The Perfect Tree, from A Tiny Miracle (Day 95)

Tree LotThere’s something slightly odd about posting a song about Christmas trees on Easter Sunday. We’ve got spring flowers in a vase on the piano and the sun is beaming into my office, lifting our spirits and creating a mood of rebirth. Nevertheless, on Day 95 of Project 194, it’s time to move on to the next song in A Tiny Miracle, and it’s a particularly good one. The Perfect Tree is a big choral production number inspired by the illustration from Richard Wainwright’s book that you see on the left.


This one was fun to record and assemble for the demo. You’ll hear, variously, Jeff Murphy as Wally, the Tree Lot Man; Todd Waddington as Mister Douglas, who wants a Douglas fir; Margo Price as the ringleader of the kids; Claudia Carlsson as the Decorator (“Yoo hoo, Mister Tree Man!”); and Mary Ellen Grant Kennedy as the allergic shopper. This composition is in the form of rondo with a “quodlibet” climax – that is, the varied tunes of the individual shoppers all are heard in counterpoint at the end. It’s a kind of composing puzzle I’m fond of, and the effect is especially charming here!

The perfect tree, the perfect tree
There’s only one that’s right for me
What kind of Christmas would it be
Without the perfect tree?

Carolers: Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way…

Mr. Douglas: In my family, it’s traditional
We must have a Douglas Fir.
Here’s a specimen that’s impeccable.
Say no more, I’ll take it, sir!
Feast your eyes on that form so fair,
Recognizable anywhere.
No wonder it’s the choice of connoisseurs!

Wally: It’s a pine, but, hey, fine,
If you want it, it’s yours.

Carolers: Deck the halls with boughs of holly,
Fa la la la la, la la la la…

Kids: Mom, Mom,
None of these trees is nearly big enough!
Mom, Mom,
Santa is going to bring a lot of stuff!
Where is he going to put it all?
We need a tree that’s eight feet tall!
None of these skimpy, wimpy trees,
Geez! They’re all too small!

Chorus: The perfect tree, the perfect tree
There’s only one that’s right for me
What kind of Christmas would it be
Without the perfect tree?

Carolers: Glo-o-o-ria, in excelsis deo…

Decorator: Yoo hoo! Young man! Do you think you could help me? I’m looking for…
A skinny tree, a skinny tree,
Something slender, something spare.
A skinny tree, a skinny tree,
One branch here and one branch there.
Here’s a photograph from a magazine.
It should look just so.
Martha Stewart has one,
And Martha ought to know!

Carolers: God rest you merry, gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay…

Shopper: Have you something hypoallergenic?
I can’t buy trees,
I can’t buy trees,
I can’t buy trees
That make me sneeze.

(The melodies of the four soloists are sung in counterpoint, and then:)

The perfect tree, the perfect tree
There’s only one that’s right for me
What kind of Christmas would it be
If I don’t find the perfect tree?
It’ll be a catastrophe!

Christmas day will not be jolly…

We’ll feel dismay
On this Christmas day
Without the perfect tree,
A tree that must be…

Shoppers: Big and beautiful…
Spare and delicate…
Very traditional…
Hypoallergenic…

Carolers: Four calling birds,
Three french hens,
Two turtle doves…
…and a perfect tree!

If you missed them, these are the songs already posted on Project 194; the links on the right are songs chosen at random from previous posts. Want to contribute to my interactive composition, “Hear My Song?” Read more here. Want to receive daily songs delivered direct to your inbox? Sign up here!

One thought on “The Perfect Tree, from A Tiny Miracle (Day 95)

  1. Pingback: Alone, from A Tiny Miracle (Day 96) | Notes from a SAVI Savant

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