I hadn’t written a Christmas song before, and hadn’t particularly planned to. Other people seem to do it very nicely, I’ll just play those if need be.
Then I was invited to play in a Writers’ Night, in-the-round with other local songwriters. The advertising was Christmas-themed, I knew others would be bringing Christmas songs, and I was gently asked if, you know, maybe I might have one?
I didn’t, and decided to be OK with that. But a week before the show, the germ of an idea showed up. It bounced around as these things do, and the night before the show, I sat down and made myself write some verses. Normally I’ll be all “I have to wait for the muuuuuuse”, but what did it hurt? If they were terrible, I already didn’t have a song. No harm done.
They weren’t terrible. I liked them a lot. It was funny, but also wistful. My song, my rules. And I love me a power-pop melody and a big singalong chorus.
The day of the show, in lieu of lunch, I wrote the middle. I made myself a little demo, something to listen to in the background the rest of the day, so that I might remember it. I posted that demo to Facebook for a really small group of friends - mostly other writers - to hear; basically, I was surprisingly proud of the song. Here’s that demo:
The next day or so, my friend Pete sends me back my demo, but he’s added drums. Tricky, considering the demo’s rather flexible approach to timing.
But it sounded really cool. I sent Pete a new demo, this one with a click track, and a sample sequenced drum part which I hoped he’d ignore. A couple of passes later, and there were drums. Good ones, alongside my little guitar/vocal guide track.
I spent much of this weekend adding bass, guitars, and real vocals. I mixed, and mixed, and re-mixed, and basically learned a lot more than I’d known before about home recording.
For example, I learned that my closet makes a nice, dry vocal/acoustic booth.
Monday night, up the song went to my music page, where you can buy it right now. It’s $1.00, but you can spend more. All profits (that is, every penny I actually see, after PayPal and Bandcamp fees) will go to charity.
I knew, when I decided to work in earnest on this track, that I wanted it to be for a cause. The choice for Pete and I was obvious: The Haven For Children. It’s a local charity, run by people I admire - and both my mom and Pete’s late mother have given countless hours volunteering and fundraising for them.