December’s Song


Okay, I know, I know, it’s not even Thanksgiving yet—but I’m going to talk about Christmas music anyway.

Buddy Greene is one of the nicest and most likable guys in Nashville. Every time he drops by the RR office, whether it’s to buy a book, play a harmonica, or just say hello, he’s all smiles and laughter from the moment he walks in until the moment he walks out. And he leaves smiles and laughter behind when he’s gone.

One day last month I got a humble email from Buddy telling me that he had just finished recording a little Christmas album and he wondered if I’d give it a listen. Now let me be honest. My fear was that I was in for an hour of weary Christmas classics and carols adapted for the harmonica—and I wasn’t sure how much harmonicated “Jingle Bell Rock” I could handle. I should go ahead and admit that I don’t really like Christmas music in general. There are a few exceptions, of course. I love Harry Connick. I love Jill and Andy Gullahorn’s Christmas CD. I loved last year’s Over the Rhine Christmas record. And I love . . . well . . . I suppose that’s about it (I’m not including Behold the Lamb of God here because I think that’s something more than Christmas music, if you know what I mean).

So it’s with great surprise that I’ve found Buddy Greene’s December’s Song added to that small rotation of favorites. Somehow, it’s a nice fit beside those other Christmas records. It seems right at home there. It’s a little bit folk, a little bit bluegrass, a little bit hymnal, a little bit jazz, even a little bit crooning Bing Crosby. I love it. So I’m going to shut up and let you hear some of it. Check out the song below.

“Canticle of the Turning”
by Buddy Greene

Buddy just released the record to the public last week. You should check it out. Here’s the link.

Pete Peterson is the author of the Revolutionary War adventure The Fiddler’s Gun and its sequel Fiddler’s Green. Among the many strange things he’s been in life are the following: U.S Marine air traffic controller, television editor, art teacher and boatwright at the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch, and progenitor of the mysterious Budge-Nuzzard. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Jennifer, where he's the Executive Director of the Rabbit Room and Managing Editor of Rabbit Room Press.


  1. Leah Phillippi

    Canticle of the Turning is one of my favorite hymns, this is a beautiful rendition 🙂 It is also more than Christmas music 🙂

  2. Judy

    Thank you for this recommendation.

    I will happily add it to Jason Gray’s, as a favourite Christmas album, this year.

  3. Loren Warnemuende

    This is beautiful–one of my favorite tunes. I’ve always heard it with the words, “I heard the voice of Jesus say come unto me and rest,” but these are equally rich and lovely.

    Hmmm…is there ever too much Christmas music?

  4. Esther O'Reilly

    Don’t you have Buddy’s first Christmas album? Hasten thee to Amazon and procure it if you haven’t. Buddy Greene Christmas. Go, go, get it.

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