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You are helping me to make my new CD "Jewels And Harmony" when you purchase this track for 99 cents or whatever additional you care to contribute. Please pass on this link to your friends with a kind word if you love the song!

You will also be supporting a wonderful songwriter - Bob Franke, who receives royalties on each download, the musicians who appear on the album and Bob Harris's studio, Ampersand records, where I am doing my recording, editing, mixing and mastering.

Mara Levine recently collaborated with Joe Jencks on a beautiful cover of Bob Franke’s moving song about the nativity “Straw Against the Chill”. The story unfolds with Bob’s powerful imagery and lush angelic harmonies. “Straw Against the Chill” was the #1 song played on folk radio for December 2010.

----Praise for Mara Levine & Joe Jenck's Version of "Straw Against The Chill"----

“An achingly beautiful version”
Si Kahn

“It is a gorgeous recording and it will become a holiday classic!”
Ron Olesko, “Traditions” WFDU, 89.1 FM

“It's gorgeous! Thanks for the care you put into it.”
Bob Franke, Composer

“Mara's recording of Bob Franke's song, "Straw Against The Chill" is the most beautiful holiday song I've laid ears on in years. In her lovely voice I often hear echos of Karen Carpenter. Kudos to Joe Jencks as well for his masterful guitar work and breathtaking vocal arrangements!"
Glen Roethel, "Gathering Time" 11/15/09”

"Bob Franke's always brilliant compositions have never been better interpreted than in this piece by Mara Levine and Joe Jencks”
Bill Hahn, Folk DJ, WFDU Traditions


Straw against the Chill by Bob Franke
C 1983

In a town of David, not so near to spring,
At the heart of love, there came a lovely thing.
It was the time of Mary, the time of Caesar's reign.
Nothing in our lives would ever be the same.

Chorus 1

It was so long ago, but we remember still:
Star upon the snow, straw against the chill.
A planet dancing slow, a tree upon a hill.
Star upon the snow, straw against the chill.

Stumbling in the darkness, it was her time for birth,
Bearing in her womb, the king of all the earth.
Searching for some shelter, by a cruel decree,
They found a kind of glory the mighty never see.

Chorus 2

There within a stable, the baby drew a breath
There began a life that put an end to death,
And all the frozen stillness, mighty voices heard:
"God is here among you! Human is the word!"

Chorus 3

It was so long ago, but we remember still:
Star upon the snow, straw against the chill.
A planet dancing slow, a tree upon a hill.
Star upon the snow, straw against the chill

----Track Credits----

Mara Levine – Vocals, Harmony Vocals
Joe Jencks - Guitar, Harmony Vocals
Bob Harris - Lead Guitar
Chad Hammer - Cello
C Bob Franke 1983 Telephone Pole Music Publishing Company (BMI)

Joe Jencks – Male harmony Arrangements
Bob Harris and Mara Levine – Female harmony arrangements
Produced by Bob Harris, Joe Jencks, Mara Levine at Ampersand records in Bridgewater, NJ.

Cover Image adapted from, "The Birth Of Jesus"
Bueronese mural late 1800's

Permission to reprint cover image received from the Mary Page at www.udayton.edu/mary of The Marian Library/International Marian Research institute, University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio (USA)

(p) (c) Mara Levine/Mara's Creations 2009
Mara Levine, PO box 2057 Edison, NJ 08818

Web page development
Joe Iadanza


Some of the songs on the upcoming album:

Straw Against the Chill(By Bob Franke) with Joe Jencks
(Bob Harris on Guitar and Chad Hammer on cello) #1 Song, Folk DJ Chart Dec. 2010

Leaves That Are Green(by Paul Simon) with Gathering Time(Bob Harris on Guitars) #1 song Folk DJ Chart October 2011

The Dutchman (by Michael Peter Smith) Duet with Si Kahn, (Bob Harris on Guitar, Chad Hammer on Cello)

Immigrant Dream(by Bob Wright) With Caroline Cutroneo, Shannon Lambert-Ryan, Bob Wright, Bill Doerge

April Come She Will(by Paul Simon) with Pat Wictor and Cheryl Prashker

Leave Time(by Dan Schatz) with Dan Schatz on Guitar

"Killing the Blues" by Rowland Sally as a tribute to our friend and former bandmate, Howard Berkowitz who passed away (With Terry Rivel, Rose Berkowitz, Rusty Crowell, Jan Alba, Cheryl Prashker, Bob Harris)


released December 1, 2009



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Mara Levine Milltown, New Jersey

Mara Levine is a song stylist known for her pure vocals and sense of harmony. She creates original interpretations of folk songs from traditional to contemporary.

Joe Jencks is an international touring performer, songwriter, entertainer, and educator, noted for his unique merging of musical beauty, social consciousness, and spiritual exploration. Joe tours with his harmony trio “Brother Sun”
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