A Very Craggle Christmas

by Craig Alan Hughes

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about

Here is my Christmas EP. If you’ll indulge me for a moment I thought I’d give some background on this project. Back in December 2010, Scotland had a very snowy winter. It snowed and snowed and kept snowing. Living up on top of an already cold hill, the snow lay particularly deep where I lived. I remember opening the front door to a huge tumbling pile of snow, with ominous icicles hanging precariously above the door frame. Wee Edinburgh was underprepared for this amount of snow and, whilst there was enough salt and grit to cover the main roads; our little street and all of those surrounding it on the hill were left to the elements. A little concrete oxbow lake, cut off from society and their precious ‘transport’. Thus, I was snowed in for around 10 days.

This was obviously amazing news. I spent ten days sledging, building snowmen, throwing snowballs; everything I wished I could do every winter as a child. Naturally, I wrote some songs (or more accurately the beginnings of songs) at the time. ‘First Snow Of The Year’ was written during that time and is pretty much the child-like encapsulation of the whole ‘snowed in’ experience. ‘Postman In The Snow’ (originally ‘Pigeon In The Snow’) was written a day later. I remember sitting on the kitchen worktop with my guitar, looking out the window and seeing a pigeon. In the snow. It doesn’t take much to inspire a song sometimes. There was another song I wrote at the time that was a bit more downbeat and Springsteen-y. Haven’t finished that one yet.

Anyway, each winter I kept intending to record these songs and release them. But I got carried away with other things, and the recording of ‘Silhouettes and Photographs’ and its follow-up (still very much in its infancy) held this up. However, over the summer I finished writing a third song called ‘I Feel Shite’ that I thought would be the perfect last song for this EP. Perfect as there was something sad and Christmassy about the song but also because I thought it would be hilarious to end a jolly Christmas EP with a song called ‘I Feel Shite’.

About two or three weeks ago, on a whim, I decided that the EP had to start with a song called ‘Christmas In Scotland’. One slight setback was that I hadn’t written a song called ‘Christmas In Scotland’. So, on the bus, (and probably looking at traffic lights) I came up with the ‘green and red and green and red and green…’ bit and thought “HEY BABY I CAN MAKE THIS WORK”. I recorded it a couple of weeks ago and I got to use my ancient Hohner glockenspiel on it (which I literally found abandoned in an attic) and I’m really happy with how it turned out- my dance routine for this song is…well….spectacular. (So far, observers of this dance don’t agree).

I’ve tried to keep in mind some of the Christmas songs I loved most as a kid (e.g. Little Saint Nick, Joy To The World, Sleigh Ride) whilst recording these songs in the hope that they evoke the same sort of feelings as those songs did- hopefully for children and adults alike. If nothing else, I find it a bit sad that most modern Christmas songs are either a) deeply ironic or b) not enjoyable for kids. Cos hey kid, *adopts New York accent* if Christmas ain’t about child-like wonder then what is it about huh- ya stinkin’ schmuck? (Apart from Jesus I spose.) So that’s the story of the EP, it has been a long time coming and I hope ye enjoy it. While listening to the music you can have a gander at the pure gorgeous artwork provided by Michael Clark- a lovely little scene created for each song. BYE THEN, AND MAY ALL OF YOUR CHRISTMAS WISHES.

CAH. 08/11/2013

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released December 1, 2013

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about

Craig Alan Hughes Edinburgh, UK

Corstorphine Craig is a songwriter who lives next to a zoo in Edinburgh, Scotland. Sometimes he gets woken up when the lions roar, but all in all it's a satisfactory arrangement. His music has been featured on BBC, XFM and has soundtracked television shows on MTV and Showtime. ... more

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Track Name: Christmas In Scotland
Ding dong

Christmas in Scotland is already here
Been snowing since July, there’s plenty good cheer
The goose has been fat since the guisers came round
The stockings are hanging up on the surround

