It’s that time of year once again: people are bundled up in their winter coats and mittens as they plow through lines at the mall, seasonal music is taking over the radio airwaves, and snow is pummeling the streets in an effort to close school early and give snowplow drivers a little something to do. To be fair, though, we here at Studio Pros are nestled all snug in our Southern California recording studio, so there isn’t much snowfall or bundling up going on around here. We have, however, taken notice of the holiday music on the radio (and in commercials, and in movies, etc.). It makes sense that we would notice it, since recording music is what we do!
The thing is, every year it’s the same: around Thanksgiving time, we start hearing Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas” and Brian Setzer swinging on “Jingle Bells” to get us into the holiday spirit. And it’s not just limited to Christmas, either. How many times have you heard Adam Sandler’s “Chanukah Song” played in December as well? Probably quite a few.
After decades of yuletide bombardment, I came to a musical realization. To quote Stephen Colbert’s “Another Christmas Song:” one day it struck me—someone must write ’em! I think most musicians have had a Colbert-like epiphany at some point in their careers when they think of the fat royalty checks some of the more recently written Christmas classics must gather. (Mel Torme, co-writer of “The Christmas Song,” has been quoted mentioning the money that rolled in from that song each and every year.)
If you can manage to write a Christmas classic—even just one—you could be set for life. From one song. Now that’s a pretty sweet deal! But how do you write one that will live on for the ages?
That question, unfortunately, doesn’t have a simple answer (much like writing a non-Christmas hit song doesn’t have one, either). But there seem to be some common factors among the great Christmas compositions: a very memorable and pretty melody, and lyrics that capture the essence of the holidays in a way that relates to everyone. Snowball fights, cozy fires, kissing under the mistletoe; there are many universal themes that your song can convey. Connect with a lot of people’s sentimental nostalgia during the holiday season, and you’ve got yourself a hit!
I think it’s probably easiest to write a holiday standard when you’re filled with the spirit of the season, so now would be a great time to give it a shot. And since Studio Pros’ special package deal of just $899 for a production will only last through the end of December, that’s even more reason to get started on your future annual income-generating tune now!
Grab your sleigh bells, whip up some eggnog, and click here to get started on your Christmas project!