It’s that time of the year – colorful lights brightening up the trees on city streets, hot chocolate with marshmallows, an icy breath on a frosty night, fuzzy sweaters and cozy pajamas.
Those signs of the season symbolize the winter holidays and good cheer all around.
At least in theory.
In reality, it’s 80 degrees here in Phoenix during this first week of December. At one point during yesterday afternoon’s sunny commute, there were three convertibles with the tops down sharing the road with me.
However, this week’s song is about my childhood view of the holidays, back before global warming took away the necessity of owning sweaters in the desert.
The song is called “Signs of the Season,” co-written with Cottonwood songwriter Lisa Hart. I wrote the majority of the lyrics and the melody and she wrote the music on guitar.
Signs of the season are showing
Santa Claus in the malls, trees are glowing
Something in the air, an extra dose of good cheer
It’s the holidays, the holidays are here
I haven’t been in any malls lately – is Santa Claus even in the mall this year? My childhood mall is now mainly empty and the mall with the indoor children’s play area where I took my kids when they were young is being redeveloped into an apartment complex and office buildings. But as of 2019 when this song was written, Santa Claus was still visiting malls because we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic and if anyone was wearing masks it was likely a 2-year-old in a Spiderman costume.
Signs of the season are shining
Bright lights, cozy nights, so inviting
Something in the way of hearing people say
Happy, happy holiday
I haven’t heard anybody say ‘Happy Holiday’ in a store yet, but I guess it’s a little early. Although since Hanukkah is early this year (starting a few days after Thanksgiving), our family’s holiday is half over already.
Flannel pajamas, fuzzy slippers
Sitting fireside with hot chocolate dippers
The porch light on, pies in the oven
Apple spice and eggnog, feel the lovin’, feel the lovin’
Signs of the season are glowing
Anticipation is growing
The feeling is clear, the it’s that time of the year
The holidays, the holidays are here.
One afternoon in December 2019, I drove to Cottonwood, AZ, to meet my co-writer Lisa at her friend’s recording studio (Star Tracks Recording Studio) to record the song. It was my only experience recording in a studio and the producer, Kenny Star, made it a great experience!
Because Lisa and I didn’t a chance to practice in person, our song developed in two different ways. First she recorded the guitar and when it came to singing it, it turned out that I had been singing it differently than she had and my version didn’t match her guitar. She added an additional verse because she wanted to make it more Christmas-y and I didn’t. So she recorded her vocals with the understanding that we’d re-record my version another time. We haven’t had the chance to do that yet, but the song was included in the Women of Substance holiday radio show last year, which was amazing!
Here’s “Signs of the Season,” performed by Lisa Hart and produced by Kenny Star: