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The Night Before Christmas

[2000]

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all 'round my place
I was finally unwinding from the holiday pace
Gifts had been purchased and wrapped one and all
With just minor bruises from trips to the mall!

The parties were over, the church functions too
For the next couple days I'd have nothing to do
No bikes to assemble or toys to arrange
And hope upon hope, no clothes to exchange

When out on the lawn there arose such a hissing
I sprang from my chair to see what I was missing
I turned down my music and had a good look,
Twas thinking it might be a burglar or crook!

The Moon at the Window was bright to be sure
And it caused the commotion to appear as a blur
Then there was the strangest thing e'er in my 'burb,
A big limousine that was parked on my curb!

With a long-blond-haired rider, with cheeks oh so bony
I knew in a moment it had to be Joni!
She opened the door, with her crew she came out,
And approaching my doorway she let out this shout

"On Pansy, On Nietzsche, On Larry & Brian,
On Shorter, On Isham, you guys quit your cryin'
It'll be our great joy for a Joni fan so big
To give him the gift of his own private gig!"

At that point in time I knew not what to think,
Perhaps I'd had excess martinis to drink?
But up to my doorstep, they soon started knockin'
"Come in here, ya'll, and let's get to rockin'!"

It wasn't much space but we soon made it do
With guitar & piano & dulcimer too!
Joni then stated she'd play multi-sets
And then I could join her for several duets

Her voice how it twinkled! You just had to hear it!
And of course, twixt her lips, an American Spirit,
So all through the halls did her crystal sounds ring,
From "Harlem in Havana" to "I Had A King"

She played all night long, I could not trust my eyes,
She said she'd do one more set, just for surprise,
And then with remaining time she had afforded,
Played all of the songs she had never recorded!

I lept to my feet and applauded with glee,
To finally hear 'lost' songs like "Strawflower Me",
And when she'd completed the final refrains,
She said she would encore with "Paprika Plains"!

She spoke not a word, but went straight to her work
Played all 16 minutes with nary a quirk,
She finished, and told me "It's not quite enough,
For here in my bag is some other cool stuff!"

I pondered and wondered, pray what would she bring us
"Don Juan's Reckless Demo's" & "Alternate Mingus"
And I was so pleased that she gave them to me,
And knew that I'd soon be creating a tree!

I gave her a hug for the gifts she had brought me
And thanked her for all of the lessons she'd taught me
She said that her visit had been loads of fun,
And she'd shoot for Ashara's in 2001!

She sprang for her car, to her band gave a whistle
And away they then sped like a heat-seeking missile
But I heard her exclaim on this night oh so blest,
"I love ALL of my fans, you guys are the best!!"

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