An Inspirational Short Story For Mothers Day
A man stopped at a flower shop to order some flowers to be wired to his mother who lived two hundred miles away. As he got out of his car he noticed a young girl sitting on the curb sobbing. He asked her what was wrong and she replied, “I wanted to buy a red rose for my mother. But I only have seventy-five cents, and a rose costs two dollars.”
The man smiled and said, “Come on in with me. I’ll buy you a rose.” He bought the little girl her rose and ordered his own mother’s flowers. As they were leaving he offered the girl a ride home. She said, “Yes, please! You can take me to my mother.” She directed him to a cemetery, where she placed the rose on a freshly dug grave.
The man returned to the flower shop, canceled the wire order, picked up a bouquet and drove the two hundred miles to his mother’s house.
Jack Blanchard’s Column: Being Alive
For some people the world changes so slowly they hardly notice it.
Things happen on a small familiar set, like a stage play.
For others of us,
our horizons have grown so far apart it’s hard to get our bearings.
If I ever do get back to my old neighborhood
I’m sure I’ll run into a guy I used to know
for whom nothing much has changed.
Reality is fluid. The scenery of life changes constantly.
There is only one thing we can depend on,
and that’s the thing we fear most: Change.
Relationships change, that’s for sure.
If we’re lucky they change into something better…
different, but better.
Misty is my full time family.
After all these years we still have lots to talk about,
and we make each other laugh..
Our occasional arguments last only minutes.
We were in a bad hurricane in Miami in the 60’s
The metal posts holding our carport were banging up and down
in the 135 mph wind.
A guy on the radio yelled “Holy crap! The back door just blew off!”
I said, “Isn’t he supposed to cheer US up?”
I was sitting by the window listening to the sound of emptiness.
This is not like listening to no sound at all,
because the sound of emptiness contains
all the things you hoped would be in it,
and all the sounds that once were.
ROGER MILLER. Roger Miller walked in on our session at Columbia.
I stopped everything and went to meet him.
I put my hand out and was going to say “I’m a fan of yours.”
Before I could, he said “I’m a fan of yours.”
A high spot of my life.
My grammar school was pretty strict,
but they gave us education on par with today’s colleges.
In seventh and eighth grades all us boys had to wear ties.
The result was grotesque but funny.
The most popular style was this:
A blue flannel checkered lumberjack shirt
and a bright red rayon clip-on tie with a picture of Popeye on it.
Make the days a little longer.
I don’t know where the time has flown.
Lord, I’m having such a good time,
I don’t want to go home.
“Auld Lang Syne”: what does it mean?
Why do we sing it on New Year’s Eve, and what language is it?
This New Year’s Eve, it is almost inevitable that you will hear (and possibly try to sing) “Auld Lang Syne,” a song whose melody is synonymous with the new year (and the theme of change more broadly) in the English-speaking world, despite nearly incomprehensible syntax and vocabulary. The problem is that the text on which the song is based isn’t in English at all — it’s 18th-century Scots, a similar but distinct language responsible for lyrics in the song such as “We twa hae run about the braes / and pou’d the gowans fine” that are utterly incomprehensible to Americans.
But the story of how an 18th-century Scottish ballad became synonymous with the new year is tangled, involving both Calvinist theology’s traditional aversion to Christmas and the uniquely central role that watching television plays in American New Year’s celebrations. Bridging the gap is a once-famous, now-forgotten Canadian big band leader who for decades defined New Year’s Eve and transformed a Scottish folk custom into a global phenomenon.
“Should old acquaintance be forgot?” is a rhetorical question
As immortalized in When Harry Met Sally, a casual listener to the song is likely to be confused as to what the central opening lyric means:
The answer is that it’s a rhetorical question. The speaker is asking whether old friends should be forgotten, as a way of stating that obviously one should not forget one’s old friends. The version of the song we sing today is based on a poem published by Robert Burns, which he attributed to “an old man’s singing,” noting that it was a traditional Scottish song. Fundamentally similar songs and poems existed in other forms in 18th-century Scotland. This 1711 printing by James Watson reveals the rhetorical nature of the question very clearly:
Should Old Acquaintance be forgot,
and never thought upon;
The flames of Love extinguished,
and fully past and gone:
Is thy sweet Heart now grown so cold,
that loving Breast of thine;
That thou canst never once reflect
On old long syne?
We have here a series of rhetorical questions, all amounting to the point that unless you are completely dead inside, you should be able to appreciate the virtues of reconnecting with old friends and thinking about old times.
What is the meaning of “Auld Lang Syne?”
Americans are aware that Scottish people speak English with a distinctive accent, and may also be aware of the existence of a language called Scottish Gaelic that is related to Irish and Welsh and is rarely spoken. But there is also what is known as the Scots language, which has clear similarities to English without truly being intelligible to English speakers — in much the way that Italian and Spanish are similar, but distinct, languages.
The difference, of course, is that for hundreds of years now there has been no independent Scottish state to standardize and promote Scots as a formal language distinct from Scottish-accented English. Much of Irvine Welsh’s novel Trainspotting is written in Scots, and this lecture in Scots about Scots should give you a sense of its relationship to English:
The point is that the phrase “auld lang syne” is not recognizable to English speakers because it is not an English phrase. Translated literally it means “old long since,” but the meaning is more like “old times” or “the olden days.”
It happens to be the case that the phrase “should auld [i.e., old] acquaintance be forgot” is verysimilar in both English and Scots. And since conventionally only the first verse and the chorus are sung, the difference between the languages is not very salient except for the unfamiliar titular phrase. But if you delve into the later verses, it becomes clear that the song is not in English. Here’s the second verse, for example:
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stoup!
and surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
Ye’ll be your pint-stoup? What?
When Harry Met Sally is right: It’s about old friends
As Meg Ryan’s character Sally says in the movie, this is a song about old friends.
The lyrics to the later verses, when translated into English, make this perfectly clear. The “pint-stoup” business is essentially saying, “Surely you’ll buy a pint and I’ll buy a pint and we’ll drink to the good old days.” In the next verse we hear about how “We two have run about the slopes / and picked the daisies fine.”
Old friends who haven’t seen each other in a while are meeting up again, having a drink, and reminiscing. If this were a song that you normally listened to in a quiet room at full length in English when sober, there would be no confusion. Since that’s basically the opposite of a New Year’s Eve party, which is when you usually hear the song, there is a lot of confusion. But the song itself is not especially complicated.
New Year’s is a big deal in Scotland
One reason a random Scottish folk song has come to be synonymous with the new year is that New Year’s celebrations (known as Hogmanay) loom unusually large in Scottish folk culture — so much so that Scotland’s official website has a whole Hogmanay section, which notes that, “Historically, Christmas was not observed as a festival and Hogmanay was the more traditional celebration in Scotland.”
That’s because the Scottish Reformation brought to power followers of a Calvinist branch of Protestant Christianity known as Presbyterians who didn’t really care for Christmas. Indeed, in 1640 the Scottish parliament went so far as to abolish Christmas vacation “and all observation thairof,” citing its roots in “superstitious observatione.” When theologically similar Puritans briefly ruled England as a result of the English Civil War, they also attempted to suppress all Christmas celebration. But Presbyterianism put down deeper roots in Scotland, leading Hogmanay to displace Christmas as the number one midwinter celebration.
Everyone likes a good party, and the end of one year and the beginning of the next seems like as good a thing to celebrate as anything else, so Scottish-inflected New Year’s celebrations — including the sentimental and appealingly nonspecific “Auld Lang Syne” — came naturally to the English-speaking world.
Canadian band leader Guy Lombardo made “Auld Lang Syne” an institution
From 1929 until 1976, first on radio and then on television, Americans tuned in to the New Year’s Eve broadcast by Guy Lombardo and the Royal Canadians, a big band act led by Lombardo, a Canadian whose parents immigrated from Italy. By the mid-70s, Lombardo’s broadcasts began to face serious competition from Dick Clark’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” which was positioned to attract younger viewers and emphasized the rock element to contrast with the Royal Canadians’ big band tunes. But for decades, Lombardo owned December 31 — even earning the nickname “Mr. New Year’s Eve” — and every single year he played “Auld Lang Syne” to ring in the new year.
