‘Twas Sometime Around Midnight on Christmas, in the Graveyard Near the House,
TATE Nation was quiet, hopes for an album this year doused.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hope 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, unafraid to look lame,
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.
“Come On Out with a record, we don’t ask for much,
Perhaps a new single like The Common Touch?”
“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 like our song, Carry Me.”
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 your walls shake.”
“All I Ever Wanted,” I slowly began,
“Was just one more gig for a crazed super fan.
Can you play 1963? That tune is so rad,
And Hollywood Park would make me so glad.”
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 and rolled up his jean,
And promised to come back in 2018.
And I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he burst through the gate,
“HANG IN THERE LOS TOXICOS – IT’LL BE WORTH THE WAIT!”