‘Twas Sometime Around Midnight on Christmas, in the Graveyard Near the House,
TATE Nation was quiet, hopes for a gig this year doused.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In faith some new Airborne tunes soon would be there.
Clad in a tour shirt, I dozed in my bed,
While The Thing About Dreams played soft in my head.
I imagined myself standing in line,
For the long-wanted show for which I did pine.
All At Once in the street there arose such a clatter,
The roar of a Dope Machine the silence did shatter.
In a stupor I stumbled down from the second floor,
Swaying, braying, I burst through the door.
It was a bleary-eyed night, beneath the streetlight,
I needed a moment to take in the sight.
And what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a poet, a singer, weighed down with gear.
The mermaid tattoo was an obvious tell,
I knew in a moment it must be Mikel.
Greedy for more, I lost all my shame,
And I whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
“Now Daren! Now, Steven! Now, Adrian and Anna!
On, roadies! On, Pete Galli! And you too, Bill Handlin!
To the top of the stage! To the top of the wall!
Not so high please Mikel – I’m afraid you will fall!”
And then, in a twinkling, I came up with a plan,
Shyness be damned – it was Time to be a Man.
“It is most unexpected to find you out here,
Like the surprise song America you dropped on us this year.”
“We take care of our fans,” he said with a wink,
“You should know that by now, wouldn’t you think?
On The Fifth Day of Christmas, your True Love asked me,
To give you a gift that will bring you much glee.”
He was dressed all in black, from his head to his foot,
And into his guitar case, his hand he did put.
“We’ve been quiet this year, but make no mistake,
What’s coming up next will make the walls shake.”
“All I Ever Wanted,” I slowly began,
“Was just one more show for a crazed super fan.
Can you please play The Way Home? That song is my theme,
And if you play Innocence, we’re all sure to scream.”
He was cooler than cool; I was feeling unworthy,
My insides were Numb and I was getting too wordy.
But he put me at ease with a nod of his head,
He’s good with his fans; I had nothing to dread.
So I took a deep breath, “A request if I may,
A happy TATE song for the holidays?
A little less death, a little more joy,
Something appropriate for my little boy?”
He said, “Not my style; that music sounds dated,
And holiday cheer is so overrated.
I’ve tried to be sappy; I’ve tried to write kitsch,
But sometimes Christmas can make you feel like shit.”
He sprang to his bike, flashed his 7th Heaven smile,
And then he assured me, “We’ll be back in awhile.”
And I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“LESS THAN THREE MONTHS NOW TILL WE ALL REUNITE!”