The “Alfred Burt Carols” are a marvelous collection of fifteen Christmas songs. They were written by Alfred S. Burt from 1942 and 1954 and annually distributed to friends as Christmas Cards. After learning about them in high school choir, my buddy Dave and I decided we would follow suit. We each wrote a little ditty, hand-copied ten or twelve copies, and mailed them out, vowing to continue to do so every year hence. I’ve lost touch with Dave, but I know I haven’t done it again since.
This autumn, as I worked on my new holiday yard sign, I thought about that Christmas and how much things have changed over those 40some years. I thought about all the Christmas card tunes I never wrote. And I asked myself what I would wish for if I could have one Christmas wish come true.
Of course, the thing I decided I would wish for could never come true, and that should disqualify it from being wished for – right? Why wish for something that can never come true? And the answer just seemed so obvious: Because it can never come true if you don’t wish for it.
So here is my Christmas wish to America. It is a little corny and in one spot it belies my barbershop musical roots, but it is Christmassy. It is not as witty or as melodious or as timeless as any of the Alfred Burt carols and I do not compare my musical wish to his carols. But the sentiment is just as sincere. I offer it because it can never come true if we don’t wish for it.
– REENO – A graduate of Portland State University, Steve Kloser is the author of Beginning Band – A Guide to Success. Accomplished teacher, conductor, composer web developer, Packers Fan, and Proud American, Reeno’s usually slanted outlook often presents an unlikely perspective on old and new. He currently lives on the Portland, OR area.