My Christmas Song of the Day for December 6 is yet another unusual take on the story of Bethlehem that I first heard on a Christian radio station last year.
I’ve written in the past that the birth of the Christ Child has been told from the viewpoint of almost everyone who is a part of the blessed event. But until I heard “Just a Girl” by Brandon Heath, I had not heard the saga told from the point of view of the innkeeper, who told the desperate Joseph and Mary that he had no room for them.
Heath (born 1978), who won the Dove Award (gospel music’s equivalent of the Grammys) for Best New Artist in 2007, said that the idea for “Just a Girl” came to him and co-writer Lee Thomas Miller during a tour. They wrote it in the back of their bus, and they tried to imagine Bethlehem as it would be like to a weary traveling couple who needed a place to stay, so that the young woman could give birth. The innkeeper hears a knock, and he sees Joseph with Mary behind. As it was late and the doors were locked, the innkeeper turned them away. He then finds himself wracked with guilt over what he did when he sees the young couple in a nearby stable with a newborn baby.
Heath included “Just a Girl” on his 2013 Christmas CD, Christmas Is Here, on which it is a highlight. Here’s a fan-made video for the song.