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Old 05-28-2013, 06:59 PM
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Merry Podcast #27 -- Pioneer Christmas

We'e pleased to release episode #27 of the Merry Podcast, titled Pioneeer Christmas. Right click here to download.

This episode is dedicated to the memory of Louann Jeffries, our own Caninemom3. We play a song for Louann titled "Savior, Redeemer of my Soul", a song I shared with her a while back that she told me, after hearing it, should be a Christmas song.

In the podcast I don't provide a lot of details about the song but I will here. What is heard on the podcast is the film version of the song appearing in the movie 17 Miracles, the story of an ill fated pioneer handcart company that crossed the American plains in 1856. The original song is actually a pioneer hymn, based on a poem written by Orson F. Whitney in the 19th century. The words are indeed powerful:

Savior, Redeemer of My Soul,
Whose Mighty Pow'r Hath Made Me Whole,
Whose wond'rous hand hath raised me--hath raised me up,
And filled with sweet my bitter cup.
What tongue of gratitude can tell,
O gracious God of Israel.

Never can I repay Thee, Lord,
But I can love Thee, Thy pure word.
Hast Thou not been my one true delight,
My joy by day, my dream by night?
Then let my lips proclaim-proclaim it still,
And all my life reflect Thy will.

O'errule my acts to serve Thy ends,
Change frowning friends to smiling friends.
Chasten my soul to I shall be,
In perfect harmony with Thee.

Make me more worthy of Thy love
And fit me for the life above. The life above.

I find these words so fitting in memory of Louann and comforting given my many conversations with her prior to her passing.

The pioneer theme runs strong in this episode and, for me, it gets very personal. My daughters are participating in an event this summer called Trek, which is a reenactment of the pioneer trail. We were asked to research possible ancestors who walked across the plains and we have several. In researching family history dating back more than 500 years I came across information about how Christmas was celebrated by my pioneer family in the old west more than 150 years ago.

Also in this episode is Michael Rielly of with a feature about the Santa Claus Hall of Fame and also Merry Carey joins us to showcase the story of The Stingiest Man in Town, an early television adaptation of A Christmas Carol.

Featured artists in this episode include Merle Haggard and Marvin Gaye, plus more of the talents of Stan Freberg.

This episode also features history of Christmas past with Columbus and Lewis & Clark plus an interesting connection dating from the time of the Civil War between Christmas and baseball.

In all, I'd have to say this is one of my most favorite episodes ever, a real joy to put together and personally very significant.

But the most important part of this episode highlights Christmas in July, with a little history and a preview of the big event coming this summer on MMC.

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