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I posted these lyrics on Facebook yesterday and am happy that quite a few people are enjoying them. I was just about to post it here earlier this evening, but started watching the 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief that is going on at Madison Square Garden. Just then Adam Sandler came on and sang a Sandy-ized rendition of “Hallelujah” which was… well… interesting. So, it felt like pretty much perfect timing to share this here.
Here’s my perennial silliness meeting my love of celebration – a parody for the Pagan folk. And of course, Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, and Joyous times to all! Perhaps there’s a holiday album in my future… I am apparently accumulating the tunes.
The Yule Song
– to the tune of The Chanukah Song by Adam Sandler
Lyrical adaptation by Robin Renée
It’s gonna be so cool again, time to celebrate Yule again
Why not play the fool again and have some fun at Yule again
Yule is the holiday of returning light
The sun gets stronger after the year’s longest night
If you feel like the only one with no Nativity,
Here are some Pagan people just like you & me:
Robin Gibb’s wife Dwina was a Druid Priestess
Alice Walker knows what the Sabbat feast is
Do you wanna hear a Pagan while you’re driving in your car?
Tune in to Margot Adler on NPR
Not sure if his mom served tofu pups or brisket
But who was raised a Wiccan? Fred Durst from Limp Bizkit!
You don’t need Silent Night or The Chanukah Song
‘Cause you can rock with George Takei around the fire all night long (Oh, myyy!)
It’s gonna be so cool again, time to celebrate Yule again
It’s like a shiny jewel again, the sacred time of Yule again
Barack Obama – not a Pagan – It’s easy to perceive it
He’s not a Muslim either, but some people won’t believe it
And yes, she spent a lot of time speaking out for PETA
‘Cause Chrissie Hynde’s one badass vegan Pagan mamacita
Not everyone’s a Pagan who holds nature dear,
But I think Captain Planet is, and every Planeteer!
There are so many holidays that people find pleasin’
But remember Winter Solstice is the reason for the season
So don’t be a hooligan
Just spread the love at Yule again
And tell the kids at school again
It’s the lovely time of Yule again
I’m like a stubborn mule again
Determined to do Yule again
So feel the inner fuel again
And sing the songs of Yule again
The season is so cool
So have a happy, happy, blessed, happy Yule!
Robin Renée December 2012
I used to spend a lot of time on the sunny indoor porch of our house when I was a kid. Sometimes I’d be reading or attempting to draw something. Most of the time I’d find myself immersed in music. One particular day when I was 10, I was checking out The Bee Gees’ Main Course album. The first song is “Nights on Broadway,” and naturally, I started singing along. The next thing I knew, my mom was freaking out.
“Robin can sing! Come listen, Robin can SING!” “Of course, I can sing,” I thought. I always sang! I was puzzled and fairly startled by the flurry this caused. I didn’t particularly enjoy my mom’s insistence that I perform my vocal rendition of “Nights on Broadway” for nearly everyone who came to the house for some time after, but now I find it an amusing memory. I’m glad now that I know the exact moment when I began to realize that there is such a thing as a “singing voice” and that by some, this is considered a gift. I was blessed to discover I had something someone thought worth developing, and blessed also that this was encouraged.
It is really too bad that the whole disco thing made The Bee Gees the group so many people loved to hate. I am not a disco hater personally, and can have fun with the Saturday Night Fever stuff. I also admire Barry, Maurice, and Robin as songwriters and performers who had the magic touch during that era to basically take over the world. But it is their pre-disco, and some of the post-disco era music that I really love. Many of the early songs are pieces of pop joy forever embedded in my brain, so much so that I rarely need to actually listen to them – they are just there somewhere in the deep psyche, part of me that can be called up anytime. It is especially wonderful, then, when I do revisit tunes like “Holiday,” “First of May,” and “Massachusetts.”
It has taken the better part of this week for me to face writing this blog. I was driving last Sunday, turned on the radio, and heard the beautiful harmonies on tail end of “Run to Me.” I hoped against hope, but knew the truth. The DJ was about to come back on the air and announce that Robin Gibb had died. All week I’ve been avoiding typing those words. I can think about it now, at least a little, without crying. It is still hard for me to comprehend how his strangely gorgeous, haunting vibrato could really be gone. One of my mother’s absolute favorite songs was “I Started a Joke,” which she thought was about Jesus. Mom is gone, too, and I suspect that is a lot of what is coming up for me now. Parents gone. One Bee Gee left. The passing of everything. The wheel turns.
I love how Robin always seemed like the odd Bee Gee out – a little more of an introvert, sometimes seeming a bit off-time with the stage movements, usually with the hand over the ear thing, which I found both practical and endearing. Andy was my major pre-teen heartthrob, but it was still fun to idly wonder once in a while what it would be like to one day become Mr. & Mrs. Robin & Robin Gibb. That according to various gossipy sources his long and successful open marriage was with a bisexual Druid Priestess makes me imagine perhaps he & I would have gotten along very well. I have been moved to tears many times over this past month as I read stories of Robin’s deep connection with his wife Dwina, as she and the rest of the family stayed by his bedside. I send love and healing to the family. Blessings on your journey, RG.
I’m fairly certain it was the same year as the “singing voice” discovery that two friends and I sat on the stadium gate at Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ. We were determined to be first in line to get in to see the Andy Gibb show – our first concert ever. Things went wrong when screaming girls rushed the gate and we got swallowed up by the mayhem. It wasn’t until I was among the many thousands in Washington, D.C. for Barack Obama’s inauguration and felt the momentary wave of a densely packed crowd that I really realized how much potential danger we were in that day when we were kids. In that moment, I grew incredibly grateful that we’d survived.
There are many more Gibb musings where these came from. I have a lot more processing to do over Robin’s passing. Actual acceptance feels a bit far off. Meanwhile so much about Robin in particular, his work, and his life inspire me daily. I have been working on a piece called Brothers, but it remains unwieldy. I am finding that it is not easy to capture all the complexities that these guys and their music apparently call up for me. So for now, I will leave you with a poem fragment inspired by the little bro.
When the crowd began to swallow us
there was no time for comparison.
No angry ocean.
The Who had yet to bear witness to death in Cincinnati.
In seconds, it is
a human autoclave,
full circles around us, we are
blanketed by panic
many bodies, one drunk giant
Wallet, shoe tugging, then tumbling
beyond the swells and gone
Denise losing breath, slipping, a lost doll down.
Rollercoaster and Rotunda, we’d thought –
another day –
as we’d waited, determined, in oppression of afternoon sun
on Six Flags stadium gate
first in line, first concert, for our collective first love
Now guards’ hands lift us straight up by thin child’s wrists
Somehow, up and over the death crush
to where there is air for ten-year-olds.
Later when we met back up with Dad and Uncle Lou
I wobbled and hopped, a shoeless pelican.
Between wet-faced sobs, I managed,
“Dad! We saw him! I LOVE him!”
Not only did we survive.
Andy, we had lived glory.