Behind the Song: Happy Birthday Jesus

I had heard Happy Birthday Jesus songs before.  Making A Slugs & Bugs Christmas provided the challenge of writing a Happy Birthday Jesus song that would reflect the often confused and commingled motivations I bring to celebrating Christmas. I’m the dad that stops at CVS at 5:30pm on Christmas Eve for “just a few more little things.”  I worry that the the presents we’ve already got wrapped under the tree won’t have them jumping up and down with excitement.  When I take a step back, I’m concerned that they will end up like me… completely distracted by the nonsense built up by the Christmas Shopping Season, and missing the deep magic of the incarnation.

What happened on Christmas day was so extraordinary it outshines Creation itself.  Instead of kickstarting life as we know it, Christmas set in motion the Life that is our only hope. For those who hope in Christ, (and for those who don’t) Christmas revealed the full measure of God’s commitment and plumbed the depths of his unfathomable love. God made his Son a baby, to grow and dwell among us, to teach us, and finally, by his obedience to death and ultimate resurrection, to gather the wayward, hopeless and despairing, and make a family filled with hope and joy.

I love my country, and I love exchanging gifts, but as long as I live in the USA, I know I’ll have to fight and claw through the shiny sleek emptiness of “what’d ya get?” and my kids will too.  Happy Birthday Jesus is my way of flipping the lights on for myself, and anyone else who longs for a rich season of joyful reflection and thanksgiving, but instead gets duped every time.

PLAY: Happy Birthday Jesus

Here’s the lyrics to Happy Birthday Jesus

There’ve been Christmas decorations up in Target, like, forever
I can’t believe it’s finally here
I’ve been hoping for a skateboard and my sister wants a dog
The three wise men had the right idear
(singing)
Happy birthday Jesus
Happy birthday Jesus
Happy birthday Jesus
Bright and early Christmas morn
Happy birthday Jesus
Happy birthday Jesus
Happy birthday Jesus
I’m so glad that you were born
Last year I got a yo-yo and a water gun and legos
I can still see reindeer wrapping paper thrown across the floor
Now I can’t find the yo-yo and the water gun is busted
But the legos are still cool… this year I just want some more!
Happy birthday Jesus
Happy birthday Jesus
Happy birthday Jesus
Bright and early Christmas morn
Happy birthday Jesus
Happy birthday Jesus
Happy birthday Jesus
I’m so glad that you were born
Noel, noel, born the King of Israel
Noel, noel, born the King of Israel
We were singing Christmas carols Christmas eve
And I got a lump in my throat reminding me what I believe
How you left heaven ‘cause it’s what you had to do
To make me new
You should have heard me singing
Happy Birthday Jesus…

2 thoughts on “Behind the Song: Happy Birthday Jesus

  1. This is the song most often stuck in my head this week. Probably because the boys’ just celebrated Jesus’ birthday at our Community Bible Study this morning and all the puzzles and books and stories they brought home all had “Happy Birthday Jesus” on them. So we sang this going down the hall and on the ride home! Thanks for writing such an excellent reminder of the true reason for all our festivities!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s