The Xmas Time | The Music of Harvey Beaks
Writing a timeless Christmas song has always been a difficult & illusive endeavor for rock/pop artists. C.H. Greenblatt asked me to try my hand at a “classic” pop song for our Christmas Special and I was excited to take on the challenge. I had to think back on popular (and obscure) Christmas pop that has always put me in the holiday mood and narrowed my list down to: XTC’s “Thanks for Christmas,” SLADE’s, “Merry Christmas Everybody,” PAUL MCCARTNEY’s, “Wonderful ChristmasTime,” and the RESIDENTS’ “Santa Dog.”
Thus began the writing process. The lyrics were simple, fun, and playful. The music was composed in that 60′s melodic vernacular that I’ve always been fond of. It all came about rather quickly. After I wrote my demo,I reached out to my friend THOMAS WALSH (singer of the Irish power-pop band PUGWASH) who agreed to duet with me on the track. I consider Thomas one of the modern torch bearers of true pop music (as his collaborators Andy Partridge of XTC, Ray David of the KINKS, and Jeff Lynne of E.L.O. will surely attest!)
The song was finished off by the illustrious Steve Bartek who wrote & conducted a gorgeous orchestral & choir arrangement. Steve clearly went full George Martin on this and I wondered if he had recently been listening to I Am The Walrus or Strawberry Fields Forever? He also had the amazing idea of recording two string quintets set up on either side of the room playing unique simultaneous parts to create a live Left/Right stereo effect on the finished song. (?!?!?) Then he peppered a few brass & woodwinds throughout to make Sir George Martin smile from the heavens. Bless this man!
Needles to say, I’m very excited with how this turned out and I hope this becomes one of the most remembered songs of our little show-that-could. Long Live Harvey Beaks! - Ego
Santa Claus is checking off his list
and making sure that no one will be missed
everyone get ready for the Xmas time!
Candy canes for all the girls and boys
and dolls and trains and all your favorite toys
everyone is ready for the Xmas time!
Snow balls for the children who’re playing outside
Decked halls and a love that is more than implied
Here comes Mr. Santa Claus
taking up the xmas cause
bringing gifts for everyone
leaves a trial of joy and fun
now it’s time to say goodbye
until next year!