Jim Abel

Jim Abel

 Kansas City, Kansas, USA
BandAlternativeSinger/Songwriter

Clever, intelligent lyrics closely tied to interesting, melodic tunes. I try to say something worth listening to, whether the song is of love, loss, inspiration, politics or just plain fun. You will want to pay attention when I sing.

Biography

I lived the 60s and I remember them. In the course of time I became a misfit corporate executive. After a longish stint as stay-at-home dad, I am once again reborn as a hippie, with stories to tell. I sound a bit like the guy at the next campfire at your favorite music festival. My influences start with Broadway: Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein. As a high schooler I made a long expedition to the main library in search of Woody Guthrie. Then came The Band, Bob Dylan, Eric Andersen, Janis Ian, Bruce Springsteen and John McCutcheon. All seasoned heavily with Tom Lehrer and Flanders and Swann. The reason I write songs, however, is the incomparable Tom Paxton.

Lyrics

Mary in the Meadow

Written By: Jim Abel

[chorus]

Mary, in the meadow in pale summer light.
Mary, in the schoolyard with books clasped tight.
Mem'ry, so uncertain and yet so clear,
seems like a last gift from my Mary dear.

Morning, when the last of the stars disapear.
Morning, when her odd laughter I'd first hear.
Echoes of a time I can just recall
still sounding so clearly I hear it all.

[chorus]

Missing, all the secrets she once helped me see.
Missing, the shy way that she looked at me.
Photos that I took that are faded now
show me her loose hair and unwrinkled brow.

[chorus]

Meet me, if just once in the dreamtime today.
Meet me, before life takes us both away.
Sailing on the sands of the fading time
where ships leave their cargoes of broken rhyme.

[chorus]

Parallel Lives

Written By: Jim Abel

I still remember when first I saw you crossing the footbridge out at the old zoo
You walked on eastward, I headed west
I watched you for hours as I've often confessed.
After that first day it was a wild ride, every moment you were at my side
Then I turned eastward, you headed west
We swore we'd live separate, it would be for the best.

But parallel lives have a way of crossing from time to time;
At least ours do.
Not quite together, but never far apart.
Sometimes nearly strangers, we're still joined at the heart.

You took my heart when you walked away
I took your whole life I heard you clearly say
We got away though, or so we thought
We never knew until later we were so firmly caught.
But parallel lives have a way of crossing from time to time. At least ours do
Not quite together, but never far apart
We might act like strangers, but we're joined at the heart.

You know you've always been my best friend
Even when we vowed to never meet again
But through it all, dear, through every lonely year,
I've always been with you, although you're rarely here.
But parallel lives have a way of crossing from time to time. At least ours do
Not quite together, but never far apart
Sometimes nearly strangers, we're still joined at the heart.

We've been apart now for half a life
We've met a few times, you have a new wife
We've been as close as books on a crowded shelf
Cover to cover, each to our self.
Parallel lives have a way of crossing from time to time. At least ours do
Not quite together, but never far apart
We could never be strangers, we are joined at the heart.

More Than A Home

Written By: Jim Abel

There's a land I know where the day begins slow,
with a faint fairy kiss and the softest rising mist,
where you're rarely more than a brisk walk from the shore
and a friend is always nearby.

Chorus

The air was clear and the grass was green
in the loveliest valley I've ever seen,
with the rock-ribbed fields rolling down to the sea
more than a home to me . . . Ireland.

With my lass I journeyed from fair Dublin town
to the Mourne's broad shoulders up in County Down.
Connemara by the sea wove a lover's spell on me
where the sun hides in the western sky.

Chorus

Every ballad's refrain speaks of Troubles and pain,
how in Bogside and Derry the scars and hate remain.
But there is a great heart in fair Eire's every part
and a peace that springs from the land.

Chorus

As I move the world 'round dreams of Ireland abound
and my friends all, by god, claim to hail from the old sod.
Though the Irish are few, in a way it's all true
when the world says heaven it means Ireland.

