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Christmas Is With Us

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Notes from Enda about the album and how it came about.

Conceived, written, recorded and mastered by myself in 13 days in Dec 2020. I began to write the songs for this Christmas Album in a hospital carpark (due to Covid restrictions) in Michigan as I was waiting for my wife’s procedure to be completed.(All went well and she is recovering!) So what brought on the Christmas Songs? It’s been a few years since I wrote a Christmas Song, (Some of you might remember Christmas Wings?), so in the back of my mind I guess I was looking for angles to tackle the subject. And then in the course of a few days the concepts came out and were developed in the studio with overdubs etc. I wasn’t sure if all five new songs would make the cut but I’m proud of them all so I hope you like them. It’s important for me to be as truthful as I can about my beliefs and I didn’t want to do a one dimensional Christmas album. As I mention in one song “I’m not sure if I believe in Christmas” but that doesn’t mean I can’t join the chorus and enjoy this traditional celebration. I hope this collection of Christmas songs gets you in the spirit of Christmas and makes you think about your connection with it.

The fact that I won’t make it home to Ireland this year is tough, but then again, does it really matter where we are in the world with lockdowns etc. happening due to covid? We need to stay connected with friends and family in the new ways imposed upon us and keep enjoying the music old and hopefully new. Happy Christmas Everyone!

Listen to the album on Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp, and right here on this page to the right or below.

Recorded, mixed and mastered in Reaper. Equipment used includes RME babyface interface, Neumann Tlm103 mic, Taylor 310 CE guitar, Crafter Mandolin, Samick electric guitar, bodhrán, some effects pedals, harmonica.
Thanks to Soundstack for the royalty-free sleigh bells samples, via freesound.org

Track listing

1 Getting Close To Christmas 2:32
2 It’s Christmas Eve 2:48
3 Tá An Nollaig Linn 2:52
4 Christmas True 3:25
5 Don Oíche Úd i mBeithil 3:02
6 Sing All The Christmas Carols That You Know 3:28

Song Notes

1 Getting Close To Christmas

That feeling of excitement that we got as kids in the run up to Christmas is a special thing, going to meet family,
religious events, cards coming in the mail all building up to the excitement of Christmas Day. With events happening on
zoom and delivery vans dropping by every hour and plenty of various restrictions no matter where you are in the world this year is different but even in this context I hope you feel the excitement of the days counting down.

2 It’s Christmas Eve

The penultimate day. Some people working half-days in offices and elsewhere others off already to prepare the big dinner. And always a day for the pub in Ireland in the past to meet up with friends before everyone goes off to see their families.

3 Tá An Nollaig Linn (Christmas Is With Us)

Relief is that the year is almost over and we are now at Christmas. A note home to friends in Ireland, sadness that I can’t make it home but thankful for the bit of magic and mystery that Christmas brings.

4 Christmas True

My wife is a wonderful person and this is a love-song for her. She has strong faith, which is enough for me to leave my skepticism aside and enjoy the season with her.

5 Don Oíche Úd i mBeithil (For That Night in Bethlehem)

I heard the Nashville Celts do a wonderful version of this traditional Irish song and I found myself creating my own version this year. There is magic in the melody and simplicity in the story. It doesn’t get more Irish Christmas than this!

6 Sing All The Christmas Carols That You Know

I guess the message here is embrace it. Sing a song. It’s good for you! A light hearted take on joining the chorus, despite excuses you might have to not join in!

Lyrics!

