Songwriter’s Association of Canada – Week # 6 – Write A Holiday Classic

Write the next great holiday song.

The timing is perfect for your quest to deliver the next great Christmas song, or one to be celebrated during the holidays. Aside one new song on the globally loved Michael Buble Christmas album, new songs that have transcend the holidays are few and far between. Songs that challenge the system like Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” and N Sync’s “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” are few and far between. Your challenge is to lyrically and melodically enter the creative stratosphere of great songs like “The Christmas Song”, a timeless masterpiece, and songs like “Let It Snow”, both of which were written in a California heatwave. While the former speaks of the setting of the perfect Christmas, the latter evokes all of the settings of a holiday celebration without mentioning Christmas itself.  Remember, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” was a fisherman’s lament. What I am looking for is a song of any tempo in any style, that speaks of your personal imagery and memories of the holiday season. Pour yourself into the idea that you do not have to be culturally specific, but you do have to deliver the message what this December past time means to you. Songs should be no longer than 3:30 long.

Many of the most beloved holiday classics were once written for movies. Use that imagery when you write your song. Rather than be jealous of yet another cover version of “White Christmas”, change the landscape for me and anyone listening with your song. 

When I was the A&R person for N Sync, I put together an album I am very proud of for five great singers. It was tailored after the Johnny Mathis album “Merry Christmas” – to provide a timeless, or timely representation of the talent at the time. Today, one is considered “The King Of Pop”. The other a timeless icon, who is the undisputed king of holiday albums.

Show me your talent with your song. Because for music supervisors and publishers, the holiday season for movies actually starts in April, not November. 

Good luck,
Vince Degiorgio

Words About The Process

This week we were to write a Holiday Classic! I’ve never written a Christmas song before but it was something I always have wanted to do. The tough thing about writing a classic Christmas song is finding an idea that is original, timeless and universal. I batted around a few ideas in my head on the way to work one day and eventually landed on the idea of the Elf On The Shelf. This book was released in 2005 and the concept has started to become tradition in many homes. I haven’t heard any songs written about this so I figured it would be a great opportunity to write one.

I contacted Judy Marshak, another songwriter in this challenge based out of Toronto. She had contacted me a couple weeks prior with hopes to collaborate so I thought this would be a great opportunity.

We met on Skype a few times, deciding that we’d go with a “She & Him’ feel along with Ukelele instrumentation. Judy is both a great instrumentalist and songwriter so it didn’t take us long to hash out the tune.

I hope you like the tune 🙂

Happy Holidays 😉

Scott

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