Christmas At Grandpa's

John Staples - UK Songwriting Contest 2013 Semi-Finalist in Top 5% of Entries

Christmas At Grandpa's is a true story! I spent every Christmas of my childhood with my grandparents on their farm in Kentucky. These are some of the best memories I have even now many, many years later.

Last year at Christmas I wrote this song and shared it with my family. If you close your eyes you can almost smell the holiday aromas, hear the laughter, see the joy! I hope you enjoy it!

Those sweet harmonies are provided by my lovely wife Rose!


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John Staples

Christmas At Grandpa's

Down in western Kentucky
Nine miles off the highway
On an old gravel road
At the top of a hill

The farm of my family
Trees that we climbed on
And the snow covered fields
In old Forestville

Christmas at Grandpa's
Family's all there
Laughter and music
A chill in the air
There'll be chocolate for breakfast
We'll all say our prayers
And we'll always remember
The love
that we shared

Grandma in the kitchen
Fryin' chicken on the woodstove
Opal telling stories
To the kids by the fire

Grandpa cut a Christmas tree
Up on the mountain
We'll cover it in popcorn and



Now the years go by quickly
We grow up so fast
And we cherish the memories
Of each Christmas past

In my dreams I'm in Kentucky
Grandma waiting at the door
It's Christmas at Grandpa's
Once more

(chorus x 2)

© 2012 John Staples

I welcome your comments, feedback, critiques, etc.!!

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Comments on Christmas At Grandpa's

The UK Songwriting Contest directors and judges include some of the world's top Grammy. Emmy and BRIT Award winning producers who have worked closely with such artists as Sting, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Kylie Minogue, Robbie Williams, Britney Spears and many others. There were over 5,000 entries this year and we are pleased that John Staples achieved such impressive results in this year's event and wish him every success in the future as a songwriter.
-UK Songwriting Contest spokesman

WE love this!!!!!! It's amazing!!! Are you playing all the instruments??? I'm in awe!!!!
-Elliot Schneider

I am crying, it's so beautiful! I love your voice and Rose's harmony. This is a major song, my Christmas favorite. This a wonderfully constructed composition. Everything works so well together.
-Carmen Castro

Hi John, It sounds good. Like the music a lot.
-John K.

Wow John! That is absolutely fantastic! I just listened to it 4 times. The arrangement is excellent - tell me about it. You've got a banjo and fiddle in there, yes? And ukelele and/or mandolin? Was this done with players from the Old Town School? It is wonderful. I really appreciate you sending it! Norene and I listened to it a couple more times and we love it. Really awesome John.
-Sean J.

Nice work, John! That you singin'? Nicely done throughout.
-Bill E.

Hi John! I loved this. Is it you singing or are you the guitar player? made me feel all homely, lyrics are wonderful too.
-Reese F.

Hi John, what a beautiful song! I love it. One thought that came to mind that I think would sound cool is if you change up the pitch on the 3rd verse a little (Now the years go by quickly..) maybe go to a higher pitch in the melody for a little added emotion and dynamics. It's great as it is...just a suggestion. Anyway, hope you are enjoying the holidays. Hope to see you at an open mic soon.
-Cheryl C.

This sounds great John! wow i wish i could sing like you!
-Tom R.

John your voice is like that old comfort food... Chocolate for breakfast. I really like the images and the family storyline. Your violin work is awesome too.
-Gregory D.

Finally got a chance to give this several listens. I love it as a whole and I love specific things about it. I think the "truth" works beautifully here. Details like the name Opal, the woodstove, the specificity of where the house is and what it looks like at Christmas. It could have been a generic-sounding scene, but it's not at all. Given that you're sticking to a specific set of details, the lyrics flow really well, too. There's no stumbling where you were trying to fit something in, even though it didn't quite scan. I really like the arrangement. The mandolin part sounds fantastic and gives this sense of a busy houseful of of family. Also love the way you bring the fiddle in near the end. Anyway, it sounds gorgeous even if you didn't touch a thing. Lovely work!
-Matilda T.

Thanks so much for sharing this one with me. It sounds great, and I'm sure it must mean a great deal to your family. You really have an ear for instrumentation, structure, arrangement--I just like the "sound" overall. The very literal/direct lyrics work with the sort of "country" style, just like the less-literal/more-thematic lyrics to "Out Before the Storm" fit the more pop-oriented musical style of that song.
-Andy B.

Fabulous!!! Makes me want to go to Kentucky for Christmas. Sorry for the delay - I've not been online in awhile. Happy New Year to you!!!
-Jennifer H.

read the lyrics, like what I saw, will listen to it next...Loved listening to the mp3 of that song! Did you just write this?
-Simeon P.

Nice! Thank you so much for sharing this with me! You sound great. And I love the fiddle solo! It definitely sounds like something you'd hear in a tv show, or something like that. How many tracks is it?
-Rachel D.

a super writer and recorder. This is a fine down home tune, I think a lot of folks will relate to this one. Are you playing all the instruments -- it sounds great.
-Kevin E.

John, I really like this. If I had just one teeny nit to pick I would say that I wasn't sure of why there was a pause between the last line of the chorus. I was waiting for a killer line but it didn't happen. I do like the song though, very much.

It's impossible to not like this song, THANK YOU for sharing the cool talent you have.

A very enjoyable song. Nicely recorded. The combination of lyric and instrumentation is very "homey" - it makes you feel like you are right there at Grampa's.. Good job.
-Floyd J.

Love it....Sound fits the message... Love songs that make you think.... It would be nice to do the final CHORUS with a big crowd of BGV's as the who family joins in the tune in agreement... Just a thought
-Steve A.

Beautiful song. Love the mando and the lyric and the performance in general. Very nice write. For some reasong, having listened to this, I am expecting to look out my window here in FL and seeing snow. THe song just puts you in a wonderful mood. Love it,

I really enjoy homespun country tunes-especially with a bit of subtle blue grass influence. I really like your production & performance. Super write! I also liked the pause at the end of the chorus; for me it enhances the "reflective emotions" that the song elicits. (I see where you are coming from however Vic) Sometimes the mood we're in at present wants a more launching or powerful chorus, other times more intimate. Both directions could work well. I really liked this a lot!

Really nice...not at all sentimental ,which is what i was expecting... Like the backing music..and your vocal is nicely understated...

I think it's a superb xmas song, really well arranged, recorded and mixed too. I couldn't say anything to improve such a well crafted piece and I'd rather hear this every year than the usual tripe.

Very nicely arranged and played, is that a mandolin in there? Good vocals too. Sound like you've been writing for a lot longer... Laid back and homely
-Neil C.

Truly amazing song....loved every minute of it. Got a feeling we'll be hearing more from you

Great instrumentation. Excellent mix. Controlled vocal. And a Christmas song that doesn't make you cringe. I'd put this with Fairytale of New York as one of those you could listen to at anytime. Quality song.

This is lovely. Strong sentiment, but not sentimental. Love the chorus and arrangement. Couple of thoughts on the lyrics ... "The farm of my family" is a little hard to sing, but it sounds right as you do it. Great! There's lots that's really specific in this song, but it's not esoteric. Esoteric can be good and mysterous, but you paint a scene that anyone can recall with you. The exception to this is "Opal telling stories by the fire". I don't get this. I assume Opal is a name, but it's not clear who it is. Might just be be and it doesn't matter at all, but it does stand out from the rest. I've written a songs about family and it's an interesting thing to work out how to be specific about places and people. Really impressed and thanks for sharing it.
-Adam H.