A Salute To Good King Wenceslas: Christmas Joy Forever and Ever Amen

by Mr. Manager and Katy Kirby

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In the fitful, murky cold of late November, Mr. Manager and Katy Kirby found themselves embarking on a quest to answer one question: “What, exactly, is the meaning of Christmas?” With freezing fingertips they battled through holiday traffic and gingerbread armies until they came, exhausted, to an abandoned strip mall. There they were assisted by the misfit toys and workers of the Christmas corporate complex, who told them of a star they had seen traveling west, out toward the outskirts of town. Guided by the nutcrackers and disillusioned mall elves, they trudged along the slush-flooded highways, wandering through endless thickets of brown grass, tinsel and candy cane as they followed the barely visible star. After 3 long days and nights, it suddenly stopped over a clearing of pine trees near an underfunded middle school. There, as they pushed aside soft, evergreen branches, they found the Christ child quietly asleep. He was surrounded by terrifying angels of God (as wild as hurricanes), bickering families at their Christmas dinners, sharp-eyed sellers of holiday goods, tired, shabby, farm animals, browbeaten shepherds, saints with bright halos spinning like tops. Varied and mismatched as a Black Friday sale line, they bobbed and mingled around the manger like an awkward office holiday party. Mr. Manager and Katy stood speechless before this host, rubbing their eyes in disbelief. As they stood amazed, the lone figure of King Wenceslas (murder victim, duke, saint, leader of magical armies) emerged from the crowd and a hush swiftly fell over the snowy clearing. 

Verily I say unto you, my children:
To reckon with Christmases past.
To seek the melting of your frostbitten hearts.
To hark unto the lowest and highest. 

This indeed is the answer you seek. 

The figures around him nodded and muttered their assent, and with a solemn wink, King Wenceslas mounted a reindeer and rode away. Our heroes were filled with wonder, and with hearts of joy they returned home to tell what they had seen. High on glad tidings, in a 12 hour marathon they recorded a collection of Christmas- spirit-filled tunes to give to the dear friends and family surrounding them. They crafted each song with handfuls of candlelight, sprigs of spiky holly leaves, bits of shiny ribbon, artisanal sugar-plum preserves, and some frayed strings of twinkling lights. In the early hours of the morning, they had finally finished their task. They wrapped each one up in bright paper and bows and set them under the tree to wait for Christmas morning. And thus, they present to their first annual salute to Wenceslas, Duke of Bohemia--their small gift to you and your kin this holiday season. 


released December 24, 2015

lovingly handmade by:
nick johnston
katy kirby
pete eigel
joelton mayfield



all rights reserved


Mr. Manager Nashville, Tennessee

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Track Name: Don't Be Sad Molly, It's Christmas!
I sent you cards
I sent you letters
I drew a Christmas tree in glitter
I sent you tidings of joy
and sadness
it's christmas, sweet molly please smile.

we hung up lights along the mantle
and when we plugged them in they burnt up
the cards we got from your sister and mom
"it's christmas, sweet molly hold on"

don't be sad, sweet molly, it's christmas!
the stars that shine bright in the sky
don't know why that they come between everything,
molly on purpose
it's christmas, oh molly, don't cry!

I wove you 30 crowns of holly
I built you 30 snowmen smiling
I made them till my hands were aching
it's Christmas sweet molly be happy

you walked alone out in the snowflakes
you walked away from all the mistakes
the holiday of joy and heartache
it's christmas, sweet molly please stay
Track Name: Baby, Don't You Know It's Christmas Eve?
I heard you sing a song outside
as you strung up all the christmas lights
I watched the daylight dim and die
frankincense and gold and myrrh
the painful world's a beautiful blur
oh baby, don't you know it's christmas eve?

the nutcrackers lined up in the garage
await in silent espionage
as you rearrange upon their a stage
and the microscopic mountain tops
we bought inside the christmas shop
baby, do they know it's christmas eve?

I filled this book all to the brim
with songs of our love caving in
but I'll burn the pages, break the pen
and tonight I'll write you that love song
the one I've promised all year long
oh baby, don't you know it's christmas eve?

seattle is still too far away
and I still curse out loud when I try to pray
oh mercy, take this doubt away.
these fields of snow inside our minds
will melt away in their due time
oh baby, don't you know it's christmas eve?