Monday, December 6, 2010

Songs for Advent and Christmas 3: Standing in the Rain

This song is by the late English Quaker singer-songwriter Sydney Carter, best known as the author of "Lord of the Dance". It challenges us on what it means to call ourselves Christian. Would we welcome Mary and Joseph if they came to our door in the middle of the night asking for shelter? Would we welcome them if they were of a different race, if they didn't speak our language, or even if they were of a different faith? This song was written in 1965, but as long as there is discrimination in our churches and society, as long as there are apathetic Christians, it still applies.



This video is not the best version of the song but it's the only one available on the Internet. The children's choir leaves out some of the most controversial lines of the song, perhaps because they are not appropriate for small, innocent voices.








Chorus:
Standing in the rain, knocking on the window
Knocking on the window on a Christmas Day
There he is again, knocking on the window
Knocking on the window in the same old way

No use knocking on the window
There is nothing we can do, sir
All the beds are booked already
There is nothing left for you, sir

No use knocking on the window
Some are lucky, some are not, sir
We are Christian men and women
But we're keeping what we've got, sir

No we haven't got a manger
No we haven't got a stable
We are Christian men and women
Always willing, never able

Christ the Lord has gone to heaven
One day he'll be coming back, sir
In this house he will be welcome
But we hope he won't be black, sir

Wishing you a merry Christmas
We will now go back to bed, sir
Till you woke us with your knocking
We were sleeping like the dead, sir

Photos: Sydney Carter; Fritz Eichenberg's Birth of Christ

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