Signs of the Season

When I picked a songwriting goal for the year a few months ago, it was to record at least one of my songs by the end of the year. It came about in a roundabout way and wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, but technically I met that goal.

The song premiered today on the Women of Substance Radio Podcast, as part of a series of holiday songs by female artists. The song, co-written and performed by Lisa Hart and produced by Kenny Star, is on episode #1181 and is the third song, “Signs of the Season.” (Listen to the podcast here.)

Here’s the journey of the song.

My co-writer, Lisa Hart, and I decided to try writing a holiday song, as our goal is to sell songs for sync and there are many opportunities for holiday songs (think commercials and Christmas-themed episodes of all the TV shows out there.)

I started playing around with ideas and thought about one that could be used in a film or commercial announcing the upcoming holiday season – images that show signs that the holidays are near. To listen to the original voice memo with lyrics and melody (no music), click here.

The original lyrics were:

Signs of the season are showing,
Santa Claus in the malls, trees are glowing
There’s something in the air, an extra dose of good cheer
It’s the holidays – the holidays are near

Signs of the season are shining,
Bright lights, cozy nights, so inviting
There’s something in the way, in the words people say
Happy holiday, the holidays are near

Flannel pajamas, fuzzy slippers
Sitting fireside with hot chocolate dippers
No matter the weather, we’ll be together
For the holidays, the holidays are near

Signs of the season are glowing,
Anticipation is growing
The feeling is clear, the holidays will be here
The holidays, the holidays are near.

Early on in the process, I changed it to “the holidays are here” because I kept accidentally singing ‘holidays are here’ because it sang easier and that h alliteration sounded better.

My co-writer and I have very different singing styles and so although the final melody is pretty close to the original, she wrote the music (she’s much better on guitar than I am) and so it fits more her style of singing. We went to the studio to record it back in December 2019 (See ‘Co-writing and a recording session“) and the music sounded great, but because she added an extra Christmas verse and the music was more her style, I wasn’t able to adjust my vocals to the music that day. (It was lots of fun nonetheless, thank you Kenny Star of the Star Tracks Recording Studio).

In addition to adding a new verse with more Christmas imagery (since I don’t celebrate Christmas, my version was more general holiday images) also wrote the second part of the bridge: “The porch light is on, the pie’s in the oven, apple spice and eggnog, feel the loving.”

We had planned go get back into the studio again at some point and rerecord it, with plans to pitch the song for 2020 holiday shows. Then COVID came to town and we never made it back to the studio.

At the beginning of this month, I received an email about the Women of Substance podcast calling for song submissions for a holiday show. I forwarded the email to Lisa and she made plans to go into the studio that weekend to rerecord the song. Then the deadline changed and we needed to get the song a couple days earlier so she was able to go in the following day, rerecord it and then once we got it back from the producer a few hours later (thanks for the quick turnaround, Kenny Star!), we submitted it that night, about an hour or two before it was due.

Here’s the final version played on the Podcast:

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