Lombardo didn’t write the song or invent the tradition of playing it to celebrate the new year, but the unusual television-centricity of North American observation of the holiday meant that his decision to play “Auld Lang Syne” turned it from a tradition into the tradition. (It could be worse — in Sweden people celebrate Christmas by watching Donald Duck cartoons.)
Then because of the influence of American movies and television shows on pop culture all around the world, conventional depictions of people ringing in the new year to “Auld Lang Syne” were beamed into living rooms globally. An 18th-century Scottish ballad thus became a midcentury American television ritual, and from there became a worldwide phenomenon — even though almost nobody understands the song.
Jack Blanchard’s Column: Nothing Is Over Like Christmas
Nothing is over like Christmas.
Months of anticipation, and then it’s gone.
Try to hold on to it and it slides away like this morning’s dream.
People who tell us that it’s a pagan holiday,
just because it’s near the winter solstice,
may not realize what an intrusion that is upon our enjoyment.
We can each bring our own thoughts to the season,
and make it our personal non-pagan celebration.
It’s in the spirit of the beholder.
It’s hard to work up the spirit here in Florida,
but we give it a shot every year.
Misty decorates a tree,
and puts Christmas stuff all over the place.
We listen to Christmas music with the air conditioning on
and with palm trees lurking in the yard.
Television doesn’t help, with reports of all night sales,
talking heads urging us to be good consumers,
stranded travelers sleeping in airports,
and carolers singing “Happy Honda Days”.
I toss up futile prayers for snow here in the subtropics,
but this is the time of year
when we just get a cheap imitation of early autumn.
A couple of trees around here get a touch of red,
and I go look at them.
I get sentimental about Christmas,
probably because I had real Christmasy holidays years ago,
with folks who are no longer with us,
and my childish subconscious thinks it will happen again.
I think next year I’ll write a letter to Santa,
and ask him for one more snowfall in Buffalo,
where the night is silent, the homes are warm,
and Christmas is strong in the air.
Official 2018 AirplayExpress Top 40 Christmas Tunes
Biggest Christmas Tunes on AirplayExpress as Downloaded by DJ’s and Radio
These are the songs that were downloaded the most by Radio stations and Disc Jockeys from AirplayExpress this December for Radio Airplay And for adding to radio playlists for the same period. AirplayExpress thanks all the artists on the Top 40 for their support and faith in AirplayExpress. AirplayExpress is so proud that these artists allowed us to send their songs out to radio during this Christmas Season. See below if your song was chosen for the 2018 Top 40 Christmas songs on AirplayExpress this 2018.
To see how your song fared during the 12 weeks running up to the Top 40 visit the 2018 Top 40 page on AirplayExpress at this link; https://www.airplayexpress.com/top-40-christmas2018/
Jack Blanchard’s Column: A Winter Morning
By the time you read this it will not be current,
but I’m writing at the kitchen table on Christmas morning.
It’s a little chilly and the steam is swirling up from my coffee cup.
Carolers are singing softly and there are church bells.
I haven’t opened the curtains yet
but judging by the grayish light seeping through, it’s a winter day.
I haven’t heard any snow shovels, but it’s still early.
I think I’ll plug in the tree lights.
Even through the closed curtains
snow is visible in the corners of the windows.
Holly and candles add color to the room
and the silhouette of a Christmas wreath
can be seen at the front window.
As little as a couple of inches of overnight snowfall
can blow into deep white drifts,
so I feel around under the bed for my high top boots.
The ones with the knife pocket.
And I’d better get out my blue flannel shirt.
The checkered one.
That always feels good and warm on a winter’s morning
when the snow is squeaky cold.
We’d better hurry.
We’re due at Alan and Vivian’s house for Christmas dinner.
Funny, I can’t seem to find my high-tops,
or the flannel shirt,
or even my sheepskin mittens and earmuffs.
Grandma probably put them away somewhere.
I’ll ask her.
No, that’s right, I can’t ask her.
She’s not here. She’s been gone a long time.
Sometimes, especially at Christmas, I forget that.
I wonder what ever happened to those old winter clothes of mine.
Seems like I had ’em just the other day.
Or was it 20 years ago?
Got to go now, we’re late for dinner.
Don’t forget to turn off the tree lights and the air conditioner.
And, oh yes, the stereo Christmas music.
As I step out the door, Christmas presents under each arm,
the white glare makes my eyes water.
