Thursday, December 27, 2012

Atheists Don't Have No Songs by Dale Robinson

Atheists Don’t Have No Songs

Dale Robinson

Christmas in Lexington. It’s only the third time in thirty-three years that we haven’t spent the holidays in Albuquerque.  We didn’t romance Sadie’s, our favorite Mexican restaurant. Nor did we spend a day skiing just outside Santa Fe. But we did spend quality time with our sons Keith (and girlfriend, Jasmine) and Bryce (and wife, Christina), Mike (my brother), and Dana’s dad, two brothers and their families. Eighteen adults, one child and three dogs in one house—let’s just say there was never a dull moment.


Besides lots of eating (and all the tasks that requires), we enjoyed a myriad of activities, most of which revolved around stories.  Our meals were spent sharing stories (usually humorous).   We attended a Christmas Eve service, which told the story of Jesus’ birth from the perspective of the shepherds and how God sought those who were not seeking him. On Christmas Day, we went to see Les Misérables.  Victor Hugo’s tale is a personal favorite, and despite the context of misery and pain, it tells a remarkable message of love and redemption.


Later that evening, many of us played Phase Ten while Dana’s brother entertained us with some tunes he has recently purchased. He had a particular song that he wanted to play for me, Atheists Don’t Have No Songs, from Steve Martin’s “Rare Bird Alert” album. Martin is an accomplished banjo player, but on this song, he reverts to his comedic nature. The first two stanzas go like this: 


Christians have their hymns and pages.
Hava Nagila's for the Jews.
Baptists have the rock of ages.
Atheists just sing the blues.

Romantics play Claire de Lune.
Born agains sing He is risen.
But no one ever wrote a tune.
For godless existentialism.

As I reflect on the past few days, I am thankful for the stories of family, faith and unconditional love that give us a reason to sing, despite life’s difficulties. Christmas in Lexington was our first Christmas without either of our mothers, and the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. We’re continuing to write our story, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.



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