I’ve had a fondness for Christmas music for some years, one I find hard to explain. Perhaps it’s the way the festive season licences a certain exuberant good cheer and daftness that would feel unwarranted at any other time of year. Relaxed, full of good food and drink, I’m also more likely to pick up a musical instrument and write something. This year I had an idea for a kind of prophetic fable featuring a lonely turtle dove and its out of season reverse migration back to the English village where it had failed to breed earlier in the year. In typical last minute fashion I passed around skeleton lyrics – and I really do mean bare bones! – on a clipboard during a weekend with my friends and musical co-conspirators The Brooms Of Destruction. They duly helped me to finish it, and here it is in all its hastily played and sung glory.
Our collective Christmas music efforts, now compiled on an album we call ‘The Plum Puddings (Of Desolation)’ (long story!) also include a song inspired by the Arctic dwelling moths with the 14 year lifecycle featured in David Attenborough’s Frozen Planet a few years ago. As a sign of light and life clinging on in the dark and cold they just seemed, well, Christmassy! Listen here. Elsewhere there’s a musical setting for Thomas Hardy’s poem The Darkling Thrush, Good King Wenceslas recast for the age of austerity, some anti war and anti-consumerism musical hi-jinx, carols old and new and one rather corpulent cat. Merry Christmas!