Sunday, April 26, 2009


The House on Christmas Street
Music and Lyrics by Judy Pancoast copyright 1998

Let me tell you 'bout this house, there's one in every town;
It's the one, at Christmas-time, where folks all gather 'round.
Most times of the year you'd pass by and not look back;
Oh, but in December, it'll stop you in your tracks

Cause it's got 47-thousand twinkling lights
And Santa Claus up on the roof;
Dasher and Dancer and all the other reindeer-
Rudolph's up there, too!
With a band of merry snowmen dancing on the porch
And a couple of carollers singing by the lamppost over near the front door;
Jesus and His Family in a stable on the lawn
And a choir of heavenly angels singing "Silent Night" 'til dawn.
It's where everybody meets-
It's the House on Christmas Street!

Every year, Thanksgiving Day, while we digest our turkey
The family puts up its display- you can see it from Albuquerque.
Papa says their electric bill must reach up to the sky
But Mama says the joy it brings is more than money can buy (repeat Chorus)

Every tree is all aglow
With a "Season's Greetings" banner hanging high.
It's so pretty in the snow, it's got to put a sparkle in your eye, in your eye! (repeat Chorus)

The Inspiration for "The House on Christmas Street"

When composer Judy Pancoast was a young child, a favorite holiday activity of her family was to jump in the car and tour the outdoor decorations at the houses in her hometown of Waterville, Maine. One day when Judy was a young teen, her father came home from work and announced that he had heard about a home that had outdone them all in terms of decorating. The family bundled up in the car and drove up to see the house.
As the car came closer to its destination, a glow could be seen in the sky. And as they turned the corner, Judy saw that the street was filled with other families "oohing" and "aahing" over the sight.
From roof to road the house and its grounds were festooned in colorful lights, animated decorations and more. Judy stood on the sidewalk in awe, watching the lights twinkle and the animated characters move. It made her feel happy inside, although she wasn't sure why. She returned to gaze at the house in wonder for years following that first night, even after she grew up and moved away from home. Sadly, one December the house was dark at Christmas time, and has been ever since. Judy never learned whether the original owner/decorator had moved away or passed away. She just knew it was a real loss to the community for that display to cease.
Time passed and life went on. Judy grew up, went to college, began a career working as a musician and radio announcer and got married. When that early marriage broke up, she found herself living alone in a small apartment in a new town far away from family and friends. She worked the 6-11pm shift at a radio station, then drove back to her lonely apartment. It was a night in early December when she was feeling especially sad that she drove around a corner and was stopped in her tracks by a house that was lit up so brightly she couldn't help but pull over and gaze at it. Once again, the twinkling lights mesmerized her, and lifted her spirits in a way that could not be explained. She was very grateful to the homeowners who had gone out of their way to cheer the strangers who happened to pass by. She went home feeling happier, and the next day went out and got a little tree and some lights and decorated her own little place, making it warmer and happier and a nicer place to come home to.
Even more time went by, and Judy's career took her to several different cities and towns. It seemed that, in every town, there was one house that everyone knew about, the one that had the most spectacular decorations. Eventually Judy remarried and she and her husband had two daughters. A favorite Christmas time activity was jumping in the car and touring the streets of their little home town in New Hampshire looking for the brightest and most colorful lighting displays.
In 1998 Judy was inspired by these events to write a song about that house in every town that always had the most outrageous, magical display. She called the song "The House on Christmas Street" and recorded it on her 1998 Christmas CD of the same name.