Sometimes all we need from a Christmas song, and this may be more true of contemporary ones than the older classics, is a description of what we want the season to bring us. It can be something as trivial as what we wish Santa to bring us, as is the case in Santa Baby, or the longing for a snow covered landscape just like the one described in Winter Wonderland. Brian Kennedu brings this in spades through his idyllic song about a Christmas morning.
Kennedy was born in Belfast, Ireland in 1966 and dealt with the religious violence there by turning to song. He would become a member of Van Morrison’s touring band after The Man heard him perform on the solo debut in 1999. With a sweet and melodic voice Kennedy has become a fixture of adult contemporary and performs a variety of styles, from James Taylor to Irish traditional. He has represented Ireland in the notorious song contest Eurovision Song Contest and was the original vocalist on You Raise Me Up, the George Best tribute made more famous by Josh Groban. One might say that Kennedy is a modern version of Michael Bolton and more accessible than the aforementioned Groban.
Christmas Morning, in short, describes a perfect start to Christmas. It described how the person singing is decorating the tree, gazes out over the landscape, hoping for snow, listens to the sounds outside and finally is joined by someone for the holidays. Without any overtly religious message the tune is very much like a painting by Thomas Kincaid; a wish for how one would like it to be. To wake up, seeing the frost outdoors and slipping into a pair of slippers, dressing in your Christmas sweater, taking a cup of tea and with quiet reverence waiting for the house to fill with the sounds of the season.
For the longing that Christmas Morning creates and the warm blanket that is Brian Kennedy’s voice this is song number 13 on the Christmas List of Songs.