Songs We Love: Daniel Martin Moore, 'It's Christmas' Louisville songwriter's wonderfully reflective original is an antidote to the "War on Christmas."

Songs We Love: Daniel Martin Moore, 'It's Christmas'

01It's Christmas

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Daniel Martin Moore Pedro Anguila/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Pedro Anguila/Courtesy of the artist

Daniel Martin Moore

Pedro Anguila/Courtesy of the artist
golden age cover.
Courtesy of the artist

Another Christmas season brings another set of fanned "War on Christmas" flames, be they in the form of redesigned Starbucks cups, heavy-handed rules from local educators (and right-wing pundits who exploit them), or weird House of Representatives resolutions. I would like to think that it is for just such people, unwieldy and committed to a stringent definition of the season's meaning, that Daniel Martin Moore, one of Louisville's "monsters of Folk," has written the wonderful, reflective miniature, "It's Christmas."

Like the season, there's a lot going on here — vibrato guitar, organ and Wurlitzer, strings and vibes — and it's all done in the service of a simple and peaceful atmosphere, embodying a mood of contemplation. DMM is almost whispering the words in a way that not even a mouse is likely to stir during this performance. But the heart-strings are awake for the tugging.

And what is Moore singing about, in this song that not only invokes the embattled holiday in its title, but whose chorus begins with a call to "prayers"? It is a set of multi-faceted and universal recognitions — of the world's majesty, of the similarity between the lights of the stars and the street-lamps, of the many self-evident and universal truths of our lives, of the need for thanks and peace and hope and love. Make no mistake, this is a secular Christmas tune, but it is also based in faith. One that reminds me of a humanist couple's seasonal musical invocation: "Happy Xmas (War Is Over). (If you want it.)"

"It's Christmas" is out now on OK Recordings/Sofaburn Records and available on iTunes.

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