1. Mary, pick up your accordion and play, lay down your baby for a while.
It's time to celebrate,
it's time to stay up late —
maybe your song'll make him smile.

2. Mary, pick up your accordion and play, find us a simple harmony.
We could be instruments,
all kinds of instruments,
making a human symphony.
Open up our ears — open up our eyes, touch our weary world with your lullaby.

3. Mary, pick up your accordion and play one song that everyone can share. Then we can sing along,
then we can all belong —
ev-er-y nation ev'rywhere.

4. Mary, pick up your accordion and play music we've never heard before:
keep on surprising us,
revitalising us —
don't stop, just play a couple more!

The poster for the 1998 Adelaide Festival of Arts caused quite a storm. It depicted Mary holding, not the baby Jesus, but a piano accordion, and the poster was in the style of an Orthodox Christian icon. It was condemned by church leaders, some individuals tore posters down, many letters were written to the newspaper. I thought it was a pity that the Christian community responded so negatively. Even if the Festival organisers meant to offend, it was an ideal opportunity to build bridges with non- Christians, to share a glimpse of the unusual God we believe in, and not to be party poopers. Jesus compared heaven to a party on more than one occasion, and his first miracle was providing an excess of wine for a wedding feast.


Thanks ...

Last Monday, November 19, I got back home after a 4 week trip, mostly in Queensland.Only possible because of
Ray Shillabeer.
He's been my driver for the past 7½ years, for trips to Victoria, ACT, NSW and Queensland. He likes to label himself as 'Ray the Roadie', but he's a lot more than that. For the churches & schools I've sung at, we both set up the sound gear - the amps, guitars et al. He then retires to a back seat, while I sing & play. Afterwards, at schools, we take the gear down together. But at churches, he looks after the gear, while I talk with people & sell CDs & books. We get to stay with people most places , & we both love meeting people, enjoying their terrific hospitality.
This trip was his swan-song. I know he's enjoyed the driving & meeting people, but I still don't know how to say thank you. In his modest, self deprecating way, he'd reject the label of 'Servant of Christ', but he's been that for me, & together we've been able to serve people in many places.