Chorus

Greenhouse Windows

Written By: Jim Abel

When the war was over Mister Brady closed his store:
Antietam and its horrors weren’t in fashion anymore.
His plates of callow youth who came of age in just one day,
who saw their whole life clearly in a battle's blue-gray haze,
were taken to the auction block and sold as common glass,
mute reminders of a war they feared would never pass.

[chorus]

They made greenhouse windows of the pieces of his life,
for sun and moon and stars to see.
And so the light that falls on you, child of mine,
contains the soul and the heart of history.

My Grandpa was a soldier, as they all were in those days;
he truly was no hero, nor lived a coward's ways.
He might have fought for North or South, he rarely thought of home.
He lived for simple pleasures and later went to roam.
I have no picture of his face for you to gaze upon;
instead, I bring you to this place I try to carry on.

[chorus]

As for me, my grandchild, when you ask what I lived for,
I was not a soldier; I have no use for war.
No one's life is easy; my life has been good.
I may leave no mark behind; I'm not sure I should.
But ask your Dad for stories of my brothers and of me.
Then you decide if what you hear will fit with what you see.

[chorus]

Smile When You Want Me

Written By: Jim Abel

Smile when you want me.
Laugh when I please you.
Call when you need me.
Cry when you have to.
Each moment think of me
as your harbor from the sea.

Lay your head now on my pillow.
Let your thoughts be calm and warm.
If storm clouds round you billow
I will keep you from the storm.

When the days grow long with shadow,
and your steps be short with fear,
send worry where the winds go.
None can harm you. I am here.

I bring healing to your pain.
My clear sunshine dries the rain.

Smile when you want me.
Laugh when I please you.
Call when you need me.
Cry when you have to.
Each moment think of me
as your harbor from the sea.

A Hymn for the Living

Written By: Jim Abel

Let me bring peace to a world of war.
Let me bring hope to suffering poor.
Let me bring justice where evil prevails.
Let me endure when all else fails.
Let me see light when blackness fills my soul.
Let me help make the world whole.
Let me be better for the sorrow of us all.
Let me remember the people above all.

I ask this for the living, who speak for the dead,
to clasp our hands, sing our songs and never bow our head.
I ask this for tomorrow, I ask this for today.
Renew our dedication to the peace of all, I pray.

May we find harmony in our separate songs.
May we humbly forgive our common wrongs.
May we link hands to rebuild what is lost.
May we reach out to share the cost.
May we turn the weakness of many to strength.
May we with grace extend our love to its full length.
May we walk stronger for the pain that we have borne.
May we remember the ones who died that morn.

I ask this for the living, who speak for the dead,
to clasp our hands, sing our songs and never bow our head.
I ask this for tomorrow, I ask this for today.
Renew our dedication to the peace of all, I pray.

These rich gifts we all should receive.
This, I trust, we all must believe.

I Dreamed It Was Christmas

Written By: Jim Abel

[Intro]

Summer had deserted us, gone on its annual trip.
Each day brought a greyer sky, each wind a colder nip
Nodding at my window, I fell into a daze,
Blissfully unaware of my life's wintry ways.

[Chorus]

And I dreamed it was Christmas, with snow on the ground,
above me the countless stars of peace in glory abound.
And somehow the meek stood to inherit the earth
and all of creation was giving birth.

I saw a cloudless sky where doves were free to fly
as eagles passed them by without a glance.
Earthly creatures, I saw all their colors and I heard their call.
A magic glow embraced them all in one great dance.

I watched some children play in rainbowed fountains spray,
of every race and creed, not one in need.
I saw parents bow to pray, not to seek but to repay
Long night overcome by day . . . in my dream.

[Chorus]

People of every land were standing hand in hand.
Nearby a mighty band played all along.
Amazingly, it seemed to me as if they were a family.
In close and simple harmony they sang one song.

[Chorus]

That Would Be Christmas

Written By: Jim Abel

If there were no tinsel, no bright colored balls,
no plastic reindeer, no boughs on the walls,
no special morning, no magic night,
no shiny trinkets, wrapped up so tight.
Would we still have Christmas, would we still care?
What good is Christmas, with no presents there?
What would you give me, what would I see,
what would be in such a Christmas for me?

