Tom Prasada-Rao and Cary Cooper perform “Christmas at the Ashram” at the Center for Spiritual Living Dallas’s Mystic Note Cafe Holiday Show on December 1, 2012.

Copy of a blast email (lightly edited) I sent today to participants in the Clayville-Prairieland slow jam and tune learning circle that meets at Hickory Glen. I’m cross-posting it to my trad music blog, Hogfiddle; also here because I admire the ecumenical spirit and gentle humor of “Christmas in the Ashram.”

At our last session we went around the circle and decided on a tentative playlist for our Christmas gathering Dec. 19 at Hickory Glen Apartments. We’ll come early that evening to play for the residents, and mix in the holiday numbers with our usual jam tunes like “Gray Cat in a Tennessee Stable” and “Eight Tiny Reindeer in my Headlights Tonight” (try it — it fits the meter of “Five Pounds of Possum”). All of which put me in mind of this song by singer-songwriter Chris Rosser of Asheville, N.C. It’s called “Christmas in the Ashram,” and you can see it performed here on YouTube: 

[embedded at top of this post]

It’s about spiritual seekers from “California to Bombay / [who] travelled far to sing and pray” at an ashram in India, but get homesick around Christmastime. So they begin:

Singing Om Alleluia – Hare Hare Krishna
In Excelsis Deo – Rama Bolo Rama Bolo
Gloria Gloria – Govinda Gopala
Om Noel – Jay Siya Ram

You can get the tune from YouTube. No dulcimer tab available (for obvious reasons). More lyrics and background here on the indispensable Mudcat Cafe trad music discussion group at:

Namaste, y’all.

Oops! Don’t want to forget the playlist. Here it is:

  • Silent Night
  • Deck the Halls
  • O Come All Ye Faithful
  • Hark the Herald Angels Sing
  • In the Bleak Midwinter
  • Bring a Torch Jeanette, Isabella
  • The Holly and the Ivy
  • The First Noel
  • What Child is This (Em — dulcimers capo at 1st fret)
  • Good King Wenceslas

Our November sessions, all of them at Hickory Glen, will be Saturday, Nov. 2; Tuesday, Nov. 5 (which is also Guy Fawkes Day); and Thursday, Nov. 21 (a week before Thanksgiving). All at Hickory Glen.

— Pete

One thought on “‘Christmas in the Ashram’ and an upcoming holiday jam session playlist at Hickory Glen. Namaste, y’all.

  1. I loved that video. What a great sense of humor. We go to a small venue for acoustic music here called Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton, Connecticut. We thrive on simple tunes and humor like that.


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