It could be snow. It really could!
But I feel the coral rock under my feet
as I step down from our motor home
and I hear the waves slapping against the shore a few feet to my left.
I wonder if they’re having snow up home.
Jack Blanchard’s Column: Follow The Bouncin’ Ball
FOLLOW THE BOUNCIN’ BALL.
Got no reason, Got no rhyme.
Kickin’ a can down the road o’ time.
Follow the Bouncin’ Ball, Sing an old song.
I don’t mind if you tag along.
Saturday matinee, give away a funny book, free of charge.
Also a CrackerJack.
Read “Red Ryder”, “Little Beaver”.
Trade it for a Dizzy Dean baseball card.
Down to the roundhouse, Look at the trains.
Up on the rooftop, spottin’ airplanes.
Follow the Bouncin’ Ball, Sing and old song.
I don’t mind if you tag along.
(Words & music by Jack Blanchard.)
“Rhonnie Scheuerman’s Christmas Time Inspiration For All In Need This Morning”
Your Daily Devotions for The Day Before Christmas
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts
Here are two more reasons why spending time alone with God each day is important:
1) To take spiritual inventory of your life. David prayed, ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting’ (vv. 23-24). Note the words ‘anxious thoughts’ and ‘offensive way’. These are things you start to take stock of when you are in God’s presence. For example, are you growing daily in your spiritual walk? Are you allowing unconfessed sins to pile up in your life? How about your attitudes? In order to see yourself from God’s point of view, you have to face these questions in His presence and answer them honestly.
2) To commit each day to the Lord. The writer of Proverbs said,‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths’ (Proverbs 3:5-6). Share your schedule with God, ask Him to guide you in your daily activities and alter them as needed. Ask Him to help you manage your time better so you can get more done (Psalms 90:12). Ask Him to help you distinguish between what’s truly important and what isn’t (1 Corinthians 10:23). Every day of your life you’ll have to deal with two things: problems and opportunities. And God will give you the right perspective and approach to handle both. You’ll be amazed how much more effective and efficient you are when you’ve spent time with Him.
search me Lord and reveal my heart and heal me. In Jesus’ Name
A PAIR OF CHRISTMAS SHOES.
A long time ago Misty and I took a holiday season job in a Miami
department store in a poor neighborhood.
She was the photographer who snapped and sold the pictures of the
children on Santa’s lap. I was Santa.
The Santa suit and the whiskers were hot,
but it was an unforgettable experience.
Little poor kids would tell me their dreams,
which I knew could not come true for them, at least this year,
but they had faith in Santa,
and even a “maybe” from me made their eyes sparkle.
Somehow, I felt guilty.
One little boy asked me how come Santa Claus is white.
I told him I hoped he wouldn’t hold that against me,
and he assured me he wouldn’t.
There were always a few raggedy strays
wandering around the toy department,
giggling and touching all the magical things
that would soon belong to someone else.
Some of them laughed and pointed at me, but never came too close.
Others showed off to their pals by climbing right up on my lap,
as if they weren’t scared at all.
One little girl, dressed in filthy rags, was too small to climb up on my knee,
so I lifted her up. She weighed nothing.
I wondered if she was old enough to talk, as she just smiled at me.
Obviously, she was alone and uncared-for.
I asked her where her mommy and daddy were and she said, “Drunk”.
Then she confessed her love for me.
I asked her what she really wanted most for Christmas,
and she lisped, “New shoes”.
She wasn’t wearing any this winter.
“Merry Christmas! Ho-Ho -Ho”, I choked,
as she climbed down to be replaced by the next in line.
When business tapered off I searched the whole store for the little girl,
to buy her a pair of new shoes, but I was too late.
She had disappeared and I never saw her again,
except in my mind every Christmas.
Listen To 10 Perfect Country Christmas Party Songs
Drinks, snacks, mistletoe and music … that’s pretty much all you need for a great Christmas party. Country stars have been providing the soundtrack to gatherings nationwide for decades, but if you’re a little lost on where to begin with songs to play at your Christmas party this year, we’ve put together this playlist of the 10 Best Christmas Party Songs.
