A blog about songwriting and about the songwriter Luigi Cappel

Posts tagged ‘Christmas Songs’

New Song ‘God If You’re Listening’

So I’ve now finished the first cut of my Christmas song for 2011, which as the name of the blog suggests is called, God If You’re Listening. This started off as Santa If You’re Listening, which I wrote about in my last blog. It started as my 2nd to last Harmony assignment for the year. I finished it this morning, 1 January 2011 and recorded the first cut which you can listen to here. God if You’re Listening

I decided to change the name because God If You’re Listening is more generic and while Christmas makes the concept more poignant, and is a time that many people do lose their jobs, it could happen at any time to anyone. Most people will lose their jobs at least once in their lives and often when they least expect it.

Here are the lyrics. I hope you like it. I’ve sent the song off to someone who offered to master a song for me for free. I’ll wait a few days and see what comes back before putting it onto my favorite music sites. So you’re the first to hear the raw demo. Let me know what you think.

God If You’re Listening © Luigi Cappel 2011
Verse One
There’s a young boy on the corner sitting on a garbage can, his red rimmed eyes are looking at the sky. He says
Santa if you’re listening, can you bring my Dad a job? Since they closed the plant we’re barely getting by.
Chorus
Santa if you’re listening I sure could use some help my Mom is lying crying in her room
I don’t need no toys or such, I’ll just do my chores and please Santa can you make it happen soon.
Verse 2
In the bedroom sits his mother and she’s staring at the wall, her eyes glazed over can’t see through her tears, she says
God if you’re listening can you help my family? Our food is low and the rent is in arrears.
Chorus
God if you’re listening I sure could use some help, my husband’s tried most everywhere he can.
I don’t need no Christmas Tree or fancy clothes to wear, I just hope that you have a plan.
Bridge
The same could happen to you or me, if you see someone in misery throw them a lifeline if you can
It don’t have to be much, just a friendly hand and a loving touch can be all it takes to revive a weary soul, and she said
Chorus
God if you’re listening I sure could use some help, my husband’s tried most everywhere he can.
I don’t need no Christmas Tree or fancy clothes to wear, I just hope that you have a plan.

Christmas Hope Songs

So I’ve written a number of blogs about Christmas songs and a key point being that you need to write it 6 months out. A couple of years ago I wrote Another Stretch in Iraq which I blogged about here. This was my recognition of the men and women of the military who have served and are serving around the world. Following this year’s study it is going to get a major rewrite and new name, but the fundamental message doesn’t change.

Coming up to Christmas I was working on my second to last Melody Assignment at Berklee Music and decided to do it as a Christmas song. I haven’t finished it, but thought I’d share a couple of verses and chorus with you. I’m thinking it will end up with another verse and bridge before I record it properly, but hope you like the concept.

I am really into telling stories which will become obvious if you listen to more of my songs. So this one is about a family who have hit tough times and despite their own feelings are wishing for something good for someone else.

The exercise was point and counterpoint between bass and lyric melody. For the verses I’ve used Oblique motion where the dominant movement comes from the bass. In the choruses I’ve used Parallel motion to really draw attention to the emotion in the lyrics.

Hope you like it. All feedback welcome. You can hear it by clicking on the following link: Santa if youre listening

Merry Christmas to you and yours and many thanks for visiting my blog.

Songs about the depression

When i was a tiny tot there was a song on a record that my parents used to play, the group was Peter, Paul and Mary and the song was Buddy Can You Spare a Dime. I used to sing it and thought it was about a guy down on his luck. Sort of like the old Blues standard, rejuvinated in recent years by Eric Clapton, Nobody Loves You When You’re Down and Out.

Here’s a great version by Tom Waitts

I really liked the lyrics, “Don’t you remember, you called me Al? Iit was Al all the time, don’t you remember, I was your pal? Buddy can you spare a dime.” Now that I know those lyrics were written by Yip Harburg in 1931, it makes more sense.

We’re in the Money came out just after the depression, but I never paid much attention to the lyrics. I just thought it was a happy song from a stage musical. “We never read a headlne about breadlines today. And when we see the landlord, we look that guy right in the eye.” Written by Songwriters Hall of Famer,  Al Dubin and Harry Warren’s catchy tune in 1933, ring a little more poignant. Especially when we read in our newspapers that middle class people are now starting to line up for food parcels at Foodbanks around the country.

It’s funny how we are out doing our Christmas shopping and not yet realising what’s going on. IK had a look at Big Boys Toys,  my favourite expo today and  the show seems to be a good 25% smaller than previous years and there appears to be more tyre kicking than buying from the reduced crowd.

Then there were the  blues, but I won’t go into that. I want to know about the songs of the 21st century. There bwill be lots of stories in the papers and on the streets. Today’s blues will probably be Rap and Hip Hop, but the concepts will be the same.

I can’t text you babe

My account’s been cut, I’m flat on my ass, no money for gas, I thought I was fine, can’t even afforfd to rhyme.

Who do I sound like?

There are lots of sites where you can post your music and one of the ways people find you is when they are looking for people who sound similar to one of their favourite artists. MySpace has that feature. Last FM is built around that concept.

Last FM is like your own personal radio station that tries to come up with the music you like. It’s free, which is great and when you listen to music you can rate it, love it or ban it and the station will eventually evolve into exactly the kind of music you like. You can get it to start playing music by selecting an artist or a topic. If you want to listen to songs about Christmas, just key in Christmas, if you want to listen to my songs or artists like me, select artist and enter Luigi Cappel.

As a songwriter, artist or band, you can set up your own site where you can upload your music and videos and people can listen to your music. Just go to the Music Manager section and start creating your page. I have 1 1/2 albums up there so far. Greenhouse and Reflections which is only half complete so far.

So here’s the problem. I have entered 3 artists who have influenced me, particularly on certain songs. They are Don Henly (in particular my song Only Memories Survive), Willie Nelson and Jimmy Webb. The problem I have is in being objective when I listen to myself. So perhaps you can have a listen to some of my songs on one of my sites and tell me who you think I sound like. You can here them at Last FM by entereing my name, you can hear some at MySpace and more at Music Forte.

If you can be bothered, it would be great if you can give me feedback on what artists you think I sound like so I can add them into my sites to help people who like those artists find me. I’ll be happy to return the favor of course.

There are many benefits of understanding who you are like. If you know who you sound like, you can look for gigs where people like that kind of music. You can get a better idea of who to pitch your songs to as a songwriter and you can guide potential fans to your music online.

Now is the time to write your Christmas song

It’s not unusual around November to get opportunities to do something with your Christmas song, but if you haven’t written and recorded at least your demo it’s going to be too late. I don’t know about you but listening to Snoopy chasing the Red Baron anything more than once a year is more than I can take. So how about writing one now and be ready for the opportunity.

Christmas songs don’t have to be all about Jingle Bells, there are many poignant songs about Christmas these days. Songs about please bring dad home for Christmas or, well here I some ideas to get you started. How about trying one of these as an exercise?

  • Christmas Love
  • Christmas Stress (Think about all those people doing last minute Christmas shopping and how happy they look, not)
  • Christmas Shopping
  • I don’t know what to buy you for Christmas
  • All I want for Christmas is a new girlfrind/boyfriend
  • Christmas Blues (I actually have a CD of famous Blues artists performing Christmas Blues, I can’t be the only person who bought it)
  • Family Christmas
  • Christmas on the beach (that’s what a lot of us do in New Zealand and Australia)
  • I love/hate Christmas shopping
  • My Christmas gift to you is me
  • I didn’t want you for Christmas I wanted a new guitar
  • What Christmas means to me
  • My gift to you is this song

That should give you a few ideas for a start. The song doesn’t have to be all about Christmas either. My Christmas song is called Another Stretch in Iraq and you can hear it on my MySpace page.

Oh and a little favour. If you thought this was useful or you liked my song, I would really appreciate it if you would click on the Demand It Competition banner on my MySpace page and vote for me in the Eventfull Competition, I really could use the help:)

If you found this useful and you know of anyone else who i a songwriter and could use some ideas, how about sending them a link?

Tag Cloud