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#744943 12/15/22 08:54 PM
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i was in a contemplative mood, plucking on my guitar and glanced up noticing my sons class A uniform hanging in the closet. He was KIA in Iraq. Probably because of the time of year, I made a connection with the verse in Isaiah "Unto us a Son is given. Unto us a Child is born." I pondered the difference between "giving" a son as opposed to having one taken. I understand the sacrifice of losing a son, but the kind of love it takes to "give" a son is just beyond my comprehension. But, that is what was done for me, and what I celebrate on Christmas. So, I kind of wrote this song to myself comparing and contrasting the first Christmas to current day and how easily I can get caught up in all the chaos and fun. If you decide to give it a listen, I'd love to hear what you think. I'm always unsure about the mixes - which instrument is too loud, or is the vocal too out front etc. I experimented with a little more reverb on vocals this time.

[b]A Child Was Born[/b]

There was no falling snow in that busy little town.
There was no mistletoe or presents to be found.
Not a single greeting card had arrived in the mail.
Just another night as far as anyone could tell.

‘Cause there were no jingle bells, no caroling in the streets,
no tinsel on the shelves and no gathering round a tree
when the Miracle from Heaven came to comfort all who mourn,
and unto us a Son was given, unto us a Child was born.

On the very first Christmas, so many years ago
all the angels lifted voices to praise the savior who was Lord,
but so few seemed to notice. So many just ignored
that unto us a Son was given, unto us a Child was born.

But the town was so busy there was just no room for Him.
So, in the corner of a stable, it was a manger they laid Him in.
And strangers paid no mind, they just couldn’t make the time.
Only shepherds came to offer praise at the Miracle inside.

Now there’s Christmas trees everywhere with bright and shining lights.
There’s caroling in the streets, “jingle Bells and Silent Night”
(Oh Holy Night)
There’s Barbie Dolls and shopping malls and gifts in online stores,
but sometimes we’re so busy that we forget what it’s all for …

‘Cause everyone prays for snow, for Christmas and for mistletoe.
It seems the world gets lost in reindeer and Santa Claus.
So this year let’s remember what the celebration’s for.
‘Cause unto us a Son was given, Jesus Christ – Jesus Christ the Lord.

So on this very Christmas, well I’m going to make it known.
I’ll be singing with the angels to praise the savior who is Lord.
I’ll stand and I’ll take notice. I won’t let it be ignored
That unto us a Son was given, unto us a Child was born.
Oh unto us a Son was given, unto us a Child was born.

It's all Biab - and the band is...

Drums: Terry Clarke, =JOBIM_P.STY
Bass: Neil Swainson, =JOBIM_P.STY
Finger Pick Guitar: Jason Roller, =EAGF_GF.STY
Dobro: Wanda Vick, _ALLISR.STY
Mandolin: Andy Leftwich, _PBALMNS.STY

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Brad, I always get carried away with your lyrics and sentiment in your songs, and can never really help with the mix. It seems perfect. A simple mix that brings out the best of such a a good write. Your vocal is ripe with emotion that carries your lyrics right the heart of the listener. That's far more important than a masterful mix. Love this song, Brad.


Enjoy whatever happens!
marty

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Brad...I enjoyed this so much...you let your heart be seen in this one...I'm a big fan of blue grass music and you used the paraphernalia of that style very well...I always love your lyrics...many of us are songwriters (of sort) but you are a poet as well...I'm at Amber's for Christmas in Wisconsin (there is plenty of snow on the ground) and I'm listening on earbuds..it sounds great...thanks for reminding me of the reason for the season...I appreciated your perspective about having a son taken and having a Son given...that and your song touched me deeply...have a blessed Christmas my friend...from me and my family to yours.


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Hi Brad
Such a beautiful song
And with so much feeling I have never heard you sing before
Really well done
The song also sounds very good
Great job Brad
Wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a healthy happy New Year 2023
Many greetings
Andi ;-)

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Brad, the story behind the song is always interesting to hear. In this case I can only imagine what you have been through. I’m so sorry you lost a son but I’m glad you found the courage to write this and share it here. I love the melody and I have posted a lot of bluegrass here myself. I believe you’ve inspired me to to revisit the genre. Very heartfelt vocal I was so caught up in the emotion that I wasn’t able to analyze the mix. Nothing in particular stuck out to me as being way off. The write is terrific. I am becoming a fan! Happy holidays to you and yours, Tom

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Brad,

A strong write.
A very original Christmas song. Unique, fresh.

The backing works well and your vocal is heartfelt and sits in the mix well.

Nicely done.

fj

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Brad, it almost knocked me off my chair when I read your son was KIA. As we all know, that's one of the cruelest things this world can inflict on someone and I'm so sorry it happened to you. It sounds like you are handling it about as well as anyone could. I enjoyed your song, it has your stamp on it. Misha once said about Bloc-Head that "words were obedient to him" and I think you have that same quality. No matter how many words you use, it all comes out smoothly. Very good song, singing and production. Happy holidays to you.


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I am very sorry to hear about your son Brad. That must've taken a heavy toll..

I think this is one of the best songs I've heard from you, vocal-wise.

All the best to you.

Rob


We are Rob Meulman and Anne-Marie Bovenkamp from The Netherlands.

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Brad, first let me say I am so sorry for your loss.

You really sang your heart out in this song

Outstanding vocal and backing band

I loved those lyrics

Have a Merry Christmas


Me, it's not about how many times you fail, it's about how many times you get back up.
Cop, that's not how field sobriety tests work.

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Hi, Brad.

I'm so sorry to hear about your son.

You've written the goal of the song, and I think you've accomplished that in spades.

I like the mix, with the subtle harmony. The reverb helps place the vocal - you might even be able to add a touch more.

There was only one point - at 2:04 - your voice is a touch too loud relative to the mix. IMHO, feel free to disagree. laugh

The mandolin is a touch distracting towards the end. When that happens, I tend to be pretty brutal and just remove all the offending parts. Better to leave a listener wanting more than wanting less. Feel free to disagree.

I'd get other people's opinions before changing anything, though. I'd remove at the points where it's competing with the vocal, because that's the simplest and most effective way to solve a problem. But it's a lovely sound, so it would be a shame to lose it.

Good write, well sung.

Nicely done!


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My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?
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Hi Brad,

A parents worse nightmare, kudos to you for sharing your story and being able to write about it.

Just a wonderful song! Excellent write.

Production wise this is the best sounding vocal that I've ever heard from you, just the right amount of reverb for my tastes.

Best to you and yours for Christmas!

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Thank you Marty, you're always so positive ... and for a guy who puts out such great music, to say you can't come up with a way to improve the mix is quite a compliment!

Wow Dan, that means a lot to me. I appreciate you and your music. Merry Christmas to you and your family - and make sure to pass on to Amber she has a fan out here in California that would love to hear her voice on some more of your songs!

Howdy Andi. Thanks for stopping by. My wife just got back from her trip to your area yesterday - and is still shivering from the cold!

Merry Christmas Tom. Kind of humbling to develop a fan out of someone who's music I admire so much, Thanks.

Thank you Floyd, it's always nice to hear from the master.

TM, thank you for giving it a listen ... and that's about one of the finest compliments you could give. Thanks you.

Merry Christmas to both you and Annemarie Rob. Thanks for giving it a listen.

You too Mario! I'm looking forward to hearing more of your stuff next year!

Thanks David. I really appreciate you listening with a critical ear, and passing on your comments and suggestions. It's been very helpful.

Thanks Dave ... maybe it would have sounded even better if I'd tapped you to put some lead guitar on it.

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I try never to read anything about the song, before my first time listen. So: my first reaction was: STUNNING. What writing, what feeling in the voice. One of my absolute favourites of any BIAB-made Christmas songs.

Then I read what you wrote, to introduce the song. I'm so sorry. It's impossible to even imagine what you may be feeling. But thank you for sharing this beautiful, beautiful song, and for your incredible faith. No-one wants to go through this, not even God, I would personally imagine ("pass the Cup away from Me, if it be Thy will"). But to do it anyway, willingly and for love, is something that does overwhelm me.

Thank you for the song and for your astounding, profound reflections. May you have a peaceful Christmas.

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We’re very sorry for the loss of your son, Brad.

Your faith is evident in your ability to write such a fine lyric in the face of that loss.

The band and your vocals fit like a glove and the tenderness in your vocals is heartwarming.

Best to you and yours!

J&B

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Seasons greeting Brad. Sorry for your loss. Excellent lyric and heartfelt vocal. Beautiful song...


Scott Collingwood
https://soundcloud.com/scottt709
https://soundcloud.com/spiritlevel-ca
https://www.youtube.com/@SpiritLevel-ge3hm/
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Thanks for giving it a listen m17, and thanks for the kind words too.

Janice and Bud, thanks for taking the time. Also thanks for putting out a great year of music and your helpful suggestions on production.

Hey there Scott, I'm glad you stopped by and hope you have a fantastic new year this year.

Brad

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I'm sorry to hear about your son, Brad. No parents should outlive their child frown

I like your song, and I'm impressed with HOW many lyrics you sing without the song getting too busy.

Your experiment with more reverb worked, the vocals are where they should be. I might even use a bit more, but that's just my personal taste.


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Hi Brad,

I try to catch up with the songs I've missed due to illness.
That's why I'm late in my reaction on your song.
I just told my wife I was going to listen to your song and that you had lost your son in the Iraq war. 'His uniform hanging in the closet', that sentence is very poignant...

It is very brave to make a song about this. The tears must have been in your eyes a lot during the recording sessions.
But to me you have made a very good song, with 'heavy' lyrics and a voice filled with emotion. Impressing.
On the technical part I can only say I would have used a tiny bit of reverb and delay in the vocals to give the song a bit of space.
But whatever you do, it's worth listening to, even long after Christmas...

Hans


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