Twenty-Five Days of TSO – Day Fifteen

Who is this Child?
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Beethoven’s Last Night (2000)

I learned the trick is

That we just avoid her eyes

And the question

What she means to …

Through the course of Beethoven’s Last Night, Mephistopheles attempts to acquire the music of the Maestro in exchange for his soul. When all other attempts fail, he offers up the life of a child lying in a gutter outside his home. He lists the horrors and tragedies that will befall the child in her short life, showing that the has a claim on her soul.
The Devil then offers to make an exchange to Beethoven. He will relinquish his claims on the child and free her from the evils that will visit her in exchange for the Tenth Symphony.

This song represents the struggle that Beethoven goes through, balancing his final Symphony for the life of a street urchin that he doesn’t know and has never seen before this night.

As we know that there is, in reality, no Tenth Symphony. We can assume that we know the choice that Beethoven made, but there is more to the story and more to the album, even after this.

To hear the full Twenty-Five Days of TSO Playlist on Google Play Music, click the link below.

Twenty-Five Days of TSO

15. December 2019 by Tony
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Twenty-Five Days of TSO – Day Fourteen

I’ll Keep Your Secrets
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Beethoven’s Last Night (2000)

WHAT IS THIS THING YOU KEEP INSIDE

OUT OF THE LIGHT AND WRAPPED IN PRIDE

ALWAYS AFRAID THAT ONE DAY IT WILL SHOW

In Beethoven’s last night, we also hear from Therese. Historically, this is the woman that he composed the piece ‘Fur Elise’ for which is an interesting story in its own right, but not the story we hear here.

Therese was his pupil and he loved her, but in this story he doesn’t propose to her, as he intended with the song, but instead pushes her away over embarrassment of the great secret he was hiding, his deafness.

This song is sung from the perspective of Therese who was concerned and just wanted to be there and care for her friend who was clearly hurting, clearly in pain over a secret that she knew he was keeping though knew not what the secret was.

And quietly, not that his pride would have ever let him learn, she would have been there and her love would have kept his secrets safe within her heart.

To hear the full Twenty-Five Days of TSO Playlist on Google Play Music, click the link below.

Twenty-Five Days of TSO

14. December 2019 by Tony
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Twenty-Five Days of TSO – Day Thirteen

Wizards in Winter
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
The Lost Christmas Eve (2004)

The story of The Lost Christmas Eve brings us back to the angel from Christmas Eve and Other Stories. This time he has a mission to find the name of the person who best continued his son’s mission on Earth

He is only allowed to use is his wings to come down to Earth and to return to Heaven, so he decides to land in New York.

The first person he sees is a street performer entertaining a group of street kids, the world-weary, cynical sort who have had the belief in elves and fairies and the like ground out of them at far too young an age.

And as he weaves the tale of the Wizards of Winter and how they create the snow that falls all around them, the children recapture that part of themselves that shouldn’t have been lost, and the Wizards, through the story, work their magic.

To hear the full Twenty-Five Days of TSO Playlist on Google Play Music, click the link below.

Twenty-Five Days of TSO

13. December 2019 by Tony
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Twenty-Five Days of TSO – Day Twelve

Music Box Blues
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
The Christmas Attic (1998)

But the music box continues to turn

Candle in the window continues to burn

But I know they’re just memories

Like Christmas past, girl, and you and me

In the story of The Christmas Attic, the girl finds a music box amongst the letters and other artifacts. The story goes that a woman gave her love a music box for Christmas, an inexpensive gift at the time, but considering what she had it was so much for her to give to him. In the time since giving the man the gift, he’d left, seeking his fortune. This is the woman left behind by the man who was in the story told through the songs, Find Our Way Home and The Snow Came Down.

The song as it’s presented in the story is beautiful and sad and, appropriately, sung by a female artist, Katrina Chester. Within the context of the story, it’s simply called Music Box. It’s fantastic and if you aren’t familiar with it, give it a listen.

My favorite version of this song though is a bonus track to the album. It’s performed by one of the distinct voices on those first few TSO albums, the late Daryl Pediford. Between Daryl’s soulful voice and the choir that joins him for the chorus half-way through the song, I always feel it so much more painfully with this version.

I’m the sort of person who really allows myself to FEEL the music, to experience the emotions of the song. This one gets to me and plucks at my heart strings. Maybe not as much as The World That She Sees, but it’s all there.

To hear the full Twenty-Five Days of TSO Playlist on Google Play Music, click the link below.

Twenty-Five Days of TSO

12. December 2019 by Tony
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Twenty-Five Days of TSO – Day Eleven

The Snow Came Down
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
The Christmas Attic (1998)

He saw the city lights arrive and fade away

While all that night

All that night

The snow came down

Continuing from yesterday’s song, Find Our Way Home, the child calls the man from the article and tells him to get on a train and come to the station in the town where she lived. Then she found the woman who used to own the house, now living next door, and told her to go to the train station as well.

This song picks up with that man’s train ride back from the big city, heading back to the town he left so many years before. He didn’t know what he would find there, but he knew that he was missing something.

All that night, the only thing that he knew and that he could count on was that the snow would continue to fall…

To hear the full Twenty-Five Days of TSO Playlist on Google Play Music, click the link below.

