Amazingly Jose Feliciano, at the age of 72, is still going strong. You can go here to read about a recent performance he did at London’s Royal Albert Hall along with British performer Jools Holland. Feliciano is a native of Puerto Rico. He was born blind with congenital glaucoma, yet he wishes us a merry Christmas from the bottom of his heart.
I suspect there are many blind people who actually can see far better than the sighted–for as we all know, there is a distinct difference between the “blind” and the “willfully blind.” An anecdote from Feliciano’s life, as related in the article about him at Wikipedia, would seem to provide us with ample evidence of this. The anecdote has to do with a crude parody of his classic Christmas song:
“In December 2009 a parody of ‘Feliz Navidad’ entitled ‘The Illegal Alien Christmas Song’ was created by radio producers Matt Fox and A. J. Rice and posted on the website for Human Events, a Washington-based weekly publication. The parody, sung in English, played on the stereotype of Mexican immigrants as heavy drinkers and that illegal immigrants were going to ‘spread bubonic plague’.
“Feliciano released a statement on December 23 on his official website:
‘This song has always been a bridge to the cultures that are so dear to me, never as a vehicle for a political platform of racism and hate. It’s disgusting and my only wish that my song and I are distanced from the whole affair as soon as possible.'”
The article goes on to state that the parody was removed from the website in question.
Feliz Navidad was released in 1970 and has since become a Christmas classic. It is a truly beautiful song, and the animation in the video is also rather beautiful. I hope you enjoy it, and perhaps remember these words…
“Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
–The man born blind who was healed by Jesus