Christmas Eve, Gracechurch St.

by Mark Northfield & Gareth Forster

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All proceeds from the sale of this single will go to CRISIS - the UK based charity for single homeless people: www.crisis.org.uk

PLEASE SHARE with friends, family and work colleagues, especially on social media. The more people we reach, the more we can raise.

If using Twitter, please include both my Twitter handle and the charity's one in your Tweet: @MarkNorthfield @crisis_uk

My (highly shareable!) homemade animation video for 'Christmas Eve, Gracechurch St.' can be found on YouTube. Check it out! youtu.be/z5vr7vCYBNg

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'Christmas Eve, Gracechurch St.' is dedicated to the memory of Richard Hanson. A generous, humble and loving man who gave so much to those in need, both in his local community in Sheffield and as a professional photographer for Tearfund.

Gareth and I found out that Richard had only weeks left to live (following a year's battle with leukaemia) the day I finished writing 'Christmas Eve, Gracechurch St.' From that point on I decided this was going to be 'Richard's song', and in a lengthy email a few days later I promised I would both dedicate it to him and donate any proceeds from sales to a charity helping the homeless.

That charity is Crisis, the national charity for single homeless people in the UK. They help not only with housing, but also with health, education and finding employment.

The festive season can be an incredibly difficult time of year for those with next to nothing. Every year, Crisis at Christmas provide companionship and support to tackle loneliness and isolation, and help people take their first steps out of homelessness.

Bandcamp enables donations of any amount when you purchase this single, so please feel free to give more if you are able.

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Thanks to all those who participated in the recording: you all helped make it what it is.

And thank you all for listening, sharing and buying.

Please take this song to your hearts.

Mark x

credits

released 01 December 2014

Christmas Eve, Gracechurch St.

Written and arranged by Mark Brown (aka Mark Northfield), incorporating words and music from the carols 'In The Bleak Midwinter' and 'Ding Dong Merrily On High'

Piano, recorder, drums, backing vocals by Mark
Guitar, main vocal by Gareth Forster
Violin by Charlie Brown
Cello by Tony Woollard
Choir by The ladies of Colliers Wood Chorus


Good King Wenceslas (trad.)

Original arrangement by Mark Brown (aka Mark Northfield)
Keyboards and vocal by Mark

Sound recording by Andrew Holdsworth for Method & Madness
Single cover art by Gary Collins for Absence/Presence

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about

Mark Northfield Bracknell, UK

Pianist and singer/songwriter from Berkshire, England. Also founder member of piano trio Cherry Mint Koala. Mark makes eclectic, melodic and slightly melancholic pop/rock, with prominent classical and theatrical influences. Often collaborates with other vocalists drawn from a variety of genres. Somewhat unpigeonholeable. ... more

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Track Name: Christmas Eve, Gracechurch St.
Christmas Eve, Gracechurch St.

Travelled far, travelled alone
The wind blows hard, the wind blows cold
No place quite like home
The building high, the doorway small
Familiar tale, ages old
Strangers shunned and ignored
Between the City and the Shard
The wind blows cold, the wind blows hard

Careful eyes on a hurrying crowd
The lights sparkle white and gold
Trust is a gift, it can't be found
Peace on earth, goodwill to all
Raised by a real Jekyll and Hyde
You can't be good if you can't be quiet
Comes a point you have to leave
Spare some change this Christmas Eve

Io io io…

Heavy shoulders, heavy feet
The bitter wind, the whirling snow
Halfway down Gracechurch St
The train awaits, an empty home
Sinking boats on a sea of debt
Sickening tightness in his chest
He can't go on here selling his soul
He sees the youth sat by the wall

Oh can you spare some change
Mister can you spare any change
Oh can you spare something please

In the blue glow of a cash machine
Free to use, the humble heart
The kid looks barely seventeen
Folds the notes with a business card
Afraid to take it, can't refuse
Asks the man what he wants to do
'Nothing kid, go buy some gloves
And a better coat perhaps', he shrugs
'Merry Christmas, stay in touch'

Io io io…

Gloria… Hosanna in excelsis
Track Name: Good King Wenceslas
Good King Wenceslas

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about,
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night,
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight,
Gathering winter fuel

Hither, page, and stand by me.
If thou knowst it telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?
Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes fountain

Bring me flesh, and bring me wine.
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear the thither
Page and monarch, forth they went
Onward both together
Through the rude wind's wild lament
And the bitter weather

Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how
I can go no longer
Mark my footsteps my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter's rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly

In his master's step he trod
Where the snow lay dented
Heat was in the very sod
Which the saint had printed
Therefore, Christian folk, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now shall bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing