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The Withered Hand Christmas Special

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Does Father Christmas exist?

“In the minds of many children, yes.”

Who would you nominate as Grinch of the year?

“Myself.”

Mistletoe or wine?

“Wine please. If you both drink enough wine you won’t need the mistletoe.”

What are you hoping for in your stocking this year?

“As a rule, I’m far more interested in what’s in other people’s stockings.”

What’s your favourite Christmas song?

“‘The Friendly Beasts’. I came to it through my children, and Sufjan Stevens does a wonderful version.”

What’s preferable in a Christmas song, communal jollity or pangs of nostalgic misery? Basically, do you want ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ or ‘Fairytale Of New York’?

“I find nostalgic misery can often be a good soundtrack to communal jollity! ‘Fairytale of New York’ wins every time for me.”

Me too, definitely. Did you start off intending the two Christmas singles you’ve released to be specifically Christmas songs or were they written as songs like any other?

“One on purpose and one by chance I guess. I wrote them both at the onset of winter. In fact, I did everything I could to un-Christmas ‘It’s A Wonderful Lie’. So there are two quite different versions of that song. One I can play all year round. I don’t think I can do that with ‘Real Snow’ though.”

(Here’s a link to 2009’s song, which was recorded in Dan’s kitchen as a free gift for subscribers to his mailing list.)

(continues overleaf)

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