I have always been a big fan of Christmas music since childhood, especially all the Christmas classics most of which were written in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. To this day millions of people play them over and over during the Holidays….and never seem to tire of them. There is a “timeless” quality to songs like “White Christmas” and “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow”. They have become, over time, part of the fabric of our society.
About 20 years ago I thought to myself, man we need some new Christmas songs….maybe I can take a stab at writing some. I explored the existing Bluegrass Christmas song catalog, and came across very few, “Christmas Time’s A Comin'” by Tex Logan being one of the most notable. I started spending time trying to come up with new Christmas/Seasonal themes that had not been done before. It was incredibly hard! None-the-less I was determined to come up with some fresh ideas, bring something new to the table.
My very first Christmas tune was called “I Dreamed I Was There”. It was an incredible breakthrough for me personally. I kept at it, and over time wound up with a catalog of about 30 original
Christmas/Seasonal songs. I would block out a few weeks after The Holidays each year focusing on writing new Christmas songs, adding to my growing catalog. Back in 2003 I recorded and released by very first Christmas Album “The Season Of My Heart”, that featured 14 of my home-made Christmas tunes. The response was fantastic, and the album was voted one of the top 25 Holiday music releases of 2003.
I couple years ago I released my 2nd Christmas CD “That’s What I Love About Christmas”. A contrast to my earlier release, this one has the feel of some of the early Christmas Classics. We recorded ten of my new original Christmas tunes, with the help of some great Nashville area musicians and vocalists. The end result exceeded any expectation I had, the title cut winning an award for the IMEA Christmas song of the year.
If you are a songwriter and a fan of Christmas music, you might consider giving it a try yourself. The world needs new Christmas songs to keep the music fresh, and help us to celebrate the Holiday traditions we hold dear. If you do, here are a couple thoughts I’d like to share on the subject.
- Listen to your favorite Christmas songs-music (any genre) to draw ideas from, both lyrically and musically.
- Try to find topics/themes that have not been covered before, or put a new spin on an old song idea.
- Think back to your childhood and remember how much fun it was the first time you saw snow fall, caught snow flakes on your tongue, built a snowman, made snow angels.
- Come up with some original music for your song that has a “seasonal feel” to it. Create an appropriate setting for the lyric.
- Try to find a story to tell, that works well in a winter setting.
- Try to capture the “Spirit” of the Holidays and the “wonders” of the season in your song.
I’ll leave you with the lyrics to a reasonably new Christmas tune I wrote entitled “Home-Made Christmas”. I had been thinking back to my childhood days and the excitement my brothers, sisters and I shared as we looked forward to our upcoming Christmas season. I remembered times when our family was pretty destitute and didn’t have the money to buy nice gifts for each other. That never discouraged us, we all made home-made things for each other with whatever we could find. Some of our most memorable Christmas’ were the ones where we exchanged our home-made gifts….because they were made with love.