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Dar Williams The Christians and the Pagans Lyrics

Last updated: 11/14/2013 05:29:25 AM

Amber called her uncle, said "We're up here for the holiday,
Jane and I were having Solstice, now we need a place to stay."
And her Christ-loving uncle watched his wife hang Mary on a tree,
He watched his son hang candy canes all made with red dye number three.
He told his niece, "It's Christmas Eve, I know our life is not your style,"
She said, "Christmas is like Solstice, and we miss you and its been awhile,"

So the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table,
Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able,
And just before the meal was served, hands were held and prayers were said,
Sending hope for peace on earth to all their gods and goddesses.

The food was great, the tree plugged in, the meal had gone without a hitch,
Till Timmy turned to Amber and said, "Is it true that you're a witch?"
His mom jumped up and said, "The pies are burning," and she hit the kitchen,
And it was Jane who spoke, she said, "It's true, your cousin's not a Christian,"
"But we love trees, we love the snow, the friends we have, the world we share,
And you find magic from your God, and we find magic everywhere."

So the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table,
Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able,
And where does magic come from? I think magic's in the learning,
'Cause now when Christians sit with Pagans only pumpkin pies are burning.

When Amber tried to do the dishes, her aunt said, "Really, no, don't bother."
Amber's uncle saw how Amber looked like Tim and like her father.
He thought about his brother, how they hadn't spoken in a year,
He thought he'd call him up and say, "It's Christmas and your daughter's here."
He thought of fathers, sons and brothers, saw his own son tug his sleeve, saying,
"Can I be a Pagan?" Dad said, "We'll discuss it when they leave."

So the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table,
Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able,
Lighting trees in darkness, learning new ways from the old, and
Making sense of history and drawing warmth out of the cold.

Thanks to Kricker for submitting The Christians and the Pagans Lyrics.

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Tolerance vs. Acceptance | Reviewer: Jack | 11/14/13

First, the song is spectacularly well-written, clever, and a very good way. It was the song that instantly made me a DarHead 17 years ago.

The best end case scenario in this religious debate fueled by the song will be when all beliefs can come together amicably "at the table". Unfortunately, I've always had a bit of discomfort with the mantra of "tolerance" that's thrown around so readily. Though the use of the word tolerent is by definition correct, moving from tolerance to acceptance, and tearing down the walls that still are present frequently in a tolerant environment, will be a time to truly celebrate.

Family Dinners | Reviewer: VPowell | 11/1/13

My brothers and I were raised Catholic by my parents, who come from long lines of Catholic believers. My oldest brother is a Wiccan and I'm a Druid. Christmas is quite the interesting event every year, what with my mother pretending we're Catholic, my brother's girlfriend juggling houses because her family's Catholic and she's a Wiccan, my older brother making bush worshiping comments, my father saying he's going to start worshiping Thor so he can sacrifice a goat, and my brother and I discussing what we've learned this year. Take into account I'm a vegetarian, the males all love meat, my mother doesn't care for animal flesh, and my brother's girlfriend dietary restrictions because of surgery... Dinner is a fascinating chaos from food to discussions that fall way into the inappropriate topics, keeping the cats off the table, and making sure the dogs don't fight.

Yet, in the end, all that matters is we're all together. At the end of the day we sit around the table, talk about what we've done over the year, the funny stories, our miseries, and what we hope happens in the future. The one thing we can all agree on, however, is that the desserts are always well made, and the children have to clean up the dishes.

This song made me cry a little, because this is almost exactly what my family is like and I miss them a lot.

Witches | Reviewer: Charles | 3/13/13

The one person I know who is indeed a Pagan Witch is one of the very giving, wise, tolerant, thoughtful, knowledgable, loving family oriented and spiritual people I am blessed to know. Some of the comments here suggest unfamiliarity with good contemporary witches. At this time I think of witches as including people deeply immersed in a complex religion I do not fully understand, not at all evil in spirit.

Response to tolerant | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/18/13

You might argue that the line about "only pumpkin pies are burning" is a slight against Christians, and that that line makes the song intolerant; it's hard to argue that Christians don't have one of the worst track records when it comes to intolerance, and outright brutality (e.g. The Crusades, The Inquisition, The Salem Witch Trials, etc.)

Personally, I have no problem with Christians who practice what Christ actually taught. It's the make believe Christains who preach hate and intolerance behind a mask of Christ, while they simultaneously condemn paganism as they hang ornaments on a pagan symbol of life (the Christmas tree).

