In yet another attempt to get myself writing as a part of my own healing, I’m starting another series on this blog – this time centered on music. I’m calling it DraftingMusic, music to listen to as we draft Jesus. I don’t know if this is something I’ll be doing in regular intervals, but it’s a series that I would like to incorporate here.
Recently, I told my husband that I have a love/hate relationship with the month of December. I love that families all over the world make concerted efforts to see each other this time of year (even braving crazy winter weather patterns!) and that people everywhere take the time to think about what someone else needs (it’s the one time of year that I find most people actually try to be selfless), but I also hate how busy everyone gets. Step inside any shopping mall in North America during the month of December and you’ll be sure to find the population of a small country inside those buildings and in its parking lots! And then there’s the seemingly endless Christmas parties and dinners to prepare for or attend, the stress of finding the perfect gift for everyone you know, organizing Christmas programs at school, and everything else in between. There’s so much to do in December that by the time the month (and year) is over you’re just glad you survived it all.
Maybe you’re already feeling the stress build up inside of you and we’re only one week in to the month. What I tend to find helpful for me when it comes to lowering stress levels is music. Below is a list of some of the songs currently on my playlist for December. Listen to it at home in front of a warm fire, on the way to work, or in your office on your earphones and hopefully, even if just for a moment, you’ll find some of your December stress fade away. You’ll need to sign up for Spotify to listen to the playlist below, so if you don’t have an account and want to have a listen, sign up for free by following this link: https://www.spotify.com/ca-en/. Alternatively, you can find the same playlist on YouTube here.
1. LITTLE DRUMMER BOY | KENNY G
I know, I know. Kenny G? So corny. Well, I actually happen to love his Miracles album. It’s one of the first Christmas albums that I fell in love with years and years ago. And his take on “Little Drummer Boy“? Fantastic. It’s no longer just a song for little kids.
2. THE TRUMPET CHILD | OVER THE RHINE
I have my friend Stevan to thank for introducing me to this awesome tune. Over the Rhine is an American folk band, but this song by husband and wife duo Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist sounds more like a jazz and blues track than anything else. It does to me anyway. With lyrics like “The rich forget about their gold / The meek and mild are strangely bold / A lion lies beside a lamb / And licks a murderers outstretched hand“, you get the sense that “The Trumpet Child” is delving into some deep theology, and doing it to a stirring sound.
3. HAPPY XMAS (WAR IS OVER) | SARAH MCLACHLAN
With everything going on in the world today, you have to appreciate the message behind this Christmas song: “And so happy Xmas (war is over) / For black and for white (if you want it) / For yellow and red ones (war is over) / Let’s stop all the fight (now).” This version of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s famous 1971 protest/Christmas song is done by award-winning Canadian musician Sarah McLachlan.
4. CHRISTMAS LIGHTS | COLDPLAY
This tune is a bit nostalgic (what is it with Coldplay always giving us the feels?), but the song has a quick enough tempo that it doesn’t bring you down. I think the song is really about losing someone you love and the impact that loss can have on you at Christmastime (something I resonate with very much), but Coldplay brings it home by ending the song on hopeful notes: “Those Christmas lights light up the street / Maybe they’ll bring her back to me / Then all my troubles will be gone / Oh Christmas lights, keep shining on.”
5. OCEANS (WHERE FEET MAY FAIL) | BETHEL MUSIC
This is an instrumental take by Bethel Music on the popular song originally performed by Hillsong United. Bethel Music’s version is part of its album Without Words: Synesthesia, an instrumental/orchestral album of some of its own previously released songs and music by other artists. This wordless cover of Hillsong United’s well-known praise song is absolutely irresistible, calming and captivating. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself putting it on repeat.
6. OH LIGHT | GUNGOR FEAT. ALL SONS & DAUGHTERS
“Oh Light” may have a soothing tempo, but there’s more to this track once you have a listen. The lyrics, though simple, are filled to the brim with profound and serious theological meaning. Gungor and All Sons & Daughters, which both produce music of the acoustic/folk variety, were thinking deep when they put together words like, “Oh light / Mending fractured earth / The soul now felt its worth / Holy night.”
7. MY REVIVAL | LAUREN DAIGLE
If you’re a fan of Adele, chances are you’ll probably love Lauren Daigle. “My Revival” is a song that I put on repeat a lot while commuting to work a year ago. With her sultry, soulful, powerful voice, Lauren takes you to greater heights with this beautiful track. This is pretty amazing, because the lyrics to this one echo words from Isaiah 40:31: “I will run and not grow weary / I will walk, I will not faint / I will soar on wings like eagles / Find my rest in Your everlasting name.”
8. PEACE | NORAH JONES
I love the piano in this beautiful ballad by Norah Jones. If ever you want to relax and step back from all the crazy, this is the track to listen to. The first words right out of the gate quickly bring you to a place of ease: “There’s a place that I know where the sycamores grow / And daffodils have their fun / Where the cares of the day seems to slowly fade away / And the glow of the evening sun / Peace when the day is done.”
9. THE CHRISTMAS SONG | DIANA KRALL
What would December be without hearing “The Christmas Song” playing on the radio? This original Nat King Cole song is redone by Canadian jazz sensation Diana Krall. Find your favourite spot on the couch, curl up by the fire, close your eyes and let Diana sing your December stress away.
Leave a Reply