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rattlebollocks

winter song

After the christmas doo, I cant stop singing the winter song to myself. can anyone tell me if this was ever released as a single and if not why not, the lyrics and chords are lindisfarnetastic. a work of art. Alan Hulls masterpiece.Hope you all enjoyed the doo as I did. Very Happy
marty53

Every time I play Winter Song I keep thinking why this was never a big Xmas hit. Was it because the band never wanted it released as a Xmas single. I'm sure if it was marketed properly ( even now ) it would become one of the great Xmas records.
Waldo

Winter Song

Agree Winter Song is one of the best songs ever written. In fact I don't think you will have any dissenters on this site, but a Xmas hit?? you mean like Ernie the fastest milkman in the West 1971 Long haired lover from Liverpool 1972 I think I can guess why it was not deemed suitable. Of course in later years it has got a lot better... Mistletoe and wine 1988 Mr Blobby 1993
as they say in court (not in the act) I rest my case Laughing
tempusfugit

I'm sure it was on Christmas TOTP II quite recently,
and with Elvis Costello also covering it,we might have a number one in the hit parade (yes i'm that old)
maybe next christmas. I can remember doing a Christmas mix tape on
cassette ( look it up youngun's) with the 1977 live vinyl version.
As Jacka said on the 23rd show.... Now that's what i call a christmas song. Very Happy
Mr Inbetween

To the best of my knowledge, Winter Song has never been released by Lindisfarne as a single, but it was the 'b' side of Brand New Day. While BND was a studio recording, Winter Song was live. Given the 1978 release date, my guess is that it's the track from Magic in the Air (it sounds the same, too).

Did anyone notice that Dave changed a lyric? It's on the CD as well.
Mick

One of my all time favourites, there have been a few cover versions, including Wizz Jones, Albion Christmas Band (who recorded an album called 'Winter Songs') and Def Leppard!

I think my best memory of hearing it live was on the 2003 tour at The Point, Cardiff, when the whole audience joined in with the song - something I'd never known before.  Brilliant.
rattlebollocks

winter song

Aye the man did say that, with a reference to not a reindeer in sight. I know there are loads of artists aiming to have a christmas hit, and there tends to be a lot of crap amongst them, but there are the odd gem, my all time favourite being fairytale of new york. I must say I never noticed the lyric change by mr H D. Howay then mr Jacko what about it, re recorded and released this back end, I would put money on it being up there with the best of them, even better than the Pogues and Kirsty,
tempusfugit

I wonder if Winter Song was written around Christmas 1968 as Apollo 8
(yes i'm that old) was orbiting the moon, and Jim Lovell commented
on his first orbit of the moon,when radio communications came back on after a 30 minute cut out while on the dark side "Please be assured there is a
Santa Claus"
marty53

I think everybody agrees it is a great song , up with the best Alan has ever written, I just wondered why somebody from the record company at that time didn't see the potential and get the band to do a version they could release as a single. If it was a b-side to Brand New Day then I think commercially it would have been more suited to be the a-side, or was it the bands decision not to do it ?
rattlebollocks

WINTER SONG

Aye, I have wondered were that lyric came from Tempus.
Mr Inbetween

Mick wrote:
One of my all time favourites, there have been a few cover versions, including Wizz Jones, Albion Christmas Band (who recorded an album called 'Winter Songs') and Def Leppard!


Barbara Dickson was another, this time an excellent piano based version. You can hear her sing the inverted commas when she reaches "the wrong sorts". Barbara Diction.

I didn't know about the Def Leppard one...have you more details, Mick?
Mick

They did an album of covers, called 'Yeah' which included Winter Song - here it is

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRSjex03wJ0
Michael

Mick wrote:
They did an album of covers, called 'Yeah' which included Winter Song - here it is

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRSjex03wJ0


He'll kill me for saying this, but that vocal is occasionally VERY Steve Daggett-like...
Waldo

Winter Song

There is an earlier (2004) live version from a charity gig in Sheffield. You can see it here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xipiPadpcQ0
Mr Inbetween

Mick - thanks. It looks like it was a bonus track on certain issues of the CD only, so a lucky acquisition maybe? And having played the two Youtube clips (thanks to Waldo, too), I rather like it.

