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I was prompted to make a quick recording of this to have it ready for the very first episode of Christiana’s Psychic Café this Sunday night at 9pm EST on livestream.  Christiana will play the video and we’ll have a chat. Tune in if you can – I can only imagine that this will be very interesting!






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

yule blessings

It’s actually happening.  The finishing touches are finally being put on the new chant recording.  A very brief post about it yesterday caused a little ripple on Facebook; in a way it served as a first bit of encouragement from outside the project. While working on This., I felt much more in a vacuum than during other recordings; I am not being coy to say the response was an honest wake-up moment about the coming of interaction with others again around the music. Soon I’ll be touring my way down to Florida and back.   I’ll be inviting more people than I ever have to take part in helping the music to be heard.  Possibly the most exciting and daunting part for me is that I’ll be working on the second half of the follow-up project, .. and everything else.

Back when I became completely immersed in kirtan, I spent almost a year listening to nothing else.  Life was a constant meditation on the drone of harmonium or tampura.  I absorbed mantras and melodies and the stories of Hindu deities at such a rate that when people asked me where I learned this or that, I truly had no idea.  During that time I wasn’t sure I’d ever write another song.  It only seemed relevant to talk about the totality of things.  Life stuff was happening, but Om was the only relevant response.

Somewhere it became clearer to me that my path continued to be one of staying engaged in the day-to-day and writing down the stories.  But by then I’d been through a kind of vortex that made it a strange exercise.  I was frustrated over this for a while, but now I am giving myself a break over the times I wasn’t writing.  Yes, some of that time away has probably been about avoiding pain or focusing on the minutiae rather than any larger project at hand.  I suspect most of us do those things.  But even more than that, I’ve been in a relearning pattern.  Life feels a little different having been through this particular spiritual vein, and I am ultimately grateful for the shift.  While grasping onto stories is still not as easy, they do feel rich and relevant. Lately, I’ve been in a primordial soup of happenings:

My home ashram has been steadily coming into fruition; there was an intense weekend with visiting Tantra teachers (Ran Baron and Monique Darling, with Edie Weinstein on Cuddle Party duties) and more and different events are in the works.  Friends have been around sunbathing, picnicking, and enjoying the space.  Some old friends seem to have left my life unequivocally, while others remain stuck in uncomfortable balance or misunderstanding.  Other old friends have been reappearing in wild, wonderful, wacky, sexy ways. There are stories to fill a volume or two in these changes alone. I’m startled at how physical I want daily life to be these days – I can groove on hours of yard work with pruning, hauling branches, mowing, then swimming or running or tennis or hiking – it’s nearly all I really want to do.  That is, if it weren’t for booking the upcoming tour, hopefully through D.C., Raleigh, Asheville, Atlanta, Miami, and back again.  Meanwhile I have kept an eye out to see if there’s any way in the universe I can get to the UK for Robin Gibb’s memorial service, and I have met online friends who get why this continues to mean so much to me. I was sad to learn that I will be in FL on the day of a plaque dedication, but there may be another time to gather.  I’ve been true to my promise to self to not let summer fun pass me by. Rocking out (well, blue grassing out, anyway) with The Mutant Mountain Boys in oppressively hot Southern Ohio on the 4th of July was a blast, as was rediscovering my love for the strangely wise absurdity of the Church of the SubGenius. I have had some joyful days at Gunnison Beach and a good peaceful time at this year’s Northeast Naturist Festival. Oh, and my friend LauraLynn Jansen and I are planning to co-lead a chant and yoga retreat in Nicaragua, January 2013.

At first, I thought it was ironic that the chant CD is on its way as I feel itchy for a full band, wanting so much to step back into the role of rocker chick.  Really, it’s just typical artist stuff, I think. Project done and my being is moving onto the next, to be painted in singer/songwriter/rock sounds and maybe some spoken word. I do ultimately trust that when it’s time to be in the midst of any of these expressions, I’ll show up and be present. I hope This… and everything else together will tell more of the story as an exploration of life – or at least as extrapolated from this particular life – in something close to 360o.


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.
No Beatlemania.
The Who had yet to bear witness to death in Cincinnati.

Doors open.
In seconds, it is
a human autoclave,
heat, pressure
teenage giggle-screams,
full circles around us, we are
blanketed by panic
and passion
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.

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