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  • Writer's pictureDavid Ireland

‘A Good Old Fashioned Christmas’

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

When I recorded ‘A Good Old Fashioned Christmas’ a few years back, I entered a strange new world.

The song was planned and plotted carefully once the lyrics and music were complete. The demo was recorded in my home studio, with all the vocal arrangements in place, including all of the parts for the choir. I had worked with all of the musicians before and they were happy to gather together to lay down the entire piece in one day. And what a day! We could not have planned it thus, but the day was the hottest of that year so far. The sun was burning down and the heat was intense. I knew that we would be working on a video, so a couple of months before I began to grow the beard. I predated the resurgence of the great beard movement - I stood out. The beard grew fast and think and very, very white! With most of the cast in place, we took a morning to last down the music tracks - my acoustic, drum, bass, rhythm, and lead - with a few bells, whistles, and mandolins included. After a short break for lunch, I embarked on my lead vocals plus a bit of double-tracking and some background harmonies. We achieved a lot in a very short time. The most complicated part was the break toward the end where we stop and build up again. The timing was everything.

The day was getting hotter. Most of the musicians left at that point leaving me with the engineer and Chris and Mikey to help out with the choir. Ah, the choir. Eight girls and four boys from the local high school with their choir leader. They had studied the choral parts carefully and it was clear that the sound was going to be quite beautiful. We ran through the track and began altering the vocals. The heat became more intense and we resorted to opening ares of the studio to let the air flow cool. Air con was out of the quatrain because of the noise! Two of the girls fainted! Treatment ensued and they left wth their parents... An hour later and we had the vocals complete to everyone’s satisfaction. My beard was drenched in perspiration and now I know why Santa makes an appearance in the middle of winter! And then we mixed. The plan had always been to release the song initially to support the UK branch of the Big Issue. And that’s what we did. The song was released in early December and with accompanying video recorded on my birthday in October (complete with snow!) we unleashed the track upon the world. It did nicely and everyone was happy with the way things turned out. But now it’s back! I have taken the song apart and remixed and remastered the entire piece bringing out the lovely choir vocals even more and giving the song a freshness, ready to release again almost a decade on. We originally released the song under my stage name Casimir Greenfield - but this year I'm owning up to the whole thing. Look for David Ireland this time... So, in this strangest of all years - let’s hope that everyone, everywhere will enjoy ‘A Good Old Fashioned Christmas!’

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