Bring me a gift without envy or greed,
scatter the first fruit to meet others' need.
fortune and poverty in the same line.
luck of the draw what is yours and what's mine.
Could we have Christmas, just in our heart?
not as a finish, but for a start?
What use is Christmas, one day a year, if not an answer to sorrow and fear?

If there were just one Christmas without a war --
never once has that happened before.
How can we spread the glad tidings and cheer
if we sow hatred the rest of the year?
But it might be Christmas, if there were peace,
if for a few days the fighting would cease.
That would be Christmas, a miracle true.
To bring joy to all of the world and to you.

Show me an orphan who's not on the street.
Point out the homeless with plenty to eat.
Tell of a widow no longer poor.
Give me an idea what Christmas is for.
Then I imagine it just might be there could be hope for a world fair and free.
That would be Christmas, or so it would seem,
Or maybe it's just part of some foolish dream.

If there were no tinsel, no bright colored balls,
no plastic reindeer, no boughs on the walls,
What would you give me, what would I see,
what would be in such a Christmas for me?

Thunder

Written By: Jim Abel

What do we do when the storm is rising?
What do we do when the sky goes to ground?
Do we cover up and hide in the cellar?
Do we pull the drapes to muffle the sound?
No, we find a match and put on the music:
the candle is lit the fire will burn.

[chorus]
When thunder rolls in and the lights all go out,
the parties begin and end with a shout.
The light'ning may rip as if it had soul.
Give reason the slip when the thunders roll!

The music is loud, just as it should be.
Wear those red shoes, I'll put on a black hat.
You won't need a gown, our storms are not formal.
Now kick off the shoes, I'm waiting for that.
The saxophones moan, the thunder their partner.
Heaven's own light show reflects on the band.

[chorus]

What do we do when the storm is fading?
What do we do when the gods are done?
Must we climb up from down in the cellar,
Open the drapes and hope for the sun?
No, we found a match and put on the music:
the candle's still lit, our fire still burns.

[chorus]

Let Christmas Start Here

Written By: Jim Abel

If there's to be Christmas, let it start here,
with hope for a future free of all fear,
With joy for the taking, peace in our time,
Join me in a chorus. Let our voices chime!

On Christmas morn when you welcome the dawn,
hold tight to that moment before it is gone.
Then smile at the stranger you pass on the street;
make welcome an old friend you just chanced to meet.

[Chorus]

Christmas surprises, whoever we are,
a new beacon rises, perhaps as a star.
It's what we believe in, not what we know,
brings more to the season than bright lights and snow.

[Chorus]

On Christmas ev'ning, may we respect
the different faces our mirrors reflect.
And see in each other the best we can be:
all brothers and sisters to you and to me.

[Chorus]

Jenny O'Farrell

Written By: Jim Abel

Martin and Barry from down at St Mary's were beatin' the drum for all they were worth,
while Sean and O'Riley and my cousin Kiley were poundin' their heels on the face of the earth.
The rest of the band were at best out of hand and everyone shouted how life is just grand!
and Jenny O'Farrell stood all by herself to watch the parade pass on by.

Down by the river the lasses all quiver to think of the lads who are coming their way
and every young buck who is lookin' for luck is convinced that his star will be risin' today.
There's laughin' and drinkin' and not so much thinkin'
and as for tomorrow no one gives a damn!
But Jenny O'Farrell keeps still to herself to watch the parade pass on by.

Martin is gruff and can sometimes be rough and he's never been known for a joke or a smile,
but on this parade day he dressed in a gay way and seemed to be rid of his cares for a while.
He joined in the singing, his voice like a bell ringing, clapping and tapping like some other man!
When Jenny O'Farrell came into his eye just as the parade passed her by.

Martin McCurry dropped out in a hurry and marched in a confident way to her side.
Jenny saw Martin and hardened her heart for a moment but saw there was no place to hide.
He said, “You're a vision, I've made my decision, Please don't deny me, I'll take you a way!”
But Jenny O'Farrell stood silent and sure to watch the parade pass on by.

