Check Out Kirby Brown’s Solemn Reminder That The Holidays Aren’t Necessarily a Happy Time of Year For Everybody.
Welcome to Song of the Day, where we hip you to all the new local releases you should be caring about. By highlighting one new North Texas-sprung tune every week day, our hope is that you’ll find something new to love about the rich and abundant DFW music scene five days a week.
Kirby Brown – “Shepherd’s Lament.”
RIYL: To skip Christmas.
What else you should know: In stark opposition to the Magic Pilsner song we posted yesterday, this new, original holiday song by Dallas expat Kirby Brown doesn’t get caught up in the magic of the season. Not lost on Brown is the fact that holidays aren’t necessarily an especially happy or enchanting time for everyone.
For various reasons, be they money problems, the recent loss of a loved one, persecution or religious preferences, there’s not always cause for celebration just because the calendar flips to December. Often lost in the cannon of Christmas classics are the entries that thoughtfully lay out the other side of the coin.
“Every year around the holidays, it always crosses my mind that it’s not always ‘good news’ for everyone,” Brown says. “This time of the year can be isolating; it can bring into focus how alone you feel. In a season that has been co-opted by the tides of consumerism and an almost-required false sense of cheerfulness, it’s important to contemplate what’s going on beneath the surface for those among us who are struggling. The idea for this song came to me as a re-imagination of the nativity story itself, one in which we can be honest about the fact that the promise of the season sometimes doesn’t show up when we expect it to — but we keep watching and waiting, nonetheless.”
Even for all the bitterness and melancholy you’d expect with a description like that, a lingering sense of hope pervades nevertheless. And that, after all, may be the best gift any of us could expect to give or receive this year.
Lest it be forgotten, “Shepherd’s Lament” is simply a more holiday-specific means to convey the sentiments from his August-released Uncommon Prayer LP, fitting alongside the songs in that collection quite nicely. As he told Wide Open Country upon that release is that the LP’s title comes from his belief that songs akin to little prayers.
“What art wants to do for us is lift us out of the mundane,” he continues. “The regularity of our lives. It wants to give us an opportunity to experience the world around us from an elevated point of view.”
This one, in turn, reminds us to have an elevated perspective of the so-called holiday season, and a deeper awareness of the struggles of our neighbors.