Michael - I see what you mean Smile
tempusfugit

A nice surprise to hear Billy singing it at The Lindisfarne Story recently  Very Happy
Mick

I also couldn't believe my luck when I saw Rod do a version when I saw him and Ian Thomson in July in Swansea...

But we digress, apologies to Mr Rattle B.  I also think it would have made a great Christmas single - but I very much doubt it would have made much of dent on the charts.... not when we had the likes of Boney M, Cliff and Shakin' Stevens etc. to contend with!  Very Happy
JimW

Winter Song

I first heard this around January 1971 or 72 just after Christmas coming back from the Sandyford Road College (as it was called in those days) walking through the town next to the City Hall.  It was a freezing cold day and I remember listening to the song on a little transistor radio with one earphone and feeling a bit nostalgic for the recent Xmas because of the seasonal lyrics .  They did something on the Opera House final concert video where Alan Hull and Dave Hull-Denholm sang the song years apart and amazingly they were synchronised perfectly.  I never really thought of this as a Xmas song and associated it with misery that winter brings for so many people and how the more fortunate should count their blessings.  I guess Alan Hull would have wanted the song to mean whatever it personally means to you as an individual. I was there on 23rd December when Ray Jackson said; he thought it was a 'proper Christmas song'.  I seem to recall he did that the year before as well.  I listen to this song all year round as it provokes such great images.  In my opinion one of the greatest songs ever written.
Waldo

Winter Song

Elvis Costello did a live version of Winter Song in December 2010 in Chicago. During his one minute+ preamble, he does describe it as a Christmas song, but not a very happy one. Certainly not a favorite version of this fantastic song, but if anyone is interested, there is a video at the link below.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53vn2_nrdoY
JimW

Costello

Waldo

I have seen that YouTube video before and agree its not the best version you'll ever see.  He also refers to Alan Hull as that not very well known English songwriter.  I guess I know him a lot better than that not very well known English singer-songwriter who wrote a little ditty called 'Oliver's Army' or something like that Smile  I think that was about the last good song he wrote but as I'm not really an Elvis Costello fan I wouldn't really know.

Hard to believe its nearly 20 years since Allan Hull died and here we are still interested in the songs he wrote.  Whether its a Christmas song or not it still tells a story today.  Some references are old but being homeless is not.

Do you spare a thought for the homeless tramp  
Who wishes he was dead
Or do you pull your bedclothes higher
Dream of summertime instead?
When winter comes howling in
Waldo

Winter Song

Agree with you Jim, though I always liked his song "Shipbuilding" (if I am totally honest I used to listen more to his bass player Bruce Thomas)At the Chicago gig I got the impression that he did not know the song well enough to do it justice; the start of the song was very shaky, though improved a bit as it went on. I would hazard a bet, that the long verbal introduction was to hide the fact that he had either forgotten the opening chords or words or both :  Embarassed

"Hully verse" should be learned in school, I mean, come on - Shakespeare has had a good innings but his stuff needs translating before the average gadgey can make head nor tail of it!
rattlebollocks

winter song

I still believe that if it was re recorded and releaced this back end if it was given airtime on local and national radio it would make it big
Waldo

Winter Song

Depends what you mean by "re-recorded" I would agree Winter Song would have a strong chance of success if it was Alan (solo or with the band) with an original video to support it. I am not a music pro but I imagine there are a lot of behind the scenes issues, like promotion and distribution that contribute to the commercial success of a release. I still cannot reconcile commercial success with quality of song or delivery. Many great songs did not sell well and all sorts of crap has got to number one in the charts and not just at Christmas. Bah Humbug! Wink
JimW

Waldo

They'd have to change the lyrics as well as no one would relate to Santa being an American Astronaut these days.
Plus the X-Factor has the Xmas number one nearly every year in any event so hardly anybody tries to compete.
The great British public seem to fall for this Simon Cowell con every year and that alone is probably enough of a reason why 'winter song' will never be re-released.
Craig Johnson

Still jealous of Mick for hearing Rod sing it. I remember hearing Billy Mitchell sing it at his and Brendan Healy's Christmas do, with the bass line being wonderfully played by Michael Bailey that night if I recall.

