Twenty-Five Days of TSO – Day Twenty-Five

This Christmas Day
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Christmas Eve and Other Stories (1996)

For of all the dreams

You were the first I knew

And every other one

Was a charade of you

You stayed close when I was far away

Merry Christmas!

To round out my Twenty-Five Days of TSO, the last song is This Christmas Day, part three of The Ornament Trilogy.

It’s Christmas Day. She’s coming home!

The prayers of the father and the girl had been answered, with the help of an angel, by some bums who called their Old City Bar home, and delivered the sparkling Ornament back home on This Christmas Day.

Christmas looks out for us and gives us something to dream about during the darkest time of the year. It brings people together and makes it easier to believe that there is good in all people, or that our sins might be forgiven by those that we’ve slighted. It’s snow and magic and wonder.

(Note: Check back tomorrow for a bonus track. Santa visited us today and gave us tickets to see Tran-Siberian Orchestra live on December 26th! Merry Christmas to us!)

(Note 2: I’ve had a blast revisiting these songs. I’m considering doing this again with other bands or artists that I enjoy. Maybe with a little more relaxed schedule than 25 posts in 25 days, but we’ll see. Maybe I’ll even consider doing the next round as a podcast, though doing that, I should work on getting the rights to some of the tracks to play right in the audio of the podcast and not rely on a playlist or videos… we’ll see.)

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

Twenty-Five Days of TSO

25. December 2019 by Tony
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Twenty-Five Days of TSO – Day Twenty-Four

Old City Bar
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Christmas Eve and Other Stories (1996)

And here was the danger

Even with strangers

Inside of this night,

It’s easier to believe

In part two of The Ornament Trilogy, the angel follows the father’s prayer from Ornament and find’s the child, cold and alone and on a street corner in New York City, in the snowy city, no stars are to be seen, save for a neon star advertising an old city bar, the sort that always has its regulars regardless of time of day or time of year. The girl then made a wish on that first star that she’d seen. And the angel, being an angel, could also capture her wish.

The angel then takes the form of a child and wanders into the bar, inspiring the bartender to help the girl get home.

For me this is the magic of Christmas, the magic of real people, no matter how unlikely, suspending disbelief and giving to those who are more in need. Even if we might think that those poor bums in that bar should be home, should be with family. Who is to say that they aren’t just where they should be, even at Christmas.

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

Twenty-Five Days of TSO

24. December 2019 by Tony
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Twenty-Five Days of TSO – Day Twenty-Three

Ornament
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Christmas Eve and Other Stories (1996)

Somewhere the wind

Carves moments in the snow

And if he sees her

He never lets it show

He just drifts behind her

Erasing every step

And for the final three days of my little experiment, I’m going to share one of my favorite sets of songs, the three songs that make up what I’ve always called The Ornament Trilogy. These three songs are all featured on their first albums and have been on RIDICULOUSLY high rotation in our household since the beginning. So much so that my kids have been able to sing along to them since they were little and my son even sang this song during a Christmas recital last year for the music studio where he takes voice lessons.

The first song sets the stage. A father is home on Christmas, he and his daughter had a fight, causing her to leave home. She ran off to New York City. A fight of some sort or another was the last straw, causing her to leave and our angel is flying over the man’s home when he catches the prayer of the father on it’s way up to the Lord. He is praying to Christmas, praying that she’ll be safe, watched over. Even if he can’t be with her, if he can’t see her on Christmas, he wants to know that she’s being looked after.

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

Twenty-Five Days of TSO

23. December 2019 by Tony
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Twenty-Five Days of TSO – Day Twenty-Two

Forget About the Blame (Moon Version)
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Letters from the Labyrinth (2015)

But you sit right there

Like you don’t care

And you tell me that your life’s not fair

But we all have our own cross to bear

Trans-Siberian Orchestra have songs about love, but this is one isn’t in the context of a story, it’s not part of some grand tale of characters that we’re following through Christmas or through the last night of Beethoven.

This rocker is a straight up song about love on the rocks. People love each other, and in our everyday lives we don’t have angels or demons or gargoyles on our side getting us to mend our broken relationships. Sometimes we need to sit down and do the work and focus on the good and forget about the blame.

Originally, TSO recorded this with a male vocalist (Sun Version), but decided to get the female perspective on the tune and enlisted Lzzy Hale of Halestorm to sing this version of the track. This version is my favorite of the two.

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

Twenty-Five Days of TSO

22. December 2019 by Tony
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Twenty-Five Days of TSO – Day Twenty-One

Stay
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Letters from the Labyrinth (2015)

Night time

Wander the street

You never give ground

Never retreat

You’re always Oz bound

Have all the dreams been betrayed

The last weekend before Christmas and I’m sharing another pair of non-Christmas tunes, both from the 2015 album, Letters from the Labyrinth. Letters is a different sort of album for TSO as it’s not a rock opera, instead the songs have different themes throughout.

