Anyone who has listened even a little bit to the Christmas story from the Bible (it’s in Luke 2:1-21 and Matthew 1:18-2:12 for those who want to re-read the details) have got the general idea: The trip Joseph and Mary had to take to Bethlehem for the Roman census; no room for them in the inn; their alternate living arrangements in a stable; the birth of Jesus, who was laid in a hay trough instead of a crib; the visit of the shepherds who had been told of the event by angels; and later the visit of the wise men from the east, bearing gifts. Nearly every religious Christmas song in existence contains one or more of the details of the account, and these songs are played endlessly on the radio and in stores during the Christmas season each year.

It would be difficult to have not heard the story, unless you have been actively avoiding any mention of the spiritual aspects of the season. And I could pick any of a number of songs to sweetly tell of the coming of Jesus to our world. But I’ve already done that this year, and I’d like to offer a song that tells it … differently.

From the Christian parody group ApologetiX, here is a song from their 1998 album Jesus Christ Morningstar.  It is a parody of Hotel California by the Eagles. Have a smile today as you listen to Hotel Can’t Afford Ya, their clever re-visitation of that classic narrative.

From a dark desert highway
We pulled into the inn
Rome called for a census,
I was from Bethlehem
Up above from a distance
A star was giving me light
My wife was heavy ‘cause her child was due
We had to stop for the night

So I stood in the doorway
Of Bethlehem Hotel
And I was thinking to myself
“I hope to heaven they’ll give me some help”
But they told us “no-can-do”
And they sent me away
“There’s a place around the corner, though
Where you both can stay”

Welcome, but the hotel can’t afford ya
Such a lovely place (such a lovely place)
But we’re out of space
Ran out of room and the hotel can’t afford ya
It’s the time of year (it’s the time of year)
With the census here

My wife was definitely gifted,
That’s what the Lord’s angel said
She was about to have a baby boy
While still virgin
We spent the night in a barnyard,
Cheap slumlord’s rent
Some night to remember
Some night to forget

So because of what happened
I was grieving for my wife
And I said, “They probably haven’t cleaned in here
Since B.C. 65”
Animal voices were calling for straw and hay
Keep you up through the middle of the night
Just as if to say …

Welcome, but the hotel can’t afford ya
Such a lovely place (such a lovely place)
But we’re out of space
Holiday rush and the hotel can’t afford ya
What a nice surprise (what a nice surprise)
For your silent night

He was born that evening
Shepherds came that night
And they said “We’re all just visitors here
Of the Holy Christ”
And in an ass’s manger,
They found the boy asleep
They started getting teary-eyed
So they went back to their sheep

Last thing I remember there were
Wise men at the door
They had a bunch of packages
From the place they were before
“We’re late,” said the wise men
“We had problems Christmas Eve
We’ve been checking out your shiny light
All through the Middle East”

Jesus Christ Morningstar, ApologetiX, 1998 Click here to visit the ApologetiX
web site if you want to buy this album

One response to “Room”

  1. Thank you for this great site. I came to the Lord in 1973 and soon after began looking into the Jesus music scene. I collected alot of Jesus rock but then gave it away. Since then I have tried from time to time to pick up some of those old albums from flea markets,garage sales and so on. I always loved the no holes barred straight on message of 70’s Jesus music, Barry McQuire, Keith Green etc. The lyrics were almost always clear and the artists unabashedly tried to make them that way. You have great music here and web sites like this will surely flourish when the believing baby boomers retire and get time to look back on that incredible time of their life and the music that accompanied it. I’am just beginning my search and this is one of my first stops. Thanks again for this work of the Lord!

    Doug Waterman

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