The meaning of "pagan..." | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/15/12

If you look at the historical use of the word from the Crusades through the early 20th century, you'll see that it was commonly used to describe anyone not a Christian, and sometimes anyone not Roman Catholic--including Jews, Muslims, agnostics and atheists. But note that in the song it's the Christian child who uses the word "witch." Lots of people celebrate Winter Solstice and describe themselves as pagans who don't consider themselves witches.

It's a great song. It's too bad that it's hard to keep up the tolerant family love that is conveyed in its lyrics, but it's a step--and the tune is catchy and supports the meaning well.

Response to "tolerant"? | Reviewer: Robert Francis | 12/22/11

The whole point of the song was to address the need for people of different faiths to sit together and learn to appreciate each other. You are offended that you can't "practice your religion" of intolerance (your God being the only way). THAT's why people are offended by YOU.

Read the lyrics, seriously | Reviewer: Tolerantbutrealistic | 12/22/11

Regarding the comment: "It's interesting how so many people talk about tolerance, and yet the ONE thing they are NOT tolerant of is the right of Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus at this time of year. It's OK to criticize Christians in the name of tolerance. How did this happen?"
Not once in that song does she eevr say it's negative or bad or inappropriate to celebrate the birth of Christ. It's not a song about criticizing anyone, it's a song about tolerance. Leave it to a thumper to see the negative in something that doesn't praise who they believe in. People of that nature are why people turn away from "organized religion".
PLEASE show me where it states that celebrating Christmas/Christ's birth is critized. Can't? Because it isn't here.

Not all pagans are witches! | Reviewer: SG | 12/18/11

Love this lady - she sang at my children's school last night at a benefit to raise money for the school's music and drama department. Love this song - my only sadness is that "pagan" has become synonymous with witchcraft. The original pagans were simply rural, agricultural people. It developed to mean non-Christian. Don't know when witches came into the definition because that is just silly! Still, love the idea of tolerance and finding common ground.

I love the message of this song! | Reviewer: Anonymous | 6/7/11

I love the message of tolerance and I wish it were taken to heart by more people. Incidentally, there's an excellent acoustic version of this song on Dar's recent album, with Sara and Sean Watkins (of Nickel Creek) playing and doing backup vocals.

Tolerant? | Reviewer: someone | 12/17/10

What a sad song. It's interesting to read all the comments about tolerance. It's interesting how so many people talk about tolerance, and yet the ONE thing they are NOT tolerant of is the right of Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus at this time of year. It's OK to criticize Christians in the name of tolerance. How did this happen. Yes, I'm a Christian. Am I tolerant? If that means accepting of others and loving others and being non-judgemental of others, yes. If it means admitting that all paths lead to God and to not share my beliefs, then no. It's my faith. Please stop judging me. Thank you.

interesting | Reviewer: L | 4/22/10

Looked at the lyrics because a friend's son posted on facebook. he is a seriously troubled fellow. anyway, I just hope for those who don't believe in God that they are right. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

:] | Reviewer: anonnn | 1/7/09

i seriously love this song, i really relate to it. i'm a headstrong atheist in a family of headstrong christians, and every time the holidays come around we always argue about the significance of our beliefs and whether or not i go to church-- basically everything that falls in the middle section of a venn diagram of family issues and religious intolerance. my sister introduced me to this song last year when the arguments were really bad and it always cheers me up after the topic of religion glazes over a night watching some reality TV show.

Politics religion and music | Reviewer: Robert | 9/27/08

I just saw Dar in concert. This song is supposedly a song of tolerance, yet Dar preceded this with a rant about Sarah Palin showing Dar's intolerance and infecting the rest of the angry mob (who all are loving people I presume), there was an angry response to Dar Williams' anger about Gov. Palin.

Just goes to show how walking the walking is the real deal. Dar just talks the talk. It is a wonderful song. If only she could see both sides as the song goes....

Christmas | Reviewer: Aily | 3/9/08

I found myself with a bunch of Quakers this Christmas and they wanted everyone to read or recite a 'Christmas poem@. Not having one to mind, I recited the lyrics to this great song. They all LOVED it! It went down so well! Thanks Dar!

I love you Dar williams | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/26/08

My mother and i would love to meet you so so so so so much!!! You are a great singer. I love to sing to and you are great. Your so talented and your songs really give me a message. I want to meet you so badly.I have always for as long as i have known wanted to sing and be famous. You are one of the only albums that my mom has. I hope you see this somehow.

Love your biggest fans April and Liza M.