You know at Christmas time when you’re at your gathering, and you’re just chilling out, kind of daydreaming, or buzzing a bit on the eggnog, or maybe just staring at your pile of Christmas swag and figuring out how to regift Aunt Agatha’s inspired hand-knitted toilet roll cosy? And then someone pulls out the guitar or gets up and reads something, and it gets better, or more exciting, or more ponderous but in a lovely way? This is what we hope our Holiday Singalong is for you.
Each day until Christmas day, we’re sharing writer/performers’ responses to their favourite holiday songs. Today we’ve got the musical stylings of writer and cellist Rosanna Stevens playing Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles’ ‘Winter Song’.
I'll be upfront: 'Winter Song' isn't a super-up beat festive jingle to pull crackers to. But it's an important song, because it marks the first Christmas I woke up alone - no family, my girlfriend, Lydia, on the other side of the world, me pushing through winter in San Francisco and tying up a stuffed turkey with waxed dental floss. Before I left for the States, Lydia introduced me to pop empresses Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson, and their music has been a bit of a life-soundtrack for us (and squillions of other people) ever since. We both played 'Winter Song' repeatedly while I was away, so we figured, why not record it together for Writers Bloc? Using Garage Band? And a Sony H2N? In a bathroom? If you listen closely our cover also features: cockatoos, a dog scratching his collar, a dog scratching a door, and Lydia opening a door to get a suitcase and pack for Italy while I'm layering cello tracks. We're doing another winter Christmas, together this time.
Rosanna Stevens is a writer and sometimes-cellist. She's played sessionally in San Francisco and with Julia and the Deep Sea Sirens, as well as playing solo work on stage at You Are Here festival and the Melbourne Writers Festival. Rosanna's the 2014 Runner-Up and People's Choice prizewinner of the Three Minute Thesis Trans-Tasman competition, which is as obscure as it sounds. Her nonfiction can be found in The Lifted Brow, The Griffith Review, and The Big Issue. Find her on Twitter: @rosannabeatrice
Sam van Zweden was Writers Bloc’s Online Editor from 2013 - 2015. A Melbourne-based writer and blogger, her work has appeared in The Big Issue, Voiceworks, Tincture Journal, Page seventeen, and others. She’s passionate about creative nonfiction and cross stitch. She tweets @samvanzweden.