In 2007, Asthmatic Kitty Records hosted “The Great Sufjan Song Xmas Xchange!” In short, recording artist Sufjan Stevens most recently famous for releasing an hour-long “EP” and an album, The Age of Adz, within the span of a month – hosted a Christmas songwriting competition. I wrote and contributed my own song, titled “Bethlehem (The Unofficial 51st State).” The title of the song is a wink and nod to Stevens’ widely publicized “50 States Project,” for which he was supposed to create an album for each state in the union.

I did not win the competition.  But I like my song all the same. The recording is a demo at best, but is charming in its own right.  At least I think so.  Enjoy!

Bethlehem (The 51st State) Sufjan St by Saint_Upid


One night I dreamed I saw the Lord

the day that He was born.

A flock of shepherds sang to him,

while Santa played the Alpenhorn.

A Theremin for Tiny Tim,

For Scrooge a Fender™ Squire.

Frosty belted bari sax

and melted by the fire.

Rudolph lapped the puddle up

and joined in with the choir.

I played my banjo for the Lord and

The Drummer Boy kept time.

The Blessed Virgin played the bass.

Tone-deaf Joseph played the woodblock.

And in that Christmas band,

The Lord saved me a place.

The elves were dressed like Elvis.

They brought Vegas to the child.

The neon stable like a star

Shone ‘cross the desert bright and wild.

Kings brought frankincense and myrrh

and a record made of gold;

‘Twas Come on Feel the Illinoise

for the Christchild to hold.

With Superman on the cover of the gatefold.

I played my oboe and Joseph

Began to play the didgeridoo,

Mary said “Didgeri-don’t.”

“But I want to be like Sufjan,” he said.

And The Virgin spoke the truth:

“You have to practice, but you won’t.”