Monday, 23 December 2013
Day 23 of my #MusicalAdventCalendar to raise money for Shelter Cymru.
Today is a rather special one. I collaborated with my good friend Kitt of Jesus in Love, to make a new inclusive, queer version of this lovely song. Extra special thanks to Kitt, Audrey and Three-Turtle Man for sending me such excellent ideas, music and love all the way from LA. This was probably the hardest of all the tracks to do, but I love how it turned out.
Kitt will also be promoting this on her blog, and she has kindly allowed me to use her text:
A Rainbow Version of the Christmas carol "Some Children See Him" was released today. It has a new straight/queer stanza added to the standard multiracial lyrics.
"Some Children See Him" is a delightfully liberating song about how children imagine the baby Jesus looking like them. It has a verse for every race -- so why not a verse for every sexual orientation?
Here are the new lines that I wrote:
Some children see him straight as they Playing like most boys play Some children see him straight as they Straight but not narrow. Some children see him queer or gay Because some kids are born that way Some children see him queer or gay The rainbow child of God.
I even sing on the new track. Our band is called "Kitt and Andy and the Splott Queer Community Singers."
My co-leader Andrew Craig Williams is a queer artist and music maker in Wales. He and many of his queer friends live in an area of Cardiff called Splott.
Andy often provides queer Christian art for the Jesus in Love Blog. When he asked me to suggest songs for his Musical Advent Calendar, I offered to write some queer lines for "Some Children See Him."
He was immediately enthusiastic and started organizing a group to sing it. I thought he would record everyone singing together in Splott, so I was flabbergasted when he asked, "Is there any way you could record you and Audrey singing?"
I live in Los Angeles, home of the recording industry, so it turned out that there was a way -- with the help of a mystery co-producer behind the scenes in true Hollywood tradition. My life partner Audrey and I are raw amateurs when it comes to singing, so it was rather embarrassing when we got the star treatment at the professional recording studio of a friend, who shall be known here only as Three Turtle Man. But somehow it made sense because it was all for the cause of showing God's unconditional love.
The church has often excluded LGBT people from Christmas festivities, so we all made our best efforts in the spirit of Christ who was born in lowly circumstances to embody God's wildly inclusive love for all.
Andy mixed both our voices into the final version along with heavenly synths, piano, strings, and maybe a bell or two. We are a truly international group, with singers from Wales, England and America.
"Our singers hail from American, Welsh, English, Scottish descent," Andy said. "How's that for multicultural!! A wide range of beliefs too; people from Anglican, Catholic, MCC, pagan, and atheist backgrounds. Wowsers!!"
The Musical Advent Calendar is a fundraiser for Shelter Cymru, a charity for the homeless in Wales. Donations can be made at: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/andywills
If you like our Rainbow Version of "Some Children See Him," please consider making a donation at my GoFundMe page for Jesus in Love, a project supporting LGBT spirituality and the arts. http://www.gofundme.com/5mugns
The original lyrics [link] are great, including these words in the final verse: http://www.alfredburtcarols.com/burt/Web%20Pages/This%20Is%20Christmas/Childrensee.htm
The children in each different place will see the baby Jesus' face like theirs, but bright with heavenly grace, and filled with holy light.
My donation page
What Shelter Cymru does and why they need our help