One thing I’ve learned in the many years since I became known as an expert on Christmas music: As much as people may think otherwise, I don’t know it all. It can be humbling at times, but it also means that I’m open to songs that I’ve never heard before that penetrate my core and affect me.
My Christmas Song of the Day for December 12 is one I literally had never heard until three days ago. As it played on the nearby station WFLO in Farmville, Va., I tried to use my phone to Shazam it, and my phone looked at me as if I was joking. I tried to google the lyrics, and I might as well have been asking it to find my own unpublished song lyrics from my teen years. So I contacted the radio station directly, and less than a day later, they told me what I had heard. Believe it or not, the song is on YouTube, so I’m delighted to share it with you. It emanates from the beautiful voice of a singer-songwriter who left us far too soon.
Laura Allan was born in 1952. By the time she was 18, she already had a reputation among musicians for her talent on the zither, autoharp and dulcimer; in fact, she played autoharp and sang on David Crosby’s best-selling 1971 solo album If I Could Only Remember My Name. In the mid-1970s, she served as an opening act for Crosby and Graham Nash, which led to a contract with the Elektra record label and two albums, in 1978 and 1980. After those two albums failed to make a dent in the marketplace, Allan didn’t make another album for 16 years.
Hold On to Your Dreams was issued in 1996 on the independent Skyline Entertainment label. Hidden among the 14 tracks of sublime music on this compact disc is this lost classic, called “Your Christmas Day.” On the liner notes to the radio-only CD single, she described her inspiration:
“I wrote this song to celebrate the wonders of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day that I hoped for as a child. I wanted to bring some warmth and reassurance to the world that we can all find what we are looking for if we give ourselves the chance to dream. The child in all of us is looking for love and the comfort of family and friends.”
Sadly, Laura Allan died in 2008 at age 56 after a half-year-long battle with cancer. I want to thank WFLO for playing this song, and because it told me what it was when the Internet couldn’t, I am able to share it with you today. I hope you find “Your Christmas Day” as moving as I do.