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Songs of Christmas: "Nothing But a Child"

December 1, 2013 - Andy Gray
It’s that time of year when some radio stations throw out their playlists in exchange for Christmas songs 24/7, and most of the stores seem to be playing the same dozen standards in an endless loop.

To get in the spirit of the season but avoid the standards (or at least the standard versions of them), I’m going to post a link to a different seasonal favorite every day until the 25th. My taste is more Pogues and Ramones than Dean and Bing, though, so most of these aren’t songs that you’ll hear at the mall.

I’m going to go local with the first few choices, and I’ll start with probably the most reverent song that will get posted here: Steve Earle’s “Nothing But a Child.” As a former heroin addict and self-described socialist with seven failed marriages, Earle isn’t a likely source for such a religious tune, but this is one of the most beautiful songs he’s ever written.

And for those of you thinking, “Andy, Steve Earle isn’t from here …,” the dobro player for this closing track on Earle’s 1988 album “Copperhead Road” is none other than Leavittsburg native Jerry Douglas.


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