All Photography Courtesy of Florin Street Band/ Leigh Haggerwood
A few years ago, I wrote about another fantastic new original Christmas song and video and at that time the chances of it becoming a classic were thin. Who writes Christmas songs today that become world classics? I always enjoyed it but I never thought it would reach the realm it’s in now. So, I decided to revisit Florin Street NW and see what has transpired.
The Florin Street Band’s British singer-songwriter Leigh Haggerwood decided he’d write a new Christmas song — and today that Victorian-Charles Dickens’ inspired video has been hit over 8 million times! The entire video was filmed on a set that you’d think was a major motion picture effort. But this was an independent project. No major record company money or input. The costumes, the faces, the reproduction of the era, and the mere festive atmosphere — flawless.
It’s as if Leigh picked out these people from that Victorian time and transplanted them into his video, even the expressions on the young boys faces as they picked up snowballs in the street. The mischief, the saloon, the elegantly dressed — the details and production values are wonderful.
What it is, is four and a half minutes of peace on earth and you want to stay…you want to believe.
The young pretty girl walking through the street alone with snow in her hair in the video appears to be not only a village girl but the very spirit of Christmas itself. An angel smiling and putting the spirit of Christmas into each citizen as she passes…probably unseen. Who else could she be?
I think Leigh has succeeded in a big way because the international comments from all over the world are impressive. Mexico, Romania, Hungary, Louisiana, Ohio — the list goes on. The song and video have become — endearing to many at this time of year. It also reinforces the fact that there are good things in this world to appreciate.
So, here again, as a pleasant holiday reminder eight years later, is “My Favorite Time of Year.”
Yeah, I think it now deserves to be called a Christmas classic.
Treat yourself, go back to the Victorian era for a few minutes and smell the chestnuts and listen to the old wagon wheels turn in the snow. Listen to that fine female chorus sing out Noel. Some of you may even need tissues.
Not a big Christmas fan? Watch the video then — just for the wonderful images and story in its colorful Victorian era.
Leigh doesn’t go heavy into the religious with his performance – but he does bring you for a few enticing moments into a world long gone and perhaps a better one. For me, it isn’t Christmas until I watch this video and listen to this song. The chorus of women is so heartwarming, the snow and the whole ragged look reminds us how lucky the majority of us are.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this review/commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of No Depression. All photography is owned by the respective photographers and is their copyrighted image; credited where photographer’s name was known & being used here solely as a reference and will be removed on request. YouTube images are standard YouTube license.
John Apice / No Depression / December 2018