advent playlist

Confession – I don’t really like Christmas songs.  Yes, there was an altercation (read: throw-down) with Leon after a carol game at last year’s Red River Staff conference.  And then when I was a kid, my sister and I decided to sing all the Christmas carols we knew in the car… in July.

I’ll have to think more about why I don’t like Christmas songs… but suffice it to say I don’t make Christmas playlists.  But I decided to make an Advent playlist – sorta inspired by this Dietrich Bonhoeffer quote about Advent and prison (and he would certainly know).

“A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes, does various unessential things, and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent.”   (November 21, 1943)

1. The Laugh of Recognition – Over the Rhine‘c’mon boys it’s time to let it go // everybody has a dream that they will never own… it’s called the laugh of recognition when you laugh but you feel like dyin”

2. Bitterness Hotel – Martha’s Trouble ‘well i don’t know how I got here, it’s not where I want to be’ (a lovely band I met in college – they moved from Houston to Birmingham)

3. Long Lost Brother – Over the Rhine ‘I thought that we’d be further along by now // I can’t remember how I stumbled to this place’

4. Only God Can Save Us Now – Over the Rhine ‘who will save me from myself and the night’

5. Remembrance – Balmorhea my favorite hometown band – I especially love 2:20-4:00 here.

6. The Waiting Room – Sixpence ‘when will it happen, baby? // it could be near, but then maybe it could be far // here we are in the waiting room of the world’

7.The Cure for Pain – Jon Foreman – ‘I’m not sure why it always goes downhill, why broken cisterns never could stay filled’

8. Some Peace Tonight – Martha’s Trouble ‘Let me run and hide from the fear that is in me // My head is spinning and I need some peace tonight’

9. First Breath After Coma – Explosions in the Sky 3:20-4:20 is a great section, but for this playlist, the 4:20-5:30 is right on, and then the melody at 5:30 always sounds a little like ‘o come let us adore him’ to me…

10. Windmills – Mutual Admiration Society (orig. by Toad the Wet Sprocket) ‘there’s something that you won’t show, waiting where the light goes // and anyway the wind blows, it’s all worth waiting for’

11. The Revolution Choir – Alex Dupree and the Trapdoor Band there is a land it is full of giants // but do not lose step and do not be frightened // cuz there is a great fire, it came from the mountains // we wait in the watchtower, just tryin’ to keep it lit //it cannot be too much longer’ (I miss singing this with my Mosaic family.)

12. All is Full of Love – Death Cab for Cutie (orig. by Bjork) ‘you’ll be given love, you’ll be taken care of… you have to trust it’

13. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize – Mavis Staples‘got my hand on the freedom plow, wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now // keep your eyes on the prize, hold on’

14. Travelin’ Thru – Dolly Parton ‘Oh sometimes the road is rugged, and it’s hard to travel on // But holdin’ to each other, we don’t have to walk alone …//  oh sweet Jesus if you’re listenin’ keep me ever close to you // As I’m stumblin’ tumblin’ wonderin’ as I’m travelin’ thru

15. Tension is a Passing Note – Sixpence but tension is to be loved // when it is like a passing note // to a beautiful beautiful chord’

16. God Believes in You – Jill Phillips (orig. by Pierce Pettis) ‘when you swear you don’t believe in him // God believes in you… blessed are the ones who grieve // the ones who mourn and the ones who bleed // in sorrow you sow, but in joy you’ll reap’

17. Brave – Miranda Stone

18. Up to the Mountain (MLK song) – Patty Griffin ‘Then I hear your sweet voice, oh // Oh, come and then go, come and then go //Telling me softly You love me so’

now playing:  see above! 🙂

P.S.  Over the Rhine’s new album The Long Surrender was my soundtrack for a little photographic walk today.  I guess you can see the influence.  Here’s a picture from today.

these are the the flowers in my neighborhood

winter in my neighborhood


6 thoughts on “advent playlist

  1. juliana

    now i have purchasing desire. hmmmm.

    i made an advent mix lots of years ago, but i remember feeling like only about half the songs were really waiting-oriented — so it’s neat that you could find a whole mix that fit.

    in the last few years, i have started to like some of the hymn-y christmas songs. this year i sang in the choir for our church’s xmas concert (a fancy-music sort of affair with an orchestra), and i was really struck by a few lines: “he fills the world with grace and truth”, “no more let sin and sorrow grow, nor thorns infest the ground, he comes to make his blessings flow far as the curse is found”. “mild he lays his glory by.” “christ by highest heaven adored,” and “late in time behold him come”.

    i also really like a some of the songs on andrew peterson’s “behold the lamb of god” — it’s my main advent/xmas-themed listening, the last few years. maybe i really just like “labor of love” and “gather ’round, ye children, come”, but enjoy the other songs enough to listen to the whole thing. and it doesn’t sound like xmas music, mostly, which is nice.

  2. sabrinachannel Post author

    i’ll have to check out the andrew peterson… and i forgot to mention that i have been listening to the sufjan stevens christmas albums a little bit. i like ‘star of wonder’ a lot.

  3. sabrinachannel Post author

    Hmm, jingles – yes, I think that’s definitely part of why I have a hard time with Christmas carols – they have been so overdone that perhaps they’ve lost their meaning for me. I wish that weren’t true, but maybe that’s why it’s helpful to have newer stuff too.

  4. melinda m

    Hi –
    um.. i don’t know you but based on lots of the posts on here we have a lot of things in common. I was just living in China for three months… and while I am not Asian, I am American but I live in Australia. I am a christian and work with YWAM here in Aus. The thing that drew me to this site was your video link of Only God can save us now and I am a huge OTR fan. Plus then I read your Advent songs and thought that it was a pretty great list. Anyway… thanks to the internet, I can comment on your site and if you think that’s weird.. well it kinda is i guess. I also attend Intervarsity’s Urbana missions conference and so there is another link. But i think if we met in person, we’d be friends. For whatever that is worth. um.. so ya. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I hope you are blessed in 2011.

    Melinda (these are the people i work with)


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