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How to make your personal song sing as a Christmas Gift

How to make your personal song sing as a Christmas Gift


14th December 2022

5 min Read

Now here's a new game at Christmas - you set the table and reveal to everyone around it they have their favourite Christmas song together with the band name, personalised on their slate placemats. Or creating the same idea on a garment is also perfectly possible by selecting the same music option song layout. I bet it wouldn't be too long before family and friends who'd gathered couldn't resist singing that favourite song out loud - and suddenly you have a new flavour to your Christmas gathering - which could even involve dancing to that tune - or if you have a karaoke machine, even better, suddenly you have a backing track !

Writing this of course I needed to get into the spirit and there are some Christmas songs which immediately come to mind. 'Merry Christmas Everyone' by Shakin Stevens is an all time classic but what's more, it gets you cheerful as soon as you hear it and watch the video. A viewer called Naomi sums up what a lot of people feel: " I will always listen to Christmas music when I'm having a bad day, regardless of the month. Nothing else can make me feel happy and more relaxing than Christmas" Indeed this song does have cheerful lyrics - "Time for parties & celebration, people dancing all night long, time for presents and exchanging kisses, time for singing Christmas songs." And I'm not sure if Naomi knew or not, but in fact "Merry Christmas Everyone' was written by Bob Heatlie specifically for Shakin Stevens in the height of Summer and even during a heatwave! He says: 'I was wearing shorts, dropping in sweat, standing there recording with jingling bells, thinking 'This is crazy" Interesting fact too is that its release was delayed a year to 1985 in order not to compete with Band Aid and Wham's big "Do they know it's Christmas?" song.

The other fascinating thing is that there is a correlation between the composition of Christmas music and certain techniques and chords are repeated in different songs in different eras. If you had Maria Carey's "All I want for Christmas is you" on your Christmas Gift or garment, you'd have another all time Christmas favourite hit release of 1994. It's one of the most often played Christmas songs ever and yet according to music composition expert Adam Ragusea the chord formation at the beginning harks back to an All time favourite which was newly arranged in 1972 by Phil Spector called "A Christmas Gift for you." Furthermore there are links to the 1942 Irving Berlin classic "White Christmas' performed by Bing Crosby. It's down to the use of a similar chord formation. A chord is 3 or more notes played together, and both songs progress from a major chord to use the distinct and utterly lovely d minor chord which gives them such a classic sound. And of course that sort of chord progression is routed in none other than jazz.

For many, Christmas is a time of year when gatherings can mean travelling to get there. And no more so than Chris Rea who wrote "Driving home for Christmas" as a result of seeing people's not so happy faces through London on a traffic ridden journey back home to Middlesbrough. Driving was cheaper than travelling by train and so his wife came to collect him after work at Abbey Road Studios. At intervals when the street lights allowed, he could see to write down the lyrics. That was back in 1978. It wasn't until 10 years later when testing pianos would you believe, with keyboard player Max Middleton that he came across a tune to fit the lyrics. He meant the song for Van Morrison but that didn't happen and also when the song was first released it was a flop. It was then tinkered with including adding a jazzy intro, some strings and a typical 1950's carol style arrangement and re-released in 1986. Stacey Soloman's one of the artists who's used it as a cover for her single debut in 2011. So Christmas songs have fascinating origins and are a brilliant way of interweaving some fun into the Christmas festivities. Maybe a mug's more you rather than a placemat - but if not this song design, then a traditional Christmas layout is also a great gift and way of uniting people during Yuletide. Whatever the design, it can act as a bridge between people who haven't necessarily caught up for a while. And for those who are already familiar with each other, even better, as there's more scope for humour, which after all, is one of life's great essentials at any time of year.

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Cathy Sayers

Content Editor

As a former ITV Features Editor Cathy is used to coming up with ideas on all manner of subjects and making them viewer friendly! She divides her time between all things TShirt Studio and making films for production company visiononcomms.com

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