Words and Music Traditional

One day near Christmas, when I was just a child,
Mama called us all together, Mama tried to smile.
She said, " You know, the cotton crop hasn't been too good this year,
There's just no spending money and well, at least we're all here.
I hope you won't expect a lot of Christmas presents,
Just be thankful that there's plenty to eat.
That's quite a blessing, it'll make things a little more pleasant."
And us kids got to thinking how really blessed we were,
At least we were all healthy and best of all, we had her.

Roy cut down a pigapple tree and we drug it home, Jack and me,
Daddy killed a squirrel and Louise made the bread,
Reba decorated the tree with popcorn strings before we went to bed.
Mama and Daddy sacrificed 'cause this Christmas was lean,
But after all there was the babies, Tom and Joanne, babies need a few things.

I whittled a whistle for my brother Jack and though we fought now and then,
When I gave Jack that whistle, he knew I thought the world of him.
Mama made the girl's dresses out of flower sacks,
And when she ironed them down, you couldn't tell that they hadn't come from town.

A sharecropper family across the road didn't have it as good as us,
They didn't even have a light and it was way past dusk.
And mama said, "Well, I bet they don't even have coal oil or beans to boil,
Let alone apples, and oranges and such."

Me and Jack took a jar of coal oil and some hickernuts we'd found,
We walked to the sharecropper's porch and set 'em down.
A poor old ragged lady eased open the door,
She picked up the coal oil and hickernuts and said,
"I sure do thank you." and quickly closed the door.

We started back home, me and Jack,
And about halfway we stopped and looked back.
In the sharecropper's window at last was a light,
So for one of the neighbours and for us it was a good Christmas night.

Christmas came and Christmas went,
Christmas that year was heaven sent.
Then daddy put on his gumboots,
And waited for the thaw back home in Dyess, Arkansas.

Lyrics submitted by skacore_dude

Gerry's Down Home Christmas song meanings
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