Not all of these cuts are upbeat and merry; one or two might be best saved for the end of the night, when it’s just you and that special guest left amongst the candlelight, empty cups and dirty dishes. Luke Bryan, Taylor Swift and Garth Brooks each have a song included, and the top spot on our Christmas party songs list goes to a song we all know (though few can name the artist).
“Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy”
Garth Brooks is sure to get any Christmas party going with his sampling of Buck Owens’ Bakersfield sound. Brooks has sold over three million copies of the Beyond the Season album, one of two he put out during his career. This fast-paced country-rocker is perfect for a get together with adult friends, and just right to kick off this list of the Top 10 Christmas Party Songs.
Brooks and Dunn
Brooks and Dunn‘s version of this classic is lively and spirited, perfect for your Christmas party. The slower, more poignant songs have their place during the holidays, but when it’s time to have fun, we want the thrills of Kix Brooks‘ guitar and Ronnie Dunn‘s vocals. “Winter Wonderland” can be found on the duo’s 2002 album It Won’t Be Christmas Without You.
“Jingle Bell Rock”
Dozens of artists — George Strait and Eddie Rabbit, to name two — have released their own recordings of this 1957 hit, but Helms’ original still stands alone as the most endearing version, earning him a spot on our 10 Best Christmas Party Songs list. Everyone knows the words, and after a few glasses of eggnog, revelers should be singing along together — for better or worse. “Jingle Bell Rock” was a Top 20 hit for Helms.
While it’s nice to assume that everyone at your party will be crazy for country music, a few may enjoy hearing a pop cover. Taylor Swift‘s version of George Michael’s “Last Christmas” should more than suffice. It’s one of the best country Christmas songs since 2000; the EP it was featured on sold almost one million copies. The singer proves that even during a Christmas celebration, sadness and regret can sound sweet. In addition to making this list of the 10 Best Christmas Party Songs, “Last Christmas” was included on our list of the Top 10 Traditional Christmas Songs.
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
Lady Antebellum were practically built to sing songs like this. The steamy interplay between Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott is messaged beautifully on “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” The No. 6 song on our list of 10 Best Christmas Party Songs is one you may want to save until it’s just you and that one special guest who seems to be lingering around a little longer than the rest. “I’ll just help you clean up?” Sure, we’ve heard that line before.
“Let It Be Christmas”
Alan Jackson‘s hit topped our list of the 10 Best Original Christmas Songs, and would rank higher on the list of the Top 10 Christmas Party Songs, but it falls more under the category of songs you want to play on Christmas morning with the family rather than a few nights before when there’s a line to stand under the mistletoe. Still, it’s one your country music loving friends and family will want to hear at your get together. Find this song on Jackson’s Let It Be Christmas album from 2002.
“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”
Brenda Lee was hardly a teenager when she recorded this song in the late ’50s. Even though more contemporary artists like Toby Keith and LeAnn Rimes have taken a turn at reinventing it, the original has persevered and earned a place on our Top 10 Christmas Party Songs list. Lee’s label originally released this song as a pop song, but country radio stations have since kidnapped it.
Kellie Pickler‘s addition to this list of the 10 Best Christmas Party songs is one for the women. It’s doubtful you’ll find a bunch of cowboys singing along to “Santa Baby” (unless they’ve had way too much spiced eggnog), but the ladies may want to do their best impression of Pickler’s recreation of this Eartha Kitt classic. The North Carolina born cutie isn’t a diva, but she sure acts like one on this song, and we love her for it.
“Run, Run Rudolph”
Dozens of artists have covered this Chuck Berry original, but few have played “Run, Run Rudolph” with as much energy as Luke Bryan. He recorded this song in 2008, and it cracked the country Billboard charts. The singer stays true to the original, only allowing his Georgia twang to set his version apart from the others.
This is the most played Christmas song on country radio, making it an easy choice for No. 1 on the Top 10 Christmas Party Songs list. But that’s not the only reason it’s here. It’s charted multiple times since its 1989 release. Lisa Layne (not Vince Vance) is the lead singer, and her straightforward rendition of the holiday love song makes it one people look forward to hearing. Perhaps it’s that few people have covered this version of the song that allows “All I Want for Christmas Is You” to remain so dear to Christmas revelers. Unlike traditional songs like “Jingle Bells” and “White Christmas,” we have no reason to grow tired of it.