What is your favourite Christmas song?
ACM was visited by several wise songwriters and asked for their pick of festive track and their New Year’s resolution
Guildford and London-based music school, Academy Of Contemporary Music, regularly invites experienced songwriters to host masterclasses for their students. In doing so, ACM normally asks the esteemed guests to run workshops and Q&A sessions to impart their skills and share their knowledge, but with the festive season approaching, they also raised two very simple questions…
What is your favourite Christmas song?
“I’m not generally a huge fan of Christmas songs per se, but it’s an obvious choice. Fairytale Of New York by The Pogues is, I think, the best Christmas song I know, because it’s not really a Christmas song – it’s about all of life.”
“My favourite Christmas song is O Holy Night and it’s because my auntie, who is a classically trained vocalist and was my first vocal coach, that was one of the songs that she first taught me to sing when I was about seven”
“Well there’s a band called Kids In Glass Houses from Wales – who have split up now – who released a Christmas song three years ago and it’s one of the most amazing Christmas songs I’ve ever heard, so that’s really good. I’m a big Michael Bublé fan so most of the Bublé Christmas stuff I love. In fact, I like all Christmas songs – yeah!”
“My favourite Christmas song – I have quite a few to be honest with you. Probably, it’s got to be Last Christmas [by Wham!] hasn’t it? George Michael [laughs] – guilty pleasure. Happy Christmas!”
“I loved that duet between David Bowie and Bing Crosby. That, to me, reminds me of being young and being back in county Limerick. Little Drummer Boy, yeah, what a great song, and I just thought: what a great combination of two artists, you know.”
“What’s my favourite Christmas single? Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto – James Brown – yeah, because it’s just so real. Santa Claus you need to go to the ghetto man, them kids need some food, they need some toys! No, I’m just kidding, but yeah it was a funky Christmas song.”
“Probably Baby It’s Cold Outside, just because it’s nice and romantic. I heard a friend sing it as well with a guy and it was incredible and beautiful.”
What is your New Year’s resolution?
“My New Year’s resolution… I’ve been thinking of a few. I’m gonna have another go at quitting smoking – there we go, we’ll give that a try. And I really want to go on the Trans Siberian Express, so maybe I’ll try and make that happen.”
“My New Year’s resolution will be to lose weight, like it is every year.”
“New Year’s resolutions: I tend to stay away from them because I never ever ever hold on to them. I say I’m gonna do one thing and then whatever it is that I say I’m gonna do never gets done. So I stopped doing new year’s resolutions ages ago ’cause there’s not one single thing that I can stick to!”
“I dunno, probably to try and stay in the moment more. In life, I think we have the tendency as human beings to plan ahead a lot of what we’re going to do, what we’re going to achieve and I think the one thing about songwriting that I love is when I’m in my own studio or no matter where in the world I am, when I’m writing a song. It took me a while to realise that when you’re in the songwriting process and the whole world is closed off, all you’re in is that moment where the song is being created and that’s been a big lesson for me and it’s a joy to have the opportunity to be in the moment, because I think once I step out of the songwriting creative type of moment, life gets in the way. So yeah, that’s my new year’s resolution, to stay in the moment as much as I can.”
“My New Year’s resolution is the same every year: just get better.”
“My New Year’s resolution is definitely to forget everything that happened in 2016 – close the book on that one and just gear up for 2017. Yeah, can’t wait for that one.”
“My New Year’s resolution. Wow, I’m really bad at new year’s resolutions. I always ruin them so I always think I’m never gonna make one. I think it’s going to be to get to bed earlier, because I’m really rubbish at going to bed and have been forever.”
For more information about ACM, go to: acm.ac.uk