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Getting Close To Christmas

With each flake of snow that melts on my window
We’re getting close to Christmas 12

With each gift wrapped, each lip chapped
We’re getting close to Christmas 11
For every door ajar on the advent calendar
‘ getting close to Christmas 10
With all that Fedex, Amazon UPS
We’re getting close to Christmas (We’re getting close to Christmas) 9

Even though I’ve seen Christmases galore
Somehow I’m more excited than I’ve ever been before

We’re Getting Close To Christmas
We’re Getting Close To Christmas

For each call or zoom, Every festive tune
We’re getting close to Christmas  (We’re getting close to Christmas) 8
Every recipe shared every neighbour who cares
We’re getting close to Christmas (We’re getting close to Christmas) 7
For all the front liners and all the isolators
We’re getting close to Christmas (We’re getting close to Christmas) 6

Some of you might think Christmas is a bore but
Somehow I’m more excited than I’ve ever been before

We’re Getting Close To Christmas
We’re Getting Close To Christmas

We’re Getting Close To Christmas
We’re Getting Close To Christmas

For each excited child who yearns to run wild
We’re getting close to Christmas  (We’re getting close to Christmas) 5
Though this year was crazy I think that just maybe
We’re getting close to Christmas  (We’re getting close to Christmas) 4

Some of you might think Christmas is a bore but
Somehow I’m more excited than I’ve ever been before

We’re Getting Close To Christmas 3
We’re Getting Close To Christmas 2
We’re Getting Close To Christmas 1
We’re Getting Close To Christmas

Happy Christmas

It’s Christmas Eve

It’s Christmas Eve
The day before Christmas
What’ll I get on my wish list?
Wait and see!

It’s Christmas Eve
The night before showtime
Santa’s on overtime
But the elves party!

It’s Christmas
It’s Christmas Eve! x2

It’s Christmas Eve
A night full of such fun
The night that the child comes
Are you ready?

Christmas Eve
A day to meet old friends
For coffee and Muffins
Or a hot todee!

It’s Christmas
It’s Christmas Eve! x2

It’s Christmas Eve
The manger and stable
Joseph, Mary and Angels
And a little baby

It’s Christmas Eve
Before the big dinners
The night all us sinners
Become absolvees

Woah It’s Christmas
It’s Christmas Eve! x2

It’s Christmas Eve
The day before Chrimbo
Catch a glimpse of the light show
On the plasma Telly

It’s Christmas Eve
Don’t stay up too late
We don’t want to tempt fate
Now do we?

It’s Christmas Eve
A few minutes from Xmiss
I don’t wanna hex this
So it’s bedtime for me

Tá an Nollaig Linn

Tá an Nollaig Linn
Tá ‘n Nollaig Linn
Bliain fhada a bhí againn
Tá an Nollaig Linn
Tá ‘n Nollaig Linn
Canaimís ós ard le gáire glinn

Déan dearmad ar
an bliain ‘tá chaite
an iargúltacht
Is ceithre balla

‘ feadh lá amháin
Bíodh muid buíoch
Is creidimis
i mbeagán draíocht

Tá an Nollaig Linn
Tá ‘n Nollaig Linn
Bliain fhada a bhí againn
Tá an Nollaig Linn
Tá ‘n Nollaig Linn
Canaimís ós ard le gáire glinn

Trasna na dtonnta
I bhfad i gcéin
Airím uaim sibh
Mo léan mo léan

Ach seo chugainn am
speisialta
Feicfidh mé sibh ar an bhfón
Go rialta.

Tá an Nollaig Linn
Tá ‘n Nollaig Linn
Bliain fhada a bhí againn
Tá an Nollaig Linn
Tá ‘n Nollaig Linn
Canaimís ós ard le gáire glinn

‘ feadh lá amháin
Bíodh muid buíoch
Is creidimis
i mbeagán draíocht

Tá an Nollaig Linn
Tá ‘n Nollaig Linn
Bliain fhada a bhí againn
Tá an Nollaig Linn
Tá ‘n Nollaig Linn
Canaimís ós ard le guthanna binne!

trans. Christmas is here (or Christmas is With Us)

Christmas is here
Christmas is here
It’s been a long long year
Christmas is here
Christmas is here
Let’s sing out loud with laughter clear

Let’s forget the year that’s gone
The isolation
Those four walls
For one day let’s be thankful
Let’s believe in something magical

Christmas is here
Christmas is here
It’s been a long long year
Christmas is here
Christmas is here
Let’s sing out loud with laughter clear

Over the waves
far away
I miss you all
Woe is me

But here comes this special time
I’ll see you on the phone
All the time.

Christmas is here
Christmas is here
It’s been a long long year
Christmas is here
Christmas is here
Let’s sing out loud with laughter clear

For one day let’s be thankful
Let’s believe in something magical

Christmas is here
Christmas is here
It’s been a long long year
Christmas is here
Christmas is here
Let’s sing out loud with voices pure

Christmas True

I’m not sure I believe in Christmas
The story of Bethlehem
The wise men the manger
The coming of a saviour
I kinda feel like a stranger

But I know that you do
Right from your foundations
And I believe in you
So I’ll join the celebrations
Christmas Annie
Christmas with you
Is a Christmas
Christmas True

And I’m not sure I believe in Christmas
But I know it’s something good
Like talking with a neighbour
Doing a friend a favour
Family time together

But I know that you do
Right from your foundations
And I believe in you
So let’s join the celebrations
Christmas
Annie Christmas with you
Is a Christmas Christmas True

And it’s easy to get cynical
Cause it all got so commercial
And I’m not sure if I believe

But I know that you do
Right from your foundations
And I believe in you
So let’s join the celebrations
Christmas
Christmas with you
Is a Christmas Christmas True

Christmas
Annie Christmas with you
Is a Christmas Christmas True

Don Oíche Úd i mBeithil

Don oíche úd i mBeithil
beidh tagairt faoi ghréin go brách,
Don oíche úd i mBeithil
gur tháinig an Briathar slán;
Tá gríosghrua ar spéartha
‘s an talamh ina chlúdach bán;
Féach Íosagán sa chléibhín,
‘s an Mhaighdean á dhiúl le grá

Ar leacain lom an tsléibhe
go nglacann na haoirí scáth
Nuair in oscailt gheal na spéire
tá teachtaire Dé ar fáil;
Céad glóir chuig don Athair
sa bhFlaitheasa thuas go hard!
Is feasta fós ar sa thalamh
d’fheara dea-mhéin’ siocháin!

I sing of a night in Bethlehem
A night as bright as dawn
I sing of that night in Bethlehem
The night the Word was born
The skies are glowing gaily
The earth in white is dressed
See Jesus in the cradle
Drink deep in His mother’s breast

And there on a lonely hillside
The shepherds bow down in fear
When the heavens open brightly
And God’s message rings out so clear
Glory now to the Father
In all the heavens high
And peace to His friends on earth below
Is all the angels cry

Sing all the Christmas Carols that you know

Sing it high Sing it low
Sing all the Christmas Carols that you know

Sing all the Christmas Carols that you know

2000 years gone before us
We’re not the first to join the chorus
Sing Oh Holy Night and White Christmas
The First Noel, What Child is This?

Sing your joy
Sing your heart
One word is all you need to make a start
Sing it high Sing it low
Sing all the Christmas Carols that you know

Sing all the Christmas Carols that you know

And if you’re not a true believer
Sing louder tune the receiver
Cause Chris Rea, Wham Mariah and the Pogues
Are all back on my radio

Sing your joy
Sing your heart
One word is all you need to make a start
Sing it high Sing it low
Sing all the Christmas Carols that you know

Sing all the Christmas Carols that you know

And if they say you’re totally tone deaf
Make it up with more vocal heft!
Sing Silent Night and Hark the Herald
Oh Little Town, Joy to the World

Sing your joy
Sing your heart
One word is all you need to make a start
Oh Sing it high Sing it low
Sing all the Christmas Carols that you know

Sing all the Christmas Carols that you

Sing your joy
Sing your heart
One word is all you need to make a start
Sing it high Sing it low
Sing all the Christmas Carols that you know

Sing all the Christmas Carols that you know

Sing all the Christmas Carols that

you know!

Sing all the Christmas Carols that you know

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