The song Stay was first featured as a bonus track on a 1997 re-release of the 1987 album Hall of the Mountain King. Yep… Savatage did a version of Grieg’s In the Hall of the Mountain King long before they were combining Classical music and Heavy Metal as TSO.

In this remake of the Savatage tune, Stay features a vocal performance by Adrienne Warren. Her sultry vocals are a huge departure from the way Jon Oliva’s deep masculine bass set a dark mood for the song in the original.

The song warns of the danger of getting too far down the path of seeking dreams without changing them as your life changes. In this version, the dreams are so much more alluring as they are described through the feminine vocal

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

Twenty-Five Days of TSO

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

For the Sake of Our Brother
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
The Lost Christmas Eve (2004)

In a stable, in a manger

In the cold winters air

In the arms of his mother

A child’s lying there

This is the last song that Daryl Pediford released with TSO, he passed away shortly after recording this track and knowing that adds a certain haunting quality to the already haunting track.

The vocals are so heart-wrenching and painful knowing that there is a child who was abandoned, that a soul still bleeds for the choice he made to do so.

It’s so dark, so painful. But if Christmas can offer the hope of redemption for those of us who are looking to pass through this year into the next, it should be able to offer redemption to those who have wounds and sins that they carry with them for far longer than just the year.

The best part of this piece for me is when it changes mid-song into a great rendition of Oh Come, all ye Faithful.

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

Twenty-Five Days of TSO

20. December 2019 by Tony
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Twenty-Five Days of TSO – Day Nineteen

Back to a Reason (Part II)
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
The Lost Christmas Eve (2004)

The night seems to care

The dreams in the air

The snow’s coming down

It beckons me dare

In 2001, Savatage released the album Poets and Madmen which featured the track Back to a Reason.

They revisit the song as part of Trans-Siberian Orchestra and in the process of rewriting much of the lyrics make the song fit the narrative of the story, that of a man who many years earlier put a child who was born without the advantages that most of us take for granted in a fully formed mind and body.

And in the night and in the snow and in the dark and on Christmas Eve he’s brought back to a place in his life where he can bring himself to face what he’s done and hope that on this night he can start to build the bridge to the past, and the child, that he abandoned all those years ago.

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

Twenty-Five Days of TSO

19. December 2019 by Tony
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Twenty-Five Days of TSO – Day Eighteen

Christmas Nights in Blue
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
The Lost Christmas Eve (2004)

Suddenly, all are laughin’

This nights smart, always craftin’

Building bridges nearly everywhere

Hits a wall, it just builds a stairs

As with the story in Christmas Eve and Other Stories, our angel ends up back in a bar.

I absolutely love the imagery and the pure join in this song. TSO’s lyrics often ask us to believe that Christmas has a magic to it, that people will be different just because we’re at the end of the year, but his song really let’s you breathe that belief.

And in of all places the joy of being in an old bar in New York City where blues are played and everyone just comes together because it’s Christmas.

If I ever find myself annoyed because of some aspect of Christmas and craziness and spending money, this is one of my go-to songs. I let those colors all come down to one and find myself carolized…. carolized.

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

Twenty-Five Days of TSO

18. December 2019 by Tony
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Twenty-Five Days of TSO – Day Seventeen

Wish Liszt (Toy Shop Madness)
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
The Lost Christmas Eve (2004)

In the story and in my mind, this story represents the mind-blowing madness of toy stores at Christmas Time… Back you, know, when we had toy stores.

It’s just that mania of everyone shopping and the sounds of movement of toys on display as we begged our parents for them or made a note to put it on the list for the big guy.

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

Twenty-Five Days of TSO

17. December 2019 by Tony
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Twenty-Five Days of TSO – Day Sixteen

What is Christmas?
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
The Lost Christmas Eve (2004)

This Christmas trees with colored lights

Underneath they still are only trees

Do you think that one day perhaps they might

Find that Christmas is kind of a disease?

Within The Lost Christmas Eve, the angel finds himself in a bar where everyone is enjoying Christmas and being filled with joy in the celebration. Everyone save a businessman who came to the bar to rest his feet and get a drink on a night where he was away from home.

This man couldn’t be made to be happy about Christmas despite everyone celebrating around him. He found only one soul in the whole place who he could commiserate with and that was a character on the television complaining about Christmas, the Grinch.

This song is so fun and festive in the music and it just reminds me that some people seem to take a real bliss in being annoyed by Christmas, as if they are really trying too hard and looking for excuses to to be happy when everyone around them celebrate.

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

Twenty-Five Days of TSO

16. December 2019 by Tony
Categories: 25 Days of TSO | Leave a comment

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