And then we’ll go out (then we’ll go out)
To paint the town (to paint the town)
Green and red and green and red and green and red and green and red

Christmas in Reekie starts the night before
We’ll meet at the Starbank and drink to the shore
And presents are opened way before noon
And if it’s too big you’ll grow into it soon

And then we’d go out (then we’d go out)
To paint the town (to paint the town)
Green and red and green and red and green and red and green and red
And then we’d go out (then we’d go out)
To paint the town (to paint the town)
Green and red and green and red and green and red and green and red

Give me something to hold
Give me warmth from the cold
Give me silence that glows
Give me socks for my toes
Give me a little smile
Give me a country mile

Give me ten blank cassettes
Give me two silhouettes
Give me prints in the snow
Give me a minute alone
Give me a Christmas cracker
Give me a Rickenbacker

Christmas in Granton’s a family affair
With dozens of cousins and not enough chairs
And Grandad will stand up to give us a tune
For turkey sandwiches it’s never too soon

And then we’d go out (then we’d go out)
To paint the town (to paint the town)
Green and red and green and red and green and red and green and red
And then we’d go out (then we’d go out)
To paint the town (to paint the town)
Green and red and green and red and green and red and green and red
And then we’d go out (then we’d go out)
To paint the town (to paint the town)
Green and red and green and red and green and red and green and red
Track Name: First Snow Of The Year
The morning light floods in my room with white and brittle glow
The curtains are thrown open to a land swaddled in snow
It’s a snowy day!
The first snow of the year

I pulled my coat and scarf on and I ran towards the street
I tied my boots so tight that I could hardly feel my feet
Girl it snowed today!
The first snow of the year

Icicles are hanging close
To every door and window
Snowmen stand guard in every yard
With eyes of coal and carrot nose
Families skate the frozen lake
And catch the falling snowflakes
And lovers they make angels in the snow

I make a hundred snowballs until my gloves are soaked through
I take them off and make a hundred more to throw at you
It’s a snowy day!
The first snow of the year

Shovelling the snow away to reach my garden shed
I clamber over paintpots to get to my darling sled
I settle on top of the hill and take a few deep breaths
Slip off too fast and topple whilst the children nearby laugh
I slide downhill and carve a path through giant dunes of snow
I slide and slide until I can’t see my feet anymore
And when stalled by thick holly bush I act like it was planned
I look to you, deep-rooted you and make for solid land
Girl it snowed today!
The first snow of the year
Track Name: Postman In The Snow
Postman in the snow
You’re looking pretty vulnerable
Postman in the snow
Just one more sack then you can go
Home sweet home
To a warm fire and loving wife
Postman in the snow
On your way

Pigeon in the snow
You’re looking pretty vulnerable
Wings are white and cold
Your friends are flying heads bowed low
Oh my love
Pick up your wings and go go go
Pigeon in the snow
Fly away

Lover in the snow
Winter coat done up to your chin
Lover in the snow
Snow clinging to your hair and skin
Oh my love
Your cheeks are red from the cold wind
Lover in the snow
Stay with me
Track Name: I Feel Shite
Now that the winter has ended
It’s worse than I’d ever intended
When I said I’d rather forget you
I could see that I’d upset you
I’ve upset you

The Christmas party was over
You looked over your shoulder
I smiled and said something mean to you
and I can see just what that means to you
Cos you’ve been mean too

Eyes close and stomachs fold
and since you know I’m not that physical
I feel shite

Christmas eve was a write-off
Til you came and turned all the lights off
and whispered it’s murder in the dark
I’ll lay in darkness til there’s a spark
You made your mark

I stood in Princes Street Gardens
A child said “Sir beg your pardon,
But I found this heart by the bus tours
and I wondered if it was yours?”
It wasn’t mine to lose

Eyes close and stomachs fold
and since you know I’m not that physical
I feel shite

Eyes close and stomachs fold
and since you know I’m not that physical
I feel shite
I feel shite
I feel shite