Atypical Christmas Songs: Christmas at Denny’s

I’ve previously mentioned wanting to assemble a collection of posts about some of my favorite “Christmas Songs” that most people may not think of when they think of  Christmas.  I’ve decided this will be the year.  They won’t be in any particular order and I’m not sure how many I’ll come up with, so I wouldn’t exactly call it a countdown.  Perhaps that will be a future year.

For those not familiar with Randy Stonehill, he is known as one of the pioneers of the Jesus Music movement of the early 1970’s and what later became known Contemporary Christian Music.  He’s best known for his high energy, quirky songs such as “Shut De Do,” “American Fast Food,” and “Can’t By A Miracle.”  He also has a gift for folk-style storytelling and ballads, though.

In 1989 he released “Christmas at Denny’s” as part of his Return to Paradise album.  It’s the haunting tale of a drifter who’s spending another Christmas Eve with other nameless lonely souls at a Denny’s restaurant because they have nowhere else to go.  It tells a story that has become all too familiar to me as I have gotten more involved in the lives of friends without homes these past two years.  It’s not a song that you can ever say you enjoyed, but it sticks with you over the years and touches your soul if you’re willing to let it.

As our nameless drifter reminisces of the life he left behind and the circumstances that brought him to this place he has one simple prayer, ” I don’t need no miracle, sweet baby Jesus.  Just help me find some kind of hope in my heart.”  When you reach a point of total despair, this is sometimes the only prayer you know how to speak.  It’s the kind of prayer Jesus entered this world to answer.

So, here we have “Christmas at Denny’s” by Randy Stonehill:




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