Christmas Traditions in America

Roy Justice

A 2-CD set of a fresh, yet traditional approach to the telling of the stories and the singing of the music of America's Christmas Songs and Traditions, spoken and sung with a rich baritone, folk-style voice, accompanied by a 12 string Martin guitar.

From an early age, I became curious as to the reasons why songs were written, and, even more curious about the events that motivated the writers to express those sentiments in song. I found that most songs were (and are!) inspired by a history of some kind - that there was a story that incited the creation of musical art. I became focused on making sure that I understood every word and phrase in a song, if I were going to sing it, and I began to discover the links between the artist and his, or her, environment. That discovery opened the world and it's incredibly diverse, fascinating, and complex history to me in a way that nothing had done prior to that time. I discovered that history is made up of people and their very 'real' experiences. History is not just facts, figures, dates, and places. My own 'world' began to make much more sense when I discovered that we are here, today, because of all that has gone on before us, and that we could learn a lot about ourselves by looking back in time to see how we arrived at where we are today!

This project is my first effort to share with the listener, in an all audio format, the things that I've learned about why we do the things that we do during the Christmas Season in America. I share the background histories of the songs, and, then, sing the songs so that you may connect the meanings to the music.

This is not a definitive study of 'all things Christmas'. It is a work of love and discovery intended to bring to you something of a deeper understanding of Christmas, and our current culture (how and why we honor/decorate/celebrate the season) which sometimes gets lost in the glitter and distraction of this time of year. My hope is that you ask some questions of your own, and take the time to seek out the answers so that you might share those new-found insights with others. History teaches many lessons, but, the one that is most relevant to me is this - It's difficult to move forward and make progress, if you don't know where you've been! The result of not looking back could be the repetition of things that have been tried, but failed, and we would have wasted a good deal of time pursuing a path that others had already found to lead to a 'dead end'. By the same token, examining the past also gives us insight into what we might be able to build upon, from someone else's experiences. Either way, wisdom is born of knowledge and experience - regardless of whether that experience is our own, or, is/has been experienced by others.

I have developed a series of programs on different aspects of American History. Christmas Traditions in America is the first project in what I intend to be a full series of audio programs that entertain and educate in the best way that I have found to do that - through music and storytelling. I hope that you enjoy Christmas Traditions in America and that it inspires you to do some 'time-traveling' and exploring of history on your own! If you do, make sure that you share what you find with someone else. When you share what you've learned, your own stories come to life in a new and exciting way!!

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