This Holiday Night

December 06, 2012

‘This Holiday Night’

A classic approach to a modern song:

In July of last year, I filled my iPhone with classical music such as Mozart, Handel, Schubert and added some old style Christmas music like Andy Williams, Harry Connick, Jr. and Vince Guaraldi. I set out on a lovely, 2 hour, early morning hike in the gorgeous mountain trails of Montecito, California. I was so caught up in the movement and the gloriousness of the compositions and the view from the mountain top, that later that afternoon, I sat down at the piano and looked out at the ocean and started playing with a melody in ¾ time (a waltz).  I wanted the song to be very classical in its sound and style, and I wanted it to paint a picture of a nostalgic time. 

I wanted to write it in the key of C, affectionately called “the people’s key” by so many. In a short while, I had my entire melody and chords, and I knew that the last line of lyric of each section would be “On This Holiday Night”. I also knew that I wanted the song to be about a holiday through the eyes of a child. I had recently done some songwriting with hit pop writer, Barrett Yeretsian and I felt that we had some definite chemistry. I also knew he grew up in a very big, tightly knit, Armenian Family. I grew up in a very big, tightly knit Mexican family and our combination would be perfect for this song. I called him up and said, “Hey, ya wanna help me finish a Christmas song?” He said, “sure!” He was excited because he had not worked on a holiday song before. The following day we lounged around his home studio in LA and talked about what our holiday memories were like growing up. We both remembered as children, our excitement and anticipation from the cooking, baking and prepping that went on throughout the house on the day of our big holiday parties. We both exchanged several memories and had a few good laughs about how similar in spirit our families were.

My family always celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve and most of the time the entire extended family would sleep over. The food that was served was all of our favorite specialty dishes like Mexican Mole served over a saffron rice, delicious salads and vegetables. Also we ate prime rib, turkey or turkey enchiladas with my aunt’s fantastic salsa verde that she would spend all day making. We would open presents at the stroke of midnight.

The memories are very fond and even though life goes on to build new traditions and memories, I still think that most people who celebrate holidays love to do it so much because of the power of those memories that live in their hearts and create a kind of suspended happy vibe that many truly wish we could all live in all year round. I am very grateful, for all of the challenges, truth and beauty that this past year has brought my family and I. I am especially grateful to all the fans that have embraced my new holiday song. As I write this, I received news from my record label that so far, “This Holiday Night” is #6 in the Nation on the Adult Contemporary music charts. I am so thankful for this spectacular gift. May you spread peace, love and joy and have many happy holidays in the years to come. 


Margo Rey 

Stream ‘This Holiday Night’ here -