Jenny O'Farrell stood straight as an arrow and stared young McCurry full face in the eye
So now you've come to me, so you've come to woo me.
You think that I'll fall at your feet with a sigh.
It's I who have chosen,
I am one who knows when what I have been seeking falls into my hand!
So Martin McCurry step quick by my side before the parade passes by.

Boom tra la la la lee fa la la dee dill dee
butter my biscuit and fill up my cup!
With holes in my pockets and crumbs in my beard I'll not let the parade pass me by.

Half Mast

Written By: Jim Abel

They're hauling down the flag a - gain today; another great American is dead.
Somewhere in a room people are showing their respect
with lowered eyes and quiet nodding head.
The body lies in state for all to contemplate the sacrifice of service that he gave.
While to our common shame our leaders never say his name,
another soldier finds a lonely grave.

They're hauling down the flag again today; another great American is dead.
Not a Pres i dent, but one the politicians sent, to draw a line of policy in red.
He did as he was told. She never will be old. War for them is over now, at last.
Whatever we believe everyone of us should grieve, and see each day our flag flies at half mast.

The flag's a living symbol of our nation, not just a sacred relic we revere,
we see the flag at full staff and think of what we have;
let's fly the flag at half mast and think of what we've lost.

They're hauling down the flag again today; another great American is dead.
She was a daughter, sister, wife, the central part of someone's life,
now a sat in pillow cups her head.
She might have been a hero but probab ly was not, it took all she had just to do her job.
What's left of her is memory and the honor that we show;
the flag at half mast is the least we owe.

The flag's a living symbol of our nation, not just a sacred relic we revere,
we see the flag at full staff and think of what we're given;
let's fly the flag at half mast and think of what they gave.

They're hauling down the flag again to day; anoth er great American is dead.
Somewhere in a room people are showing their respect
with lowered eyes and quiet nodding head.
There is no shame in dying or living for a cause, nor honor in sending troops to kill
While to our country's shame we do not even say their names,
or fly our flags at half mast on the hill,
for just another soldier now forever still.

The Modern Diplomat

Written By: Jim Abel

I am a modern diplomat.
To hell with you if you don't like that;
not a wimpy lib’ral or a democrat, but a modern diplomat.

I represent the best in man.
I'll buy your friendship if I can.
If you won't join us then you'll be damned to be our enemy.

We don't need the help of our so-called friends; that is so last century.
When all's said and done it takes only one to be the voice of destiny.
We'll extend the blessings of our land to the corners of the earth.
We respect your ways,
but in these troubled days only we know what your land is worth.

I am a new kind of diplomat: I wear a sidearm and a cowboy hat,
and I'm not the least ashamed to tell you that I know better than you.

I know what form your government should take,
I know what sort of bidness deals to make,
and if it suits me there's no promise I won't break.
That's the way of the new diplomat.

We no longer live in a world of laws.
We're not bound by treaty.
There's no need for us to seek a common cause when our truth is plain to see.
When we've made the whole world just like us,
we'll put our guns back on our shelves,
and await the day when once again the world will say to us:
“Please save us from ourselves”.

I'm a twenty-first century diplomat.
In a one power world it is important that
someone is there to do whatever it takes to make the whole world free
(just as long as that someone is me).

The Mystery of Life

Written By: Jim Abel

Nineteen and lucky, a time to be proud,
the boy unaware stares out over the crowd.
His girl's easy radiance, in his light embrace,
waits for the boy to look her in the face.
I dance on by, just a few steps away, waltzing my darling again.
I hope that boy doesn't close out this day, with no regard where he's been.

[chorus]
Does he know?
Has he any idea of the full extent of her charms?
It's not just a girl, but the mystery of life
that he holds right there in his arms.

Fresh as the lilac washed over by dew,
a prodigal angel in sky shades of blue,
she floats while the boy's anchored tight to the floor,
not yet a beauty, but promising more.
Her gaze is steady, her manner is poised,
hints of the woman mature.
Why won't he notice what's waiting for him,
innocent, eager and sure?

[chorus]

[bridge]
Young love is a bubble of sweetest air,
the briefest embrace of a sigh,
too fragile for all but the gentlest touch,
too rich to let by.
Nineteen or ninety, handsome or plain,
lovers circle their partners in vain.
So many chances escape through the years,
lured by enchantment, turned back by fears.
I see the boy in the man he became,
hands, eyes and face all awhirl.
Did he wake up to just how close he came,
did he go back for the girl?

[chorus]

Make A Change

Written By: Jim Abel

To move along you must take that first step.
You have a choice each day that you draw breath.
You make all the difference, however small it seems
tomorrow is the product of your dreams:
Make A Change!

A wall is just a pile of stones until we do our part,
a fence needs mending almost from the start.
We can make a world that's better than the one we've known
if we accept the challenge as our own.

To move along you must take that first step.
You have a choice each day that you draw breath.
You make all the difference, however small it seems
tomorrow is the product of your dreams:
Make A Change!

Our children pay attention to ev'rything we do;
they find themselves by watching me and you
Parents, teachers, neighbors, not some image on TV,
Are the superheroes every child should see.

To move along you must take that first step.
You have a choice each day that you draw breath.
You make all the difference, however small it seems
tomorrow is the product of your dreams:
Make A Change!

Strangers might be enemies or might become our friends
it's bridges, not just walls, we need to mend.
Open minds, open hearts, and open helping hands,
to all the world and right her in our land.

To move along you must take that first step.
You have a choice each day that you draw breath.
You make all the difference, however small it seems
tomorrow is the product of your dreams:

To move along we must take that first step.
We have a choice each day that we draw breath.
We make all the difference, however small it seems
tomorrow is the product of our dreams:
Make A Change!

What Goes Down

Written By: Jim Abel

I live alongside someone who lives 'longside of me, as interconnected as two people can be.
All around us some other lovely people reside. Here on this planet we have nowhere to hide.

What my neighbor does not need he tosses away, to collect in my front yard the very next day.
When I do the same thing to the next neighbor below,he passes it along until there's nowhere to go.

I live downhill from someone who lives uphill from me, as interconnected as two people can be.
Further downhill some other lovely people reside. Here on this hillside we have nowhere to hide.

Upstream folks must cook and wash and throw out the waste,
soon the water comes to me with a funny taste.
I use it the best I can and then I throw it out. But it will come around again, of that I've no doubt.

I live downstream from someone who lives upstream from me,
as interconnected as two people can be.
Further downstream some other lovely people reside. Here on this river we have nowhere to hide.

Each of us must build a fire to cook our good food,
warm our homes, run factories, with oil, coal and wood.
Smoke we make soon disappears to East or to the West;
the next day it comes back to us, a gift from the rest.

I live downwind from someone who lives upwind from me, as interconnected as two people can be.
Further downwind some other lovely people reside. Here on this prairie we have nowhere to hide.

Every day so many small decisions come down from the politicians on the good side of town.
Still what matters most are all the small things that we do,
and whether I think of what I am doing to you.

I live downtown from someone who lives uptown from me, as interconnected as two people can be.
Further downtown some other lovely people reside. Here on this island we have nowhere to hide.

I live alongside someone who lives 'longside of me, as interconnected as two people can be.
All around us some other lovely people reside. Here on this planet we have nowhere to hide.

Shamrocks in the Snow

Written By: Jim Abel

In Ireland at Christmas we don't dream of snow,
you never hear sleigh bells in Cork or Wicklow.
Snow falls and snow men are such a rare sight,
but I'll tell you a story of one Christmas night.

When I was just six in the mountains of Mourne,
the very same day that my sister was born,
The snow began falling just as it grew dark
so I threw on my coat and I ran to the park.

Not a one of my friends came out on that night
There was just the moonlight and me.
Thousands of snowflakes covered my eyes.
Diamonds and dewdrops were all I could see.

I piled up the powder close by the Great Stone.
The air became still as I struggled alone.
No star but the moon in the grey Christmas sky
while I carved a small statue no larger than I.

