Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Lyrics: The Christians and the Pagans

In our ever more pluralistic world, Dar Williams’ song may represent something close to your holiday celebrations and tensions.  Here is a prayer for all those for whom family holiday gatherings are as much a source of tension as of joy.

The Christians and the Pagans by Dar Williams

Amber called her uncle said “We’re up here for the holiday

Jane & I were having Solstice, now we need a place to stay,”

And her Christ-loving uncle watched his wife hang Mary on a tree,

He watched his son hang candy canes all made with Red Dye Number 3.

He told his niece, “It’s Christmas Eve, I know our life is not your style.”

She said, “Christmas is like Solstice and we miss you and it’s been awhile.”


So the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table,

finding faith and common ground the best that they were able,

and just before the meal was served, hands were held and prayers were said,

sending hope for peace on eath to all their gods and goddesses.


The food was great, the tree plugged in, the meal had gone without a hitch,

’till Timmy turned to Amber and said, “Is it true that you’re a witch?”

His mom jumped up and said, “The pies are burning!” and she hit the kitchen!

And it was Jane who spoke, she said, “It’s true, you’re cousin’s not a Christian.

“But we love trees, we love the snow, the friends we have, the world we share,

“And you find magic from your God and we find magic everywhere.”


So, the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table,

finding faith and common ground as best as they were able.

And where does magic come from? I think magic’s in the learning,

‘Cause now when Christians sit with Pagans only pumpking pies are burning.


When Amber tried to do the dishes, her Aunt said, “Really, no, it’s no bother.”

Amber’s Uncle saw how Amber looked like Tim and like her father.

He thought about his brother, how they hadn’t spoken in a year,

He thought he’d call him up and say, “It’s Christmas and your daughter’s here.”

He thought of fathers, sons, and brothers, ’till his own son tugged his sleeve

saying, “Can I be a Pagan, Dad?” “We’ll discuss it when they leave!”

So the Christians and the pagans sat together at the table,

finding faith and common ground, the best that they were able.

Lighting trees in darkness, learning new ways from the old, and

Making sense of history and drawing warmth out of the cold.


A prayer for all those with interfaith families–May your family holiday gatherings find faith and trust and common ground. Amen.


November 26, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. That is beautiful!

    Comment by Georgianna | November 29, 2009

  2. A former member of our church likes to sing it. She introduced me to the song.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | November 29, 2009

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: