I’m so happy Kate invited me here to talk about Christmas music. Who doesn’t love a good carol or hymn? The problem, of course, is picking just one, so sorry, Kate, I picked three. I figured that was pretty good considering how many I had to choose from.
When I was growing up, Mr. Pontini and the church choir would sing O Holy Night on Christmas Eve, and. . .well. . .wow. Turn it up loud and sing with everything you’ve got.
Do They Know it’s Christmas – such an amazing concept, song and event. Here we are, almost thirty years later, and I still cry every time Bono sings “tonight thank God it’s them instead of you.” If for some reason, you’ve never heard the song or seen the video, here’s the link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkP2LkWc6lc
Halleluja He is Born – anyone who’s listened to country music as long as I have will know and love this song. Sawyer Brown knows how to have fun when they sing, and this song, recorded with Mark Miller’s own church choir, is one of their best.
Of course, I haven’t even touched on Kenny & Dolly, Elvis, Anne Murray, Toby Keith, Springsteen, Vince Gill, George Strait, Bing Crosby. . .well, you see where I’m going with this. There’s just something about Christmas music, whether hymns or carols, that make the season what it is and makes our hearts a little happier, a little lighter.
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In the spirit of making our hearts a little lighter, I found this snippet from CHARMING JO where Levi Travers is getting his first good look at Joanna (Jo) McCaine in action.
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“Your Pa wouldn’t want this, Joey. You know how he felt about fencing in the land.”
Joanna’s face turned the deepest shade of red Levi had ever seen. Almost bordered on purple. She wrapped her fingers around her horse’s reins and turned to face her uncle.
“Yes, well, Pa’s not here anymore, is he? If he was, I wouldn’t be standing here in his clothes making decisions like this. And you wouldn’t be all in a tizzy because I had to go and hire someone like Travers.” She jerked her head toward Levi, sending her braid swishing from shoulder to shoulder.
If she wasn’t such a sight when she was mad, Levi might have been insulted.
“Jo.” Mac’s tone held more than just a little warning, but she stopped him with a raised hand.
Maybe the stories of Joanna McCaine were true – maybe she did rule with an iron fist. Because from the look falling over Mac’s face, this argument was long over. Mac McCaine didn’t lose arguments; it just wasn’t done. Yet there he stood, facing down his niece and losing – badly.
“He’s the only available body we can find to work and having him here will get you back where you belong – out from under foot and back with the herd.”
“But. . .”
“I’ve made my decision, Mac.” Then, as he’d seen her do earlier, Joanna mounted her horse in one graceful motion.
“Where are you going?” Mac asked, his voice still tight.
“Check on Clay. Put Travers to work and I’ll see you at supper. He can do Walt’s job until Chuck delivers the wire for the fence. Should be here in a couple days.”
She shot a final warning look at both of them before kneeing her animal forward. “Try not to kill each other while I’m gone.”
She rode off in the same direction as Clay while Levi stood watching her go.
“Is she always like that?” he asked, more to himself than Mac, since the only response he expected from Mac was a bullet between the eyes.
With a defeated sigh, Mac swiped the back of his hand over his mouth and shot a final glare at his niece’s back before turning to Levi. “You mean stubborn?”
“Yeah, but. . .”
“Yeah. . .”
Levi snickered. “There’s just something about her – what the hell is it?”
Mac jabbed a gloved finger at him. “You keep the hell away from her, Travers. She’ll have you for breakfast. And if she doesn’t, I will!” His voice lowered, but the warning remained. “Jo isn’t like other girls.”
Levi chuckled. “I noticed.”
“Well stop noticing! That there’s one woman you’d do well to leave alone.” Mac spat on the ground and turned toward the barn, mumbling to himself. “Don’t know why I let her grind me - she’s never gonna change.”
A low whistle escaped Levi’s lips. “Why would you want her to?”
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Thanks again, Kate, for inviting me here today. To celebrate Christmas and the fabulous music it brings, I’ll be giving away a free copy of Charming Jo (paper or ebook) to one random commenter. I hope you all have a safe and joyous season and that the New Year brings us all peace and a greater love for the world over.