Christmas Carol (Ghosts) – The story behind the song

When I left teaching in 2003, I decided to put together all the songs I had written over the years into a collection. There were about 130 at the time. Thirteen years later as I (sort of!) retired from freelancing as a musician, writer and historian, I decided to update the collection which was now up to 200. Soon after doing this I was invited to talk to a group of young songwriters and at the end of the session was asked to sing a couple of my songs. I asked one of them to choose two numbers (as the songs were catalogued by date and number). He suggested ‘the first one you wrote and the latest’ – which I duly did. ‘A Christmas Carol – Ghosts’ appears in the collection as KGR1/1968 which is self-explanatory. My wife (whom I met in 1970) remembers me singing it to her but otherwise I cannot remember singing it in public. The members of the song writing group gave it a big thumbs-up and suggested that I should record it – especially as Christmas was near. I contacted James at the Miners’ Hall Studio (who had recorded me before) and asked if I could put down a simple guitar/singer version which we did – and at the last minute I added a little penny whistle. James seems to have been struck by the song and asked Barry Hyde, with whom he was working on other projects, to have a listen. The pair then plotted a most wonderful treat for my 68th birthday and spent hours in the studio putting down appropriate backing tracks. The result makes ‘A Christmas Carol – Ghosts’ as much their song as mine. Two years on and a more suitable free video was added so simply go to YouTube and enter ‘A Christmas Carol 1873 2018’ and all will be revealed.