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about

“Chi Xmas” is a Christmas song for our times, meant to honor the holiday while wrestling openly with many deep ironies surrounding it in 2017. While nativity scenes and traditional carols recount the story of a poor couple seeking refuge, the humble birth of a savior, and the beginning of “peace on earth and goodwill towards men,” today’s homeless refugees wander the streets of our cities in search of protection from the elements; police continue to terrorize Black, brown, and working class people across the country; and governments around the world prepare for more endless war. “Chi Xmas,” written two years ago and now professionally recorded with full instrumentation, offers itself both to the tradition of modern Christmas music and modern “anti-Christmas” music, as it challenges listeners who cherish the story and spirit of Christmas to reflect honestly on its meaning today.

lyrics

It was a warm December due to global warming
I was grateful for the weather as the crowd was forming
outside the CPD station, the same place we had been
the year before, and we’re still in this war,
meanwhile Mr. Trump is sayin “Ban all Muslims!”
while we keep dropping bombs in the name of our customs
and on the church it reads, for everyone to see:
“Merry Christmas! Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All!”

Snow falls,
and the city’s pretty
but the homeless crawl out in the
cold. behold:
a baby born and there’s no room for it to be warm
rose, thorn,
though scorned
blessed in spirit are the poor
for yours
is the Kingdom of God

and all the people of the world are divided
you know they shot Laquan and then they tried to hide it
that’s why we gathered there, to say Assata’s prayer
and say it with our feet, as we stood up for peace
we celebrated Christmas with our fists held high up
for prisoners and hunger strikers on their Dyett
while Reverend Pinkney sat in isolation at
his prison in Coldwater, not so far away

today,
there’s a child in need of care
whose parents can’t afford to
pay. today
there’s a baby born to a mother living on a street
with no means
to eat
Jesus said blessed are the meek
for we
shall inherit the Earth

Why’s the world so mean?
Why are words so cheap?
Why’s the air we breathe
Neither pure nor free?
Not for you or me
Does it have to be?
what if we could dream
another world of peace
Why’s mankind so slow
how much more to go?
& do I dare believe
the kingdom lives in me?
abundant planet earth
humanity’s rebirth
this is what we deserve
this is what life is worth

…can you imagine bein a shepherd
shakin, angels singin
low: behold:
a savior born in a manger, go there now and see
and believe
then teach
blessed are makers of peace
for we
are the children of God

credits

released December 19, 2017
Adam Gottlieb (composer, guitar, vocals)
David Cowen (cello)
Tony Mest (drums, percussion)
Vickie Pang (keys)
Noah Silver-Mathews (bass)
Recorded and Engineered by Anthony Beck (Audio Warrior Productions)
Album Artwork by Andy Willis

With special thanks to Shinobu Sato for help with the arrangement

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Adam Gottlieb & OneLove Chicago, Illinois

Adam Gottlieb & OneLove weave together strands of Folk, Funk, Blues, Rock, Hip Hop, Reggae, Jazz and more. With songs directly inspired by the gathering movement for a new world, we offer our songs as a contribution to the soundtrack of our revolution.

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