The snow became heavy, the night grew full dark.
Soon it was too late to go home from the park.
But I felt no fear as I finished my prize
for he soon came to life with a smile in his eyes.

There beside the snowman I made a snow bed,
huddled in the night with my friend.
I swear I heard his voice clear in my head:
"Good cheer and fortune be yours without end!"

As the sun rose on that cold Christmas Day,
I saw my snow friend somehow stolen away.
My father instead lifted me in his arms,
as if called there by powerful ancient snow charms.

But as we made haste to our home fire below,
I showed Father what I had found in the snow:
A shamrock in each hand, to his great delight,
each a talisman still of that magical night.

And so it was so many fine years ago,
a magical snowman, shamrocks in the snow.
My sister was born as snow started to fall,
bringing life and great cheer and good fortune to all.

May down from the heavens such bright blessings fall
and may we bid welcome to friends large and small.
May warm fires await us whereever we go
and may we find always shamrocks in the snow.

This Small Light of Mine

Written By: Jim Abel

I gaze out the window as snow dusts the ground.
The season has turned once again.
I walk to the corner as lights start to glow.
I visit the home of a friend.
I feel the warm comfort of family and hearth,
the bountiful gifts and the tree.
Back home by the window as night settles in,
one candle warms my family.

The story's an old one I want you to know:
the People oppressed once again.
When Judah the rebel struck back at the King,
the Syrian army was slain.
The Temple restored, the eternal lamp lit
with no oil to keep it ablaze.
But promising hope to a People amazed,
For eight days the lamp stayed alight.

Wherever I go at this time of the year,
however enrapt I may be,
I feel like a visitor in my own land,
a stranger my neighbors don't see.
The season belongs to you, that I don't mind,
Christmas is your blessed time.
I wish, though, that somehow occasionally you
would notice this small light of mine.

We light the first candle each day after dark.
Each night we light one candle more.
Each flame brings a spark to the cold winter night,
reminding what we struggled for.
I light the menorah my grandparents brought
when first they arrived in this land.
My children will treasure it all of their lives,
I place it with love in their hands.

I visit the market and move through the crowds,
I share the excitement they feel.
I have the same holiday spirit as you,
so different but equally real.
Each greeting I hear is the same "Merry Christmas"
and I send my best wish to you.
I say Happy Hanukkah, bid you Shalom,
and pray both our wishes come true.

There Once Was A Star

Written By: Jim Abel

There once was a Star that shown like no other,
proclaiming a peace unlike any before.
It came like a sunrise when hope was forgotten,
a new dawn breaking once more.

There used to be wise men who dared follow new stars.
claiming that angels were guiding their way.
Are they all gone now, from earth and the heavens?
Do we still seek stars today?

We look to the sky in search of solutions
with eyes that were made for the earth.
Instead of visions we settle for signs,
mistaking high price for great worth.

The rays of the sun will run on forever.
The truth in a story once told never dies.
Maybe that Star is not gone but just faded
and we may yet grow wise.

Hope is a candle that shines in the window;
It burns through the night to keep fear at bay.
Its glow is the brightest when darkness surrounds us,
just before the day.

We look to the sky and claim to find answers
in signs sent from afar.
Illusions and visions surround those who stand on earth
and reach out for the stars.

So cling to your Star and follow it bravely.
Remember the glory when first it appeared.
May it grow brighter because you believe it
and may hope drive out fear.

There once was a Star that shown like no other,
proclaiming a peace unlike any before.

Still the Rain

Written By: Jim Abel

The April rain came a blessing on us all.
Each year we fear the rain might never fall.
It's four months on and the summer's come a curse upon the land.
Still the rain.

Bend to the shovel. Move the sand on down the line.
Now bend your knees, heave the bags in double time.
The water's still rising on the Platte and Cedar, and right where we stand.
Still the rain.

The River knows nothing of plans made by man.
Heaven, uncaring, has baptized the land.

We start every morning just a few feet further back.
Retreat before the overnight attack.
We stack the bags a few rows higher, certain how it ends.
Still the rain.

