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Oh it’s such a perfect day I’m glad I spent it with you

September 3, 2006
Today we recorded…. oh what a blast.
Thomas Walsh (he of Pugwash) has written a Christmas song which is to be released in a few weeks in aid of the Brainwave (Irish Epilepsy Association) charity.
Tinsel and Marzipan is the working title. Of course I’m biased… but … frankly… I really truly believe this could be a classic. It’s Christmas-sy but it’s not annoying and doesn’t make you want to punch the radio.
Thomas and I chatted about this a few weeks ago and I offered to record the kids singing on the track – you can’t have a charity Christmas single without children !!! So during the past week I heard from Thomas and basically it’s all gone very busy: national radio are behind this, there’s a gig in October and he has some people such as Mundy, Hoppy (as in Therapy? , The Frames etc etc) and a certain Neil Hannon (oh, you know… The Divine Comedy…. Father Ted Theme, My Lovely Horse) all agreeing to appear on the single.
Alison, Heather and Ben sang… as did the boys from next door (Chris, Seán and Conor). To say that we had a lot of fun singing “Merry Christmas everyone, Merry Christmas everyone”) for an hour or so is an understatement.  Making music should be joyous, it should be tiring, it should be a gas. It was all of that and more.  We have bits of video, a couple of photos and a lot of memories.
When the kids had finished singing (we recorded them several times to create a big “gang-of-kids” sound) Thomas and I retired to Apple Venus and did some vocoder stuff (if you’re not familiar with the vocoder sound think of the very last line in ELO’s Mr. Blue Sky).
I’ll be dropping by another studio on tuesday or wednesday to take a peek at the remainder of the work they’re doing on the song. We sang along, you see, with a sandpaper rough MP3 file that had guide drums , guide bass , guide guitar and guide vocal. It served as our guide. Eric Matthews (he of Portland, Oregon) had already added some horns and a harmony vocal and sent his contribution via the internet.
In the last section of the song the happy Irish kids voices merge with the American horns and the 40 years of power pop to create a sound that belongs on a 7″ single to be spun at 45rpm.
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