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Lyrics

 Christmas Eve on the Poor Side of Town


 
CHRISTMAS EVE on the POOR SIDE of TOWN
Bill Pere and the LUNCH Ensemble
 
THE CHRISTMAS EVE TRILOGY:
I: The Crib in the Creche
II Christmas Eve, Silent Night
III The Way of the Waif
 
The Crib in the Creche  (A Prayer From Me)
words and music by Bill Pere

Their freezer is filled with a fine festive feast
While outside the church window I stare
This Christmas Eve chill is pushin' twenty below
My legs just can't carry me there...
Been an hour or two since I last felt my feet
I won't last this night if I don't get inside
Three days with nothing to eat, and I don't know how long
Since I swallowed my pride

I hear someone say they feel warmth in their soul,
Makes me think about the hole in my shoe
If I fall on my knees, the rips in my clothes
Let the winter wind weave its way through...
Freezing winds disorient me
I search through my mind to recall how to pray
God, give me a hand or a light to lead me along
Please help me find your way
(Westward leading, still  proceeding, Guide us to Thy perfect light)

Doesn't anybody care for me?
Isn't anybody there to see?
Isn't there an answer somewhere for a prayer from me?

I'm tired of wasting this life that I have
I pray for a new chance to live
I never thought much 'bout what angels did say
I'm told if I ask, you'll forgive
A swill from a bottle can't drown out my pain
Like the swell from that choir now drowns out my yell
I just can't compete with the sound of sopranos in song
On that high note Noel
(The First Noel, the Angels say, Noel , Noel, Noel, Noel...)

I see as they sing how their spirits just soar
But the spirits I've poured into me
Have made me so sore and so weak and so cold
That its opened my eyes wide to see
With my last ounce of strength I cast up a stone
But they can't hear the knock of the rock that I hurled
My arms are so weak and their voices just sing out so strong
About joy to the world
(Joy to the world,  the Lord has come...)


Doesn't anybody care for me?
Isn't anybody there to see?
Isn't there an answer somewhere for a prayer from me?

Through the haze on the glass I see someone pass by
But the silent night swallows my shout
I see plates piled with pastry and pies passed around
Just about then I pass out
God rest this lonely gentleman,
Let something ease this pain
If I am truly forsaken then please don't prolong
This final refrain
(Good tidings of comfort and joy...)

I dream Mother Mary is smiling at me,
Then the sights and the sounds start to mesh
I hear someone say how they found this poor soul
Collapsed on the crib in the creche...
Been an hour or two since I first felt the love
That you share with Your children, and they've shared with me
They've taken me in, made me feel like I belong
Now finally I see
(He who now will help the poor Shall himself find blessing)

Someone really cares for me.
Someone's always there to see.
You've given me an answer right here for a prayer from me.

Bill Pere. All Rights Reserved

 
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Christmas Eve, Silent Night
words and music by Bill Pere
 
Maria packs her bag, wipes her tears on her sleeve
Turns her back, leaves the house, it’s Christmas Eve
Her father has passed out, her mother’s passed away
Christmas Eve, just a day

For this child, this small candle flame
Crying “Love me”
Finding only pain
Christmas Eve, silent night

Joey owns the street, the street owns his soul
Dealing drugs these last two years, since he was twelve years old
This icy Christmas Eve wind stings him like a knife
Cold and hard, like the life

Of this child, this small candle flame
Crying “Love me”
Finding only pain
Christmas Eve, silent night

Maria stands and waits by the old churchyard gate
Dark and empty, Joey meets her, asks her “Why so late?”
She looks into his face, those eyes that never smiled
Tells him “The time has come. This night I’m going to have our child”

Joey’s face turns pale as the moon, He starts to run
“I could never love a daughter, never love a son
I could never give what I have never known
All my life, all alone,

Just a child, a small candle flame
Crying ‘Love me’
Finding only pain”
Christmas Eve, silent night

He runs into the church, the air is still, not a sound
The stained glass faces stare at him from all around
The sanctuary’s silence seems to touch his mind
Something soft, something strong, something kind...

Maria takes his hand, she lies back on the pew
Her breath is coming fast, she knows what to do
These ghetto children can’t afford a doctor’s care
But they know someone’s there

For their child, this new candle flame
Crying ‘Love me’
And the stars proclaim
Christmas Eve....

Once a child had been born; A gift from above
To teach us to care, to teach us to love

Maria packs her bag, wipes her tear on her sleeve
Looks at Joey hold their child, it’s Christmas Eve
Two children come to know that love is not a lie
Lift their heads to the sky,

Thank the Child,  that bright candle flame
Who says “I love you
When you know my name”
Christmas Eve, holy night
 
Bill Pere. All Rights Reserved


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The Way of the Waif
words and music by Bill Pere
 

Just a waif in tatters slowly patters down the empty street
December chill, misty raindrops fall at her feet
Plays her wooden flute all day for coins on Jay Street
Only two things her mother left her, music and love
When the evening's falling, the voice is calling and she's on her way

In this time of year, good cheer and merry , is a thing extraordinary
The urchin stops at every church in town
Sleeps on the steps with upturned collar
When she leaves, she leaves a dollar
And a note: "Keep the children warm and safe"
That's the way of the waif, the way of the waif

Never speaks to anyone, just the voice inside her mind
Memories of her mother's smile, her face soft and kind
Lived inside a cardboard box near Jay Street
Her mother played her wooden flute for coins every day
In December twilight, she'd slip out of sight, and give them away

In this time of year, good cheer and merry , is a thing extraordinary
The urchin stops at every church in town
Sleeps on the steps with upturned collar
When she leaves, she leaves a dollar
And a note: "Keep the children warm and safe"
That's the way of the waif, the way of the waif

People hurry by, they don't ask why, head out to the nearest mall
Don't understand her life, her world, the thoughts beneath her shawl
Sure as sunrise, she and her flute are there on Jay Street
Remembering the words her mother told her each day
She who sings and needs the fewest things is the richest of all

In this time of year, good cheer and merry , is a thing extraordinary
The urchin stops at every church in town
Sleeps on the steps with upturned collar
When she leaves, she leaves a dollar
And a note: "Keep the children warm and safe"
That's the way of the waif, the way of the waif
 

Bill Pere. All Rights Reserved

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Dear Santa

words and music by J. Manning and S. Vozzolo

Dear Santa, bring me peace on Earth, bring goodwill to men
Make every nation promise now to never fight again
Ring out the bells of Christmas joy for everyone to hear
Dear Santa, bring me peace on earth, that's all I want this year

Dear Santa, fill our hearts with love, show us how to care
There's so much you've given us, teach us how to share
And fill your sleigh with food for every hungry boy and girl
And find a place that's safe and warm for the homeless in the world

Dear Santa, will you show me how to love my fellow man
Help me find it in my heart to give all that I can
May the joy of Christmas morning wipe away each tear
Dear Santa, bring me peace on earth, that's all I want this year

Dear Santa, Bring me peace on Earth, bring goodwill to men
Make every nation promise now to never fight again
Ring out the bells of Christmas joy for everyone to hear
Dear Santa, bring me peace on earth, that's all I want this year
Dear Santa, bring me peace on earth, that's all I want this year
 

Vozz-MannMusic. All Rights Reserved
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

Ornament
words and music by Bill Pere


A star
In the night
Shining high
Shining bright

Like an ornament
A child was born it meant
No more lament in the world tonight
In the morn it meant
For the poor was sent
A new wonderment
With the stars ascent
Sound the horn present the good news

A star
On a tree
It's a gift
Meant for me

Like an ornament
A child was born it meant
No more lament in the world tonight
In the morn it meant
For the poor was sent
A new wonderment
With the stars ascent
Sound the horn present the good news
 

Bill Pere. All Rights Reserved
 


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
All is Calm, All is Bright
words and music by Kay Pere
 
We’re snuggled up together here
In the arms of an old rocking chair,
Where I hold you close and sing you to sleep,
You and your teddy bear.

The house has fallen silent
At the end of Christmas Day.
And the best gift of all is this time we’ll spend
As your slumber ship sails away.

As you travel off to a peaceful place
On a gentle rocking raft of angels’ wings,
I can see the future in your face
And understand the chance tomorrow brings.
All Is Calm, All Is Bright. Silent night...

I hear an angel sing, it seems
Her soft voice is filling the air.
And I’m drifting off to a land of dreams,
Me and my teddy bear.

There we’ll join the children
From near and distant lands,
Singing songs of hope for peace on earth,
In a circle, holding hands.

As I travel off to a peaceful place
On a gently rocking raft of angels’ wings,
Can you see the future I will face?
Please, help me stand through all tomorrow brings.
All Is Calm, All Is Bright. Silent night...

Heart and Spiral Music.  All Rights Reserved

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The Organ Grinder
words and music by Bill Pere

The cold wind blows the snow through the night
The organ grinder stands by the street light
All the people pass by, they wonder why
He doesn't play

He hears the call of distant bells
Only he knows the sad story it tells
The wind drowns out the chimes, he thinks back on happier times
As he turns away

A frozen teardrop falls to the ground
As his shadow lingers over that snow covered mound
Here he speaks softly to the one friend he knew
Saying 'I'll play for you'

On the street the people in their winter coats rush by
Wondering what presents their freinds can afford to buy
Oh how happy they will be tomorrow when they see
Their gifts under the tree

And the organ grinder gives himself to the night
He knows he's too old to put up a fight
And he sinks to the ground where he will lay in the snow he smiles, he knows
He and his friend can play...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Christmas Eve on the Poor Side of Town
words and music by Bill Pere
 
The tangle of the tinsel on the tiny Christmas tree
Somehow doesn't look quite like an angel's hair
The single stranded teardrop tracked across her tiny cheek
Splattered on the tattered dress she has to wear...

It's Christmas Eve on the poor side of town
Where tears are tears of joy, the tattered dress, a gown
There's never enough money, but there's love to go around...
No fancy toys, no designer jeans,
In their heart they know what Christmas really means

The woman waits and worries wondering how to tell her child
That Santa won't be stopping here tonight
Before she speaks, her daughter looks into her eyes and smiles
And says "I know you love me Mother, it's all right..."

It's Christmas Eve on the poor side of town
Where crumbling plaster walls can't keep good people down
There's never enough money, but there's love to go around...
They see the bright star in the night sky and they know,
They got their gift two thousand years ago
 
  Bill Pere. All Rights Reserved

 

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