Twenty-Five Days of TSO

11. December 2019 by Tony
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Twenty-Five Days of TSO – Day Ten

Find Our Way Home
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
The Christmas Attic (1998)

And mistakes, well, he thought that time
Always would forgive
Each transgression
For his intention
Forgetting
Years he squandered
On things he now was regretting

This song directly ties into the song that I’m planning to share over the next two days, albeit out of order in terms of story.

In the story of The Christmas Attic, as mentioned before, there are various items in a chest which tell stories from the past. The item related to this song is an article about a successful businessman, someone who seemed to have everything that this life could offer in terms of material possessions. He gave his life to his business, forgoing love and family and home for traveling the world and building his business.

At least that’s how he lived his life until the number of days he had in front of him were far shorter than the days behind him. And on Christmas, as the year was winding its way to an end, he found himself looking for his way back home.

To hear the full Twenty-Five Days of TSO Playlist on Google Play Music, click the link below.

Twenty-Five Days of TSO

10. December 2019 by Tony
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Twenty-Five Days of TSO – Day Nine

Christmas in the Air
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
The Christmas Attic (1998)

There comes a time when we’re on our own

Some times in life such a thing must be

But such a thing should not be known

This night

Continuing a theme that runs through many of the songs and stories presented of Christmas through Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s music, Christmas in the Air highlights how the Christmas season works with us and through our actions as we seek salvation at the end of the year.

There is a collective feeling that Christmas is about family and about coming together and about giving to those who are less fortunate. In the northern hemisphere this coincides with the time of year when the weather grows colder and the nights grow longer. A time when the darkness and despair overwhelm some of us. The darkness of the night, the darkness of the weather, the darkness of being far from the ones we love.

When the weather grows cold, we feel Christmas in the Air.

To hear the full Twenty-Five Days of TSO Playlist on Google Play Music, click the link below.

Twenty-Five Days of TSO

09. December 2019 by Tony
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Twenty-Five Days of TSO – Day Eight

Mephistopheles
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Beethoven’s Last Night (2000)

THE GRAVEYARD IS FILLED WITH IMPORTANT MEN

WHO COULD NOT BE SPARED BUT WERE IN THE END

AND SO I WHISPER NOW IN YOUR EAR

In 2000, Trans-Siberian released their third album and first non-Christmas album, Beethoven’s Last Night, that supposes what it might have been like if Beethoven, on his last night on Earth was visited by Mephistopheles and his minions to collect his soul. Wanting to avoid eternal damnation, the bargaining begins, as does the story.

In this song we learn of the great deceiver and the argument he makes as to the legacy of all men. Death comes for us all, even the greatest of men who ever lived end up in the graveyard.

I absolutely love the relish of the role that Jon Oliva, original lead singer of Savatage takes in embodying the role of the Devil throughout the album.

Most people only know TSO for their Christmas music, but this story is just as magical in the way that it handles the last hours of who the mind behind TSO, Paul O’Neill describes as “the world’s first Heavy Metal rock star.”

To hear the full Twenty-Five Days of TSO Playlist on Google Play Music, click the link below.

Twenty-Five Days of TSO

08. December 2019 by Tony
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Twenty-Five Days of TSO – Day Seven

Believe
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Night Castle (2009)

I wasted my time

Till time wasted me

Never wanted to go

Always wanted to stay

‘Cause the persons I am

Are the parts that I play

So as part of this little experiment, I’ve decided that, and the timing works out right, on each weekend day, I’m going to include a song that’s not from one of the Christmas Trilogy. This song is from Night Castle, though not part of the story of the album.

This song is a cover of a Savatage song, one from Streets (A Rock Opera). Part of me wanted to just post the lyrics to the song and leave that as my only statement. There is a lot of power and imagery to this piece and I think that there are so many ways you could take the meaning behind it.

Is it a song about faith? Is it a song about someone watching over you? Is it a song about a part of yourself that you’re trying to get back to. I think at different times in my life I’ve looked at this song in so many of these ways and more. We all have to grow up and sometimes we do it faster than we want to or faster than we should. That’s certainly part of the original story that it’s from.

I’ll be right there

I’ll never leave

All I ask of you

Believe

To hear the full Twenty-Five Days of TSO Playlist on Google Play Music, click the link below.

Twenty-Five Days of TSO

07. December 2019 by Tony
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Twenty-Five Days of TSO – Day Six

The World That She Sees
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
The Christmas Attic (1998)

Caught in this night

Pieces of light

Glitter and play for you

I first heard this song four years before I became a father and nine years before I had a daughter. I think I’m finally at about a point where I can say that I’ve only teared up about 50% of the time that I’ve heard this song because before I had them, this is how I dreamed it would be, and after I learned that it’s pretty much exactly how I still think of it.

The magic of the awareness of the first snowfall that they can really see and understand. The magic that they still feel because there is that waiting and wishing for a snow day.

There is something really special about a first snowfall. The first one you see, the first one of the year, it doesn’t matter. Little bits of ice floating through the sky and catching the light holds and alure to it, especially in the eyes of the young or young at heart.

To hear the full Twenty-Five Days of TSO Playlist on Google Play Music, click the link below.

Twenty-Five Days of TSO

06. December 2019 by Tony
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