The River's not angry. The River is no fool.
Men build levees but the River makes the rules.
The River is endless and the light is fading.
One more night has come.
Still the rain.

The River knows nothing of plans made by man.
Heaven, uncaring, has baptized the land.

The drumming rain had made its final call the day the River overtopped our wall.
The water's receding just a few days late.
Was our struggle vain?
Ask the rain.

Coffins lie scattered by the water overturned.
The heavens are empty but the River will return.
Soon some will tell of how we fought the water, as if we had won.
Still, the rain.

Heaven cares nothing for man and his plans.
The River, unsparing, has baptized the land.

The April rain came a blessing on us all.
Each year we fear the rain might never fall.
It's four months on and the summer's come a curse upon the land.
Still the rain.

Your Every Move

Written By: Jim Abel

[chorus]
Raise up your strong arms and work for peace.
Throw wide your door to freedom's sweet release.
Through all the long days of your life, wield justice like a knife,
your ev'ry move an instrument of love.

Give us a new song to play for peace.
Strike a fresh chord for freedom's sweet release.
With ev'ry measure that you mark
there springs a hopeful spark,
your ev'ry move an instrument of love.

[chorus]

Raise up your voice now and speak for peace.
Proclaim the way of freedom's sweet release.
Each spoken word and written thought
a few more moments bought
to make each move an instrument of love.

[chorus]

Open your heart to the beat of peace.
Feel the strong pulse of freedom's sweet release.
With all that courses through your veins,
march on till justice reigns.
And ev'ry move is an instrument of love

[chorus]

Let Christmas Start Here

Written By: Jim Abel

If there's to be Christmas, let it start here,
with hope for a future free of all fear,
With joy for the taking, peace in our time,
Join me in a chorus. Let our voices chime!

On Christmas morn when you welcome the dawn,
hold tight to that moment before it is gone.
Then smile at the stranger you pass on the street;
make welcome an old friend you just chanced to meet.

[Chorus]

Christmas surprises, whoever we are,
a new beacon rises, perhaps as a star.
It's what we believe in, not what we know,
brings more to the season than bright lights and snow.

[Chorus]

On Christmas ev'ning, may we respect
the different faces our mirrors reflect.
And see in each other the best we can be:
all brothers and sisters to you and to me.

[Chorus]

That Would Be Christmas

Written By: Jim Abel

If there were no tinsel, no bright colored balls,
no plastic reindeer, no boughs on the walls,
no special morning, no magic night,
no shiny trinkets, wrapped up so tight.
Would we still have Christmas, would we still care?
What good is Christmas, with no presents there?
What would you give me, what would I see,
what would be in such a Christmas for me?

Bring me a gift without envy or greed,
scatter the first fruit to meet others' need.
fortune and poverty in the same line.
luck of the draw what is yours and what's mine.
Could we have Christmas, just in our heart?
not as a finish, but for a start?
What use is Christmas, one day a year, if not an answer to sorrow and fear?

If there were just one Christmas without a war --
never once has that happened before.
How can we spread the glad tidings and cheer
if we sow hatred the rest of the year?
But it might be Christmas, if there were peace,
if for a few days the fighting would cease.
That would be Christmas, a miracle true.
To bring joy to all of the world and to you.

Show me an orphan who's not on the street.
Point out the homeless with plenty to eat.
Tell of a widow no longer poor.
Give me an idea what Christmas is for.
Then I imagine it just might be there could be hope for a world fair and free.
That would be Christmas, or so it would seem,
Or maybe it's just part of some foolish dream.

If there were no tinsel, no bright colored balls,
no plastic reindeer, no boughs on the walls,
What would you give me, what would I see,
what would be in such a Christmas for me?

Discography

Thunder - CD 2008
Decoration Day - CD 2006
Live! from Death Valley Junction - CD 2003
Patriot Act - CD 2003

Set List

I do original songs. A typical set will include a mix of the funny and the serious, sometimes in the same song. I do off-beat love songs and I have some bawdy drinking songs if the venue suits. I have political songs for political gatherings. I will play anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours: if you like what I do, you will like the entire set. If not, heaven help us both!