My favourite song of all time by a clear margin.
JimW

Winter Song

As a result of posting in this forum it got me looking to see where Billy Mitchell and Ray Laidlaw are doing the Lindisfarne Story this year and they've added a lot of dates since I last looked at their website.  I'm now deciding between the Whitley Bay Playhouse or The Sage.  The sage is probably the better venue for music but the Playhouse is local to me and I think I should support the local economy.

Sitting here as I am coughing and spluttering I can relate to the winter song even more than I have in the past, albeit it's probably one of my favourite songs of all time.  Mark Knopfler 's 'so far from the Clyde' is another song that tells a great little story.

Billy Mitchell lives close by and he was in my local pub the Quarry and I asked him about another couple of the later Lindisfarne songs.  'Can't do right for doing wrong' and 'born at the right time'.  Billy wrote the latter of course. They are both great songs as well.  I doubt we'll see Ray Jackson doing them at the City Hall anytime soon though Wink (After his time)
Mr Inbetween

Re: Costello

JimW wrote:


Do you spare a thought for the homeless tramp  
Who wishes he was dead
Or do you pull your bedclothes higher
Dream of summertime instead?
When winter comes howling in


See my reference to DHD's lyric change!
JimW

Re: Costello

Mr Inbetween wrote:
JimW wrote:


Do you spare a thought for the homeless tramp  
Who wishes he was dead
Or do you pull your bedclothes higher
Dream of summertime instead?
When winter comes howling in


See my reference to DHD's lyric change!


Will do if you give me a clue to where I should look for this.
A link would be good.
Mr Inbetween

Ah, it's a matter of listening rather than looking. If you have Ray's new CD, pay attention to the verse you've quoted. All will be revealed Smile
Waldo

Winter Song

Is this the December 2013 CD or is there a newer one?
Mr Inbetween

That's the one Waldo.

It's not a massive re-write (like the Albion Christmas Band), so no need for great excitement or anticipation. But I rather like the update.
JimW

Mr Inbetween wrote:
Ah, it's a matter of listening rather than looking. If you have Ray's new CD, pay attention to the verse you've quoted. All will be revealed Smile


I didn't purchase the  2013 CD on the night I went to the City Hall as I didn't remember to take my wallet to the concert.

I have several other live Lindisfarne CD's and doubt any could be better that the 1978 (I think) Christmas Eve concert.

I actually thought the 2014 concert was the better of the two between 2013 and 2014.

You could of course enlighten me about the lyric change and save me having to find out elsewhere.  Did Dave sing the changed version during their recent xmas concerts because if he did I missed that?
Mr Inbetween

Yes, he sang it at the 2014 gig(s?). That's when I noticed it, and only afterwards had a careful listen to the CD.

I agree that 2014 was a step up from 2013, though I enjoyed that enormously at the time. The 2014 sound was tight and together, and I think Jacka was more relaxed. His links and introductions were delivered with greater ease, I thought.

I agree that the Magic in the Air recording is difficult to improve upon. But it is a representation of the original band performing the songs of the original band. The 2013 concert is a top rate production, excellent sound and masterful musicianship. It represents many of the same songs but extends into Back and Forth and The News. And, of course, is an almost entirely different band. As a representation of Ray Jackson's Lindisfarne, it's well worth splashing out.
rattlebollocks

WINTER SONG

Think it may do better re recorded with Dave and Ray, do any of the band members read any of this, if so what do they think, agree with you Jim, another masterpiece, Billys Born at the right time, Gem.

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