A blog about songwriting and about the songwriter Luigi Cappel

How to write a Christmas Song

I’ve noticed that a number of people who read my blog recently found me by putting in a search query on the search engine, asking how to write a Christmas song. They found me because of a blog I wrote back in August, saying that was the time you needed to write it.

That blog covered lots of topics you can write about, but I just wanted to add one for those of you who are now inspired. It’s too late to record something to go into a Christmas stocking unless you are burning it yourself, which is a good idea. You could also send a song as a Christmas present to your friends, family and fans as an MP3 Musicgram, which is a cool idea. This site allows you to upload songs and send them to a friend. I’ve tried it myself and it was very cool.

Anyway, I just wanted to add one very important point. If you disect the songs that populate the hit charts, you will find a major difference between the average singer songwriter song and the hits. That is that a hit song usually has a happy theme, like “I’ve got a new guy/girl and I want to tell the world.” “Now that I’ve found you”. “I’m in love”.

Many singer songwriters write about the one that got away and are being what Ralph Murphy calls the typical singer songwriter, a self indulgent writer who writes to get things off their chest (which is fine if that’s what you are after), but most people want to listen to songs that are uplifting and what more uplifting is there than “I’ve got you and that’s all I need for Christmas”. Think about the songs that you have on your stereo or listen to on the radio on Christmas Day to set the mood.

Sometimes you can do something a little more melancholy with a Christmas tone, but it probably won’t become a popular Christmas song. There are ways to add some special sentiment. For example in my song Another Stretch in Iraq, there is a mention as follows (about the tradition of sending miniature Christmas trees to the troops):

‘It’s Christmas time and the dessert is cold

My life is with the Army if the truth be told

They’ve got my back

My Mom and Dad sent a little Christmas Tree

They said that they were prayin for the boys and me……..’

Check out this list at Lyrics Vault for the top Christmas Songs of All Time and you will see that they are pretty much all uplifting happy songs full of Christmas Cheer. Of course there is a place for sad songs, but if you want to write a hit, write one in a major key with a lively beat and chuck a few sleigh bells in the chorus.

If you really want to be a little melancholy, you can still turn it into positive. Live Aid’s Do They Know Its Christmas did a great job of telling the sad story and what people could do about it into a happy one. It is just as popular today as when it came out in 1985.



Comments on: "How to write a Christmas Song" (8)

  1. it was exactly what i was looking for in writing the 2nd verse for a christmas song!

  2. joshua goodall said:

    Can you give me step by step!


    • No I can’t give you step by step. The first rule of songwriting is write about what you know, you’re experiences, how they make you feel. The starting point is what sort of song do you want to write, what or who are you writing for. If you can be more specific with your questions, I’ll be happy to try and help:)

  3. dosent help that much but good start

    • step by step would be like
      1. think of what you want the song to be about
      2. pick a main word that you want to be used
      3. write about what you feel
      4. put it all together and voila you have a song!
      — ci-ci, singer/songwriter

    • angel santana said:

      you guys what luigi is trying to say is that writing a song isnt just a job its something you feel and thats why it makes most songs special. so write with your heart and soul not your head or pride. express what you feel inside and write it out say it to a mirror or a small group and then if u think its good or others think its good pur a beat to it and make it sound even better take my advice it took me a long time to get published and it took me a long time to write my first song believe me but if this is a comittment your willing to make get out there and write write write!!!!!!!:)

  4. i need help writing a christmas song can someone plz post a good one

  5. Hi to all, the contents existing at this web site are actually remarkable
    for people knowledge, well, keep up the good work fellows.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: