Arts Week with Judy Murphy
Galway City Man, Malcolm Lally whose new song Christmas Time (Baby Are You Mine) was named the official Christmas FM song of the year for 2016 is a fine singer as well as being a fine a songwriter. He’s also a multi-instrumentalist, equally comfortable playing guitar and piano as well trumpet. But the computer scientist from Knocknacarra who works at Hewlett Packard has no desire to take centre stage – his real aim is to write songs and have them performed by other people.
Malcolm has come a step closer to realising that dream since Christmas Time was voted the top song in this year’s Christmas FM Competition.
He’d been shortlisted as one of six finalists by the station’s DJs, after entering the competition when his sister had sent him a link to it. Christmas Time made the final six, whittled down from more than 100 entries, and Malcolm was perfectly happy with that. Winning – after a public vote – was the icing on the cake.
Christmas Time is an upbeat, happy number with a fine musical arrangement that includes brass instrumentation as well as seasonal bells and backing vocals.
“I finished it properly at the end of November and entered it into a few competitions,” explains Malcolm, adding that the song also reached the semi-final of the UK Songwriting Contest’s Christmas section. That prestigious competition attracts huge interest, so getting to the semi-finals was a big deal.
Christmas FM, meanwhile, is an all-volunteer national radio station that broadcasts from Dublin from late November to the end of December, with