

 

(From the liner notes to the CD)

When nights are longest and days are coldest 
comes the time for telling stories. 

The time for fire against the chill, 
light against the dark, 
bread against the hunger  
we huddle close and swab our fears 
with our finest and oldest comforts.  

Denying the storms of brutal nature, 
we make for ourselves a place 
where it is safe to dream, 
where it is safe to be a child, 
or to become a child in dreams again.

This is a place where bold myth 
and subtle mystery transpose, 
where faith is born of legend, 
where wide-eyed hungers feast on ancient certainties. 

A place with noble tales spinning and weaving 
through the decades like stout cords, 
holding us fast to the bosom of humanity  
this is the place we rebuild each December  
this is the place I call my Christmas.

Joel Mabus
Christmas 1999


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How Like The Holly
words and music 1999 Joel Mabus


How like the holly in deep winter time
How like the star in the dark night shine
How like a path on the snow driven plain
How like the candle -- how like the flame
How like the winter that promises spring
How like the carol we sing.

How like the frost on the evergreen tree
How like the deer running wild, running free
How like Orion, arising so bold
How like the story bound to be told
How like the winter that promises spring
How like the carol we sing.

How like the holly in deep winter time
How like the star in the dark night shine
How like a path on the snow driven plain
How like the candle -- how like the flame
How like the winter that promises spring
How like the carol we sing.

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The Cherry Tree Carol
(traditional, adapted by Joel Mabus)

When Joseph was an old man -- an old man was he
He courted Virgin Mary, the queen of Galilee
He courted Virgin Mary, the queen of Galilee

Now Joseph and Mary went walking one day
They spied some pretty cherry trees growing by the way
They spied some pretty cherry trees growing by the way

Then Mary said to Joseph, so meek and so mild
Joseph, gather me some cherries, for I am with child
Joseph, gather me cherries, for I am with child

Then Joseph grew angry, so angry he grew
Just let the father of that baby gather cherries for you
Let the father of that baby gather cherries for you

Then the little baby Jesus spoke out from the womb
He said, bow down you big cherry trees, and give my mama some
Bow down you big cherry trees, and give my mama some

Then the cherry trees all bowed down, bowed down to the ground
And Mary gathered cherries while old Joseph stood around
Mary gathered cherries and old Joseph just stood around

Then Joseph took Mary down on his right knee
He said, little baby Jesus, when will your birthday be
Little baby Jesus, when will your birthday be

On the twenty fifth of December, the darkest day of the year
When the stars and the poplars all tremble with fear
When the stars and the poplars all tremble with fear

Then Joseph, he fell down, fell down on his knee
He said Lord God in heaven have mercy on me
Lord God in heaven have mercy on me.

 

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The Friendly Beasts
(new words by Joel Mabus, 1999,
based on old English folk song)

Jesus our brother, kind and good
Was born to us in a stable rude
Each friendly beast beside him stood
Jesus our brother, kind and good

I, said the ass with the homely face
I brought his parents to this place
I bore the load, I kept the pace
I, said the ass with the homely face

I, said the ox who went unfed
I gave my manger for his bed
I gave my hay to rest his head
I, said the ox who went unfed

I, said the lamb, all cut and shorn
I gave my wool to keep him warm
He wore my coat on Christmas morn
I, said the lamb, all cut and shorn

I, said the dog, so brave and true
I guarded him the whole night through
As if he were my own pup, too
I, said the dog, so brave and true

I, said the cat with the soft gray fur
I made him smile with my purr
I snuggled close to him and her
I, said the cat with the soft gray fur

I, said the dove in the tree nearby
I cooed for him so he would not cry
We cooed, we cooed, my mate and I
I, said the dove in the tree nearby

Each beast who would on Christmas Day
Give, in his or her own way,
No less a gift would He repay
Each friendly beast of Christmas Day


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Christmas Bells
(by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, music 1999 Joel Mabus)

I heard the bells on Christmas day, 
Their old familiar carols play
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Peace on Earth good will to men

I thought how, as the day had come
The belfries of all Christendom
Had tolled along the unbroken song
Of Peace on Earth good will to men

And in despair, I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth I said
The Hate is strong and it mocks the song
Of Peace on Earth good will to men

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead nor does he sleep
The wrong will fail and the right prevail
With Peace on Earth good will to men

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Children Go Where I Send Thee
(traditional, arr. Joel Mabus)

Children go where I send thee 
How shall I send thee?

I'm gonna send you one by one
One for the little bitty baby
Born to a woman called Mary
Watcha gonna call your baby 
I'm a'gonna call him Jesus
He was born, He was born 
He was born in Bethlehem 

(etc.)
Ten for the ten that's born again 
Nine for the nine they never could find 
Eight for the eight that wait at the gate
Seven for the seven that went up to heaven 
Six for the six that never got fixed 
Five for the foolish virgins
Four for the gospel writers 
Three for the Hebrew Children
Two for the Paul & Silas

 

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Let's Do Christmas Right
words and music 1999 Joel Mabus

Oh the town is changing their colors
Everything is red and green
And "Silver Bells" is on the hit parade
Moving up the charts since Halloween
And old Saint Nick is just a job at the mall
Where they paint all the evergreens white.
It's what they always do -- except for me and you
Honey, let's do Christmas right.

Let's keep Christmas simple
With an old fashioned Christmas tree
There's one little box under there for you
And one little box for me
And then we'll string the popcorn
And we'll all sing "Silent Night"
Let's keep Christmas simple
Let's keep Christmas right

Now all the mistletoe is plastic
Just as phony as Santa's beard
And this lowfat eggnog substitute
Is tasting just a little bit weird
And when the dogs start barking "Jingle Bells"
Hold me back or I might bite
Hey girls and boys -- hold down the noise
And let's do Christmas right

Let's keep Christmas simple
That's my only Christmas wish
So come on 'a my house on Christmas Eve
I'll fix your favorite dish
Then we'll light the candles
And we'll all sing "Oh Holy Night"
Let's do Christmas simple
Let's do Christmas right

Throw a log on the fire -- hang up a sock
Sing Christmas carols up and down the block
No crowds at the mall to fight 
Let's do Christmas right

Just like Ebenezer Scrooge and old man Grinch
Once you do the one-eighty, Christmas is a cinch 
More folks ought to try it
Let's do Christmas right

Just like Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed
Zuzu's petals is all we need
In glorious black and white
Let's do Christmas right

Hey you read Matthew -- I'll read Luke
I'll tell the shepherds and you bring the loot
Those wise guys saw the light
Let's do Christmas right

So shut off the TV -- unplug the phone
Hey -- leave that internet connection alone!
For once lets have a silent night
Let's do Christmas right

Let's do,
Let's do,
Let's do,
Let's do,
Let's do Christmas right!


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2001 Joel Mabus
Last revised: January 24, 2015 .