Home > #SaturdaySongs, No.7 Every December Sky > #SaturdaySongs No.7 – Every December Sky

#SaturdaySongs No.7 – Every December Sky

As we move into December I thought I’d devote my #SaturdaySongs this month to the month itself and to Christmas. I love this time of year, and always have done ever since I was a child. Call me naïve but I really believe that there is an added warmth to human spirit in this month, probably as a counter to the falling temperatures! I’ve often posted in previous years, showing videos of favourite Christmas songs and my own reviews of that year’s crop of Christmas TV ads. No ads this year though: I haven’t yet seen one that I like and I wouldn’t want to fill a post with expletives! But I may be posting a few more Christmas songs – possibly on days other than Saturdays too!

My first December choice is this one:

In this country Beth Nielsen Chapman is sadly underrated, but she has written some of the most beautiful songs of the past 20 years. This one was on her 2002 album Deeper Still. To my shame I’d not heard of her before but was introduced to her music, as with so many other artists, by the national treasure that is Bob Harris – Whispering Bob, as he has been known since his early 70s days on the Old Grey Whistle Test TV show. In the early 00s his weekly show on BBC Radio 2 ran from 10pm till 1am on a Saturday evening, and as I was often engaged in Dad’s Taxi duties at that time I managed to listen to quite a lot of them. So it was on a December evening in 2002 (21st December, to be precise) when I was sitting in my car, in the car park of the pub/restaurant where my older daughter had a Saturday job as a waitress. Bob played this and something about the beauty of the song, blended with a cold, clear, frosty night, entranced me from the outset. I bought the album, which remains a favourite to this day, along with many other of Beth’s releases. The male voice, by the way, is John Prine, whose music also deserves more attention than it receives.

img_1276Continuing the Bob Harris connection of this song for me, fast forward 9 years to 2011. I had been diagnosed with depression in October of that year, and was finding it difficult to do the basic daily stuff. I’m still not sure how I did it but I tweeted Bob a request that he play this song on his Saturday night programme. By then the BBC had shunted him back to a midnight-3am slot and, as luck would have it, in 2011 these were the first three hours of Christmas Day. Bob had put out a call on Twitter for suggestions for music for his programme, and took the trouble to reply to my slightly cheeky tweet – I promised I’d listen to the show if he played this – with the words ‘Deal! Beth’s in!’

We both kept our promise, as you can see from the screenshot from his amazing website. I listened and enjoyed three hours of magical music, and somehow the restorative powers of music helped me get through a difficult time. It is no coincidence that music is used as a therapy in mental health treatments: in addition to entertaining us it can do so much to help our mood. Like many of Beth’s songs, this one contains a real message of hope, and that is what I think I took from it, even on the first listen. I hope you like it as much as I do.

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  1. December 13, 2016 at 11:41 am

    You are so very right Clive, music get evoke the strongest of emotions. When my son was in a coma, it was music that he first responded to. This Wednesday will mark 52 weeks of the Senior Salon. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 13, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      I’ve heard that before, about music helping people to come out of a coma. It’s powerful, and deserves a place in everyone’s life. It doesn’t seem like a year – it’s gone by so quickly. Many thanks for inviting me, I’ve made some good friends as a result, as several others have acknowledged. It’s a good thing that you have done 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. December 9, 2016 at 1:29 am

    Clive, you are such a wealth of joy . December Sky held all the thoughts I’ve been having as I look at our own lovely December skies here in South County. Thank you for this introduction to Beth Chapman and I will be catching up with your other December songs this weekend. Clare

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 10, 2016 at 8:07 am

      I’m pleased you enjoyed this so much, Clare, and to have made another convert to BNC – she’s one of the hidden gems of contemporary music. Hope you enjoy the rest in the series 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. December 7, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    This post brought tears in my eyes Clive

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 7, 2016 at 3:17 pm

      Thank you Maria, it’s a lovely song isn’t it.

      Like

  4. December 4, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    I look forward to reading your Christmas song posts.
    This was a song I hadn’t heard before. Thanks for introducing it to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 4, 2016 at 9:08 pm

      Thanks Michael, glad you liked it. As well as these, I’m also doing a Christmas Song A Day, a new one each day on Twitter. Probably some more you won’t have heard of there too, and definitely no Slade!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. December 4, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    Superb post and thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. December 3, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    Oh how I love BNC and how I wish more would find her this side of the pond

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 3, 2016 at 7:38 pm

      Me too. I looked at Wikipedia and her discography barely shows a mark on the UK charts. Criminal!

      Liked by 1 person

      • December 4, 2016 at 5:49 pm

        I remember the first time I heard ‘I find your love’ was not long after my father died. It came on the radio as I was driving and it literally felled me. I had to pull over and listen to it and I was converted to her unerringly from that day. It is a crime that she is overlooked here – you are absolutely right.

        Liked by 1 person

      • December 4, 2016 at 5:55 pm

        That’s an incredibly beautiful and moving song, I can see how it would have hit you like that at such a time. Just one of so many of hers.

        Liked by 1 person

      • December 4, 2016 at 6:01 pm

        Exactly – there is no question that she is one of the greatest. I

        Liked by 1 person

      • December 4, 2016 at 6:03 pm

        And like many great musicians, overlooked by the masses who prefer untalented trash.

        Liked by 1 person

      • December 4, 2016 at 11:00 pm

        Dreadfully true 😔

        Liked by 1 person

  7. December 3, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    Wouldn’t have recognised John Prine – and I’m a fan! Quality.

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 3, 2016 at 5:59 pm

      His voice complements hers well, adds something to the song I think. There’s a live version on YouTube which is just Beth, and it feels like something is missing.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. December 3, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    Great post! Thanks for sharing!

    I would like to extend an invite to the festive feelings blog party happening next weekend. Your Invite: Festive Feelings Blog Party – Scale it Simple
    https://scaleitsimple.com/2016/12/02/your-invite-festive-feelings-blog-party/

    Hope to see you there 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 4, 2016 at 11:20 am

      Thank you, that’s kind of you. I’ll be posting on Saturday so will follow up your invitation 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  9. December 3, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    Lovely. Her style of writing reminds me of Joan Armatrading’s songs. I’ll have to listen to more of her songs. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 3, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      Glad you liked it Stevie. I hadn’t thought of that similarity before, but I see what you mean 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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