WHERE THE LOVE LIGHT GLEAMS (A Christmas​~​themed album)

by Bill Mallonee

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May all the deepest blessings of this hallowed Christmas season be with you and your loved ones. And may the message of God's Grace
in Christ shine in you like that Bethlehem star.~ bill mallonee

What I Really Wanna Say Is...
by: bill mallonee

People ask me about Jesus sometimes: "How do you know? How do you know He's real? How do you know He's really there?"
Most of the answers we give people seem to border on something like an intellectual insult or some form of academic pontificating from some higher moral ground. I've learned to discount those responses, even when i find myself resorting to them...

"Well," I say, "you can talk to Him. Just like a Friend. Ask Him to "show" Himself to you. Ask Him: "Why is the world is such a broken place?" Ask Him: "Why are we so broken within ourselves?"
And, why you're at it, ask Him why everything & everyone hurts.
And then, of course, you have to learn to listen.
But, it's "listening" in a different way.

Christmas. Most of mankind's grandest hopes are wrapped up in flesh & blood of Him who they call Jesus, the Savior of the world.He came at a time when the ancient world was starving for love. Caste systems were inviolable and military might "made right."
Into that world appears Christ. With a Sermon on some Mountain guaranteed to blow your mind.

People tend to forget just how "disowned" he was. Right off the top. We forget that He was disowned by the authorities both political & religious. God "scandalizes" us by deciding to "appear" among the meek, the lowly, the poor, the marginalized. He "scandalizes" our sensibilities still to this day.

As a kid I knew at an early age all the joys and expectations of the Advent & Christmas narratives (whether they are history or memories nuanced with touches of zealous imagination); They somehow seeped into this small child's imagination and have been inspiring him ever since.

Jesus. The Mystery we are compelled to love.
It often happens that the people who are supposed to "represent" Him here do the worst and bloodiest damage throughout mankind's dismal history, I have all sympathy with those for feel they must "turn away" from such representations of Christ, the man of Peace.
Christ seems to "take us where we're at."

I'm convinced He's more concerned about each of us 'learning His heart." And then trying to live it out, however stumbling we may be in our "first steps." We begin, by accepting our acceptance. We begin by recognizing our deep need and broken-ness. An empty cup he seems to be all-too-ready to fill.

But, yes: You learn to listen in a different sort of way. For He will speak.
Then the simple exchanges of just talking to Him daily & listening become a way of transformation from within and into the world in which we live. We get use to our own skin.

And then, by God's Grace, we learn to love the spirits of our fellow travelers. Our brothers & sisters.
Even our enemies...
The world is starving for such manifestations of that Love.
That's some of what these songs are about....
Merry, Holy, Happy Christmas...and Joy & courage on your journey,
bill mallonee
Advent/Christmas 2015
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Album notes:
I have this very old nondescript nylon string Spanish guitar. It figured deeply and beautifully in the writing of these songs and in the making of "CRIER." (I paid maybe $60 at a pawn shop in Athens, Ga years ago.) It has a neck on it like a baseball bat. Meaning it's just so THICK and unwieldy to grasp that there are just some chords I can't play on it.
You have to wrestle the hell out of it to make music on it.
Call it a friendly "skirmish."
BUT, it is without a doubt, a oddly inspiring instrument. I have used it on numerous WPA recordings. The guitar possesses a wonderful," throaty" tone. Good guitars are mysterious and this one truly is. Not much on beauty, but it's character" bids a closer look.
It's natural 'voice," to my ears anyway, seems to have a sort of acoustic "wisdom" in it. Songwriters live for these sorts of "finds."
It sounds "authentic," worn and humble....
Like it came with the "stories" & songs waiting to be un-packed.

credits

released December 18, 2015

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about

Bill Mallonee

Bill Mallonee is an Americana artist w/ 75 plus albums over a 25 year career. Voted by Paste Music Magazine #65 in their "Top 100 Living Songwriters" poll. He was the
founding member of Vigilantes of Love. He has worked with Mark Heard, Buddy Miller, Emmylou Harris, & Peter Buck from REM.
His most recent work, "The Rags of Absence" released in Jan. 2017.
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Track Name: Little Baby Under The Star ( A FREE download single)
(LITTLE BABY) UNDER THE STAR
words/music: Bill Mallonee
1. I hear there were some fuzzy-faced animals there
when you showed up in the world
and every friend you've ever chose since
well, they've all been kicked to the curb
and to all those poor in spirit?
well, they ain't never seen anything like you...

chorus:
Under the star
Baby, under the star
Yeah, under the star
Little baby under the star
Under the star...you come as you are
under the star......in your heart

2. you can look for him in hell
ah, but I hear he's already left
you can look for him in heaven
that was just a temporary forwarding address
if you really wanna meet 'em.
i hear he thinks the world of you

3. Now, kingdoms come & kingdoms go
but, it's all mostly just a bore
man's greed & man's killing
well, that's what we're mostly known for
what's all this about the faith of a child
and this "you gotta come as you are?"
Track Name: The King Will See You Now
THE KING WILL SEE YOU NOW words/music: bill mallonee

I heard you all came from pretty far
to grace our little old town
heard you saw some new bright stars
ah, the king will see you now

the king was pacing in his chambers
clearly a worried man
seems like for every neck ya’ gotta wring,
ah, ya’ get to wring two hands

ok, let’s put our cards on the table
let us be of the same mind
if you’d relay my goodwill
ah, if you’d be so kind

I’d welcome him in person if I could
but there’s this shakey lil' government
later on, I’ll bring the love in a motorcade
with all that pomp and circumstance

Chorus:
and the pattern, it repeats itself
when power is asked to bow
whenever truth gets ushered in
ah, the king will see you now

Oh, I’ll offer him my worship
my best wishes and bright hope
never mind the dagger
underneath my cloak

I hear new kings get born every day
So me? I don’t sweat it all that hard
Isn’t life just the funniest thing?
With all this changing of the guard?

Chorus

They say that patriotism is the last refuge
to which a scoundrel clings
I’ve seen that with my own two eyes
then I saw it in a dream

Must be time to guard your turf
must be time to guard your home
whenever the truth shows up drunk with love
and gets too close to the bone

Chorus:
and the pattern, it repeats itself
when power is asked to bow
whenever truth gets ushered in
ah, the king will see you now

there’s always a steel door to be slammed
when she gets a little loud
whenever truth gets outta hand
ah, the kind will see you now
credits
from WONDERLAND (A Christmas Season album), track released December 16, 2011
Bill Mallonee: vocals, all guitars, bass, drums
Track Name: OH, WINTER LIGHT
WINTER LIGHT words/music by bill mallonee
winter light, winter light
have i given up the fight?
men's hearts grow cold and the center will not hold
winter light, winter light

there is no...no wise man here
let me make that...perfectly clear
no one to be found, trust me, I've looked around
high & low, all my life...'round this town

faith is a flag of long ago
faith is a flag...shot full of holes
trigger happy and uptight; judge & jury with a gunsight
oh, winter light; oh, winter light; oh, winter light

bridge:
I heard you said
all the old empires, will fade away
and the one with meek & lowly
full of the stumbling but still hoping
will remain...remain
yeah, yeah, yeah...

Now, all the stories...about your Birth
where every soul will feel it's worth
the devil banished...and the prisoners released
King of Kings...Prince of Peace

Father God...Mother Mary
please, bring your gift...and do not tarry
star shining bright or a candle in the moonlight
oh, winter light...oh, winter light....oh, winter light
Track Name: It's December & I'm Lost
JULIAN (IT’S DECEMBER AND I’M LOST)
words/music: bill mallonee

I have come here to give voice
to all of the impoverished
and to all the ones were
but mostly have n’er been
I’ve come here to scream out loud
and wipe some of the sweat
off their brow
even the ones just below my skin

I’ve come here to shatter
the grandest of illusions
that you stand so tall
and make it on your own
I’ve come here to reveal
that what you are is what you steal
and what you steal you
can never get y0u home

chorus:
It’s December and I’m lost
between Advent and holocaust
it’s all just static
or the hard sell
Ah, Blessed Julian!
Would you pray for me...and
whisper in my ear
that all shall be most well?
yeah, most well...most well

I’ve come here to extend
you the permission
to throw on that last shovelful of earth
I’ve here to despise
the accuser’s long, loud lies
i’ve come to stumble first
and then walk off this curse
credits
from WONDERLAND (A Christmas Season album), track released December 17, 2012
Bill Mallonee: vocals, guitars
Track Name: STAR~LIGHT (a single)
STAR~LIGHT words & music: b. mallonee
You know i wonder how you got there
'Cause it's more than a mystery
For all those pages that we turned
there's still so little that we see

i tried to watch your every gesture
to see if they'd reveal a plot
I tried to see if that smile you smiled
was the real one or not

it's a world just like a house of cards
and our fault lines are hard to detect
in a world full of simple, wide-eyed souls
there is so much to protect

Chorus:
so, if starlight is your gift
let it shine all through the night
for the storm-tossed
who have no land in sight

so, if starlight is your special gift
let it be special night
for the drowning
who have no land in sight
Track Name: Christmas In Hoover~ville
HOOVER~VILLE words/music: bill mallonee
a statue in the harbor said: "I welcome you."
when i saw that smile i took it at face value
she said: "Give me your weary, your tired & your ill.
i'll find 'em all a place...in Hoover~ville.

I had a guitar full of stories & a head full of ghosts
I would open the case and then I'd hold forth
but, when the act of living is an act of the will
you learn that kinda faith down in Hoover~ville
you learn that kinda faith down in Hoover~ville

every world made by man is bound to crash
and the rich man loves what cannot love him back
courage may be a small ember but, it's one you can't kill
It's in no short supply in Hoover~ville
It's in no short supply in Hoover~ville

now, it's Christmas in New York & make no mistake
life? she is brutish & the the devil he waits
And the tears we cry for everyone's death
are also the tears we cry for ourselves
Give me your weary, you tired & your ill
I'll gather 'em up in hoover~ville
Yes, I'll gather 'em up in Hoover~ville
Track Name: FOREVER FOR YOU
FOREVER FOR YOU words/music: bill mallonee
stumblin' in out of the rain...stealing all of your kisses
city blocks bathing in neon...thunder off in the distance

storm's hanging on hey, there's a bar on the corner i know
Clydesdale endlessly circle in a globe full of swirling snow
shakin' off the drops of the night in a tucked vinyl booth
a little gin please with a splash of vermouth

Chorus:
i came here for the skyline
and maybe a song or two
i maybe have come here for the skyline
but i'll stay forever for you

i was wondering...well just how brave was i?
talking a game...and shivering on the inside
taking off bandages....of recovery
holding you close...like a discovery

Chorus:
i came here for the skyline
when, now that's only partially true
i came here for the skyline
but i'll stay forever for you
Track Name: Gather The Little Lambs In
Written a couple days after the shooting at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, CT. Grief is the order of the day.
Perhaps, it is the order of the decade.
May Grace & Compassion ring the lives of those who have lost loved ones to the madness.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
lyrics
GATHER THE LITTLE LAMBS IN words/music: bill mallonee
Gather the little lambs in
Gather their joys & sighs
Gather their mysteries & their unwritten histories
may all of their tears be dried

melt all the weapons of sadness
melt all the weapons of hate
close of the distance & our grim resistence
maybe it’s never too late

when it comes to us living by Spirit
well, you were never holding your breath
we’re so barely able to hear it
so you showed up in the flesh

bring in the lonely & confused
bring in the orphans & freaks
sister & brothers. All we have is each other
and hearts with a similar beat

bring in the drugged and bedraggled
the homeless and well-castled kings
bring the deficient and proud self-sufficient
let us all find that song we can sing

Gather the little lambs in
Gather their joys & sighs
Gather their mysteries & all of their histories
may all of their tears be dried

(gather the little lambs in
gather the mad wolves as well...)

Afterword:
We did not "get here" overnight. The "wake-up call" is past. Our children are not safe and have not been safe for years. I believe we live in a culture that embraces violence as an article of faith. Yes, there are "freak-shows," mentally disturbed and desperate people "out there." But even such sad souls are a symptom of the broken & depersonalized land we've created and live in. The price we are paying for cowing to gun enthusiasts and their lobbyists is appalling. I know this stance is "unpopular;" even considered "un-patriotic" by some.
So be it.
Sometimes one must stand up against the those who would pervert and mis-represent their so-called "2nd Amendment rights." They have become complicit & guilty in these murders.
The Lord is the Lord of Life....
May God give us courage to envision something better & to show us all the better way.
Track Name: Shepherd's Reminisce (a free download for you)
SHEPHERD'S REMINISCE words & music: Bill Mallonee

All my best friends are walking wounded
All my friends? They are off-cast
But they all have hearts deep as well
and they now cry at the drop of a hat
once all of them were shepherds
now they have courage for a staff
maybe those who've tasted much of grief
can chart the better path

CHORUS:
now they said they heard an angel choir
but i was staring at the embers
and it happen all so long ago
i really don't remember

my companions disappeared that night
following a star that burned
and me? well, i stayed at my post
and waited till they returned
they came back drunk on something
maybe joy is a libation
they were all in one perfect accord
'bout this Light for all the nations

Now, sometimes i feel a bit left out
but see there was work to do
maybe there's reward in heaven
for those who simply follow through
Now, my friends, they speak of priceless pearls
and they speak of first and last
All my best friends are walking wounded
All my friends they are off-cast

from CRIER (A Christmas EP) by Bill Mallonee & Muriah Rose, released December 20, 2012
Bill Mallonee: nylon sting guitars & vocals
Track Name: ...To Reach Out To Me
TO REACH OUT TO ME words/music: bill mallonee
Mary had a baby boy
so she sang a song of grace
stars and angels started showing up
all over the place

it came with angel’s voices
and with a star in the night
it came with kings and politicians
trying to crush out the light
Joseph was dreamer
sometimes he’d dream of God
sometimes his dreams told him to stay
sometimes they said: "get outta Dodge."

chorus:
now, I hear you’re in the business
of making all things new
that’s some crazy kinda enterprise
just 'tween me & you
now, I hear you loved the good earth
I hear you loved the sea
I know you crossed a few of them
to reach out to me

you opened up a clinic
when you came of age
healed the sick at no expense
ah, you were all the rage
you made the rounds at weddings
and you always brought the wine
you hung with the finest sinners
they thought you were divine

you took it to the highways
you took it to the streets
some called you a Savior
some called you a master thief
you came & sang a song of love
you came & preached of peace
you told the rich & powerful
their wars would one day cease

now, everybody lives in chains these days
all sad & mean & bored
living on a razor of despair
and by the edge of the sword
you saw where it was leading
you never held your breath
you delivered your own eulogy
ah, but You never really left

from CRIER (A Christmas EP) by Bill Mallonee & Muriah Rose, released December 20, 2012
Bill Mallonee: guitars, vocals, string & harp arrangement