Xmas Songs.

Christmas Songs of the Homeless. By Uncle Monty.
TCWNN Photos By Alex Albion.
Caption Photo By Gary Day.
Part 1 of 2.
It is true that for many of the homeless there is little or
no Christmas songs or yuletide joy for them. Yet, there
 are some homeless folkz who do rejoice at Christmastide
and that I saw such folkz just days ago at the big gig of
Christmas songs of the homeless. The Choir With No
Name (TCWNN) proved that Christmas isn't just
doom and gloom for those homeless with Christmas
songs and melodies in their hearts.
Although two days later, I didn't see much of the Spirit
of Xmas when I also covered the "Xmas Open Mic at
 CRISIS" to see what the homeless had there for their
 Christmas songs. I left rather peeved. In part 2, I will
tell you what happened at The CRISIS Skylight Cafe.
In the meantime, Christmas is what you make it (or
 don't make it) despite being pennyless and homeless
 and marginalized at our all too secularized and
commercialized Christmastide that is so oftentimes
coupled with utter antipathy for Christendom's
Birth of the Holy Child.
At Union Chapel, though not a religious gathering,
some 850 folkz and 330 choir members came to
celebrate Christmas in their own good way and to
 hear the joyous Christmas songs of the homeless as
presented by The Choir With No Name (TCWNN),
under the vibrant and lively direction of its inimitable
choir director Marie Benton. She is the soul and
glue that makes TCWNN what it is ...
But this night, Marie plays abit of a second fiddle as a
black stout lady (shown below) opened the TCWNN
Xmas Show with her resounding voice and her great guitar
 playing as over a 1,000 people then looked on in their
sheer anticipation of what was to come next  from the
Xmasy atmosphere inside Union Chapel.  Everybody
just joyfully jingled along with Christmas songs reverb-
erating from on high, if not with outright chapel carols
coming from the mouths of the other 13 various choirs
also present to vocally help everything to go along!
She Opened The Xmas Homeless Show.
The Brum homeless & nameless lad (shown be-
low) did his momentary salute at the end of his onstage
 singing. I regreted not recording what he did, since it
 would have been a kind of iconic image of the spirit he so
 positively displayed.  I tried later to find him back stage
 to ask him to do what he did onstage for one of my
 cameras. But alas he had already headed back to
 Brum  before I could find him. Such a simple salute
 by him helped to sum it all up for me at the
Christmas Songs of the Homeless.
He was among the many other TCWWN members
 who gave the homeless a very good name by their
personal presence and their outgoing talents that they
freely shared with those folkz more fortunate than
them at this English Christmastide.
A Perfect Match For TCWNN!
 Only the stone-hearted would have rejected them out
of hand as the happy stage become one and them -
almost inseparable they became as the night of the
 Christmas songs of the homeless rejoiced, clapped,
 danced, cheered and whistled to everybody's support
 and delight. It was almost intoxicating and exhilarating
 to me and I am sure it was for many others folkz at
Union Chapel - both for the homeless themselves and
 those who paid good money for the privilege of
spending an evening with them singing and rejoyicing.
Only She Had A Black Shaggy Coat With A
Great Song In Her Heart of Empty Homelessness.
TCWNN Choir Director Marie Benton Kneeling
 On Stage Before One of Her Homeless Singers.
This Guy Gave No Hint He Was Homeless
Smart & Talented
He Not Only Has A Good Stage Persona,
But He's Also Remarkably Photogenic.
Here she is once again at the closing moments
of the Christmas Songs of the Homeless with 
a showy bouquet from her audience admirers.
Of the 13 other choirs present at the Christmas Songs
 of the Homeless by TCWNN at Union Chapel, the list 
included Singingworks, ESKA, The Goldsmith's Vocal
Ensemble (GVE), Sol Singers, Soul Sanctuary Gospel
Choir, The Key Changes Singers, Vocality City, and
The Norton Rose Choir with their "variety of repertoire
 from Mozart to Kaiser Chiefs," stated the program notes.
"The Choir With A Name," That I Did Not Get!
These guyz & galz (shown above) belonged to
 "A Choir With A Name," but I never got its name!
Yet they were a joy, soundwise and photographically,
 for me. They were mainly college kidz from what I
could see and a far cry from those TCWNN homeless
persons. Their commonality, however, was evident
by their God-given gift of singing that transcends
national borders, creed, race, political ideology,
social status, and/or economic ladder.
Singing is a good future and not a bad dead end
 for many homeless. While others can kick a foot-
ball at the Homeless World Cup (HWC) to rightly 
enhance their self-worth and wellbeing, there are
 those who use their vocal cords to set the world
on fire!! And then, step out of homeless to a brave
New World just waiting for them.  Bravo to one and
all at The Choir With No Name. You're all true stars
 that shined so brightly at the Christmas Songs of the
Homeless. Bravo, to you all once again!!
And it should be noted, they now have two choirs with one
based at London's King's Cross and the other at Birmingham
in The Midlands. Thus, we now have The Choir(s) With No
 Name(s) to happliy contend with and they performed together
 for the "very first time" at Union Chapel, so noted Marie
 Benton. So that deserves another Bravo, and, of course,
 a very Happy Xmas to each one and all of them ...
Have Yourself A Traditional Merry Xmas
& A Blessed New Year, Uncle Monty.
+O Root of Jesus, 2011.
{ To Enlarge any image, just click on it }
Feedback & Comments
Inside CRISIS Skylight Cafe.
Xmas Open Mic At CRISIS.
Coming Next By Uncle Monty.
Part 2 of 2.
My Best 11 Images of 2011.
By Alex Albion.
The Bastard Bird Brothers of The Big Issue.
{ To Enlarge any image, just click on it }


DENISE. said...


megan church. said...

Dear monty, Wishing you a happy Christmas, and a very good 2012. I hope all is well, not having seen you at St Pat's since the big opening. I would love it, if you could e mail me some of your photo 's as a memory! Sending you much love from TIM and Maria and the children x dec 20, 2011. from megan church.

Marie Benton, CWNN. said...

Dear Monty

A very Happy New Year to you. Please forgive the delay in my reply, everything was a little hectic before Christmas!
We absolutely love your blog entry, thank you so much! The photos are beautiful too. Is
there any chance you could send
a few photos over? I could pass them on to the members concerned.
With our best wishes
Marie and all at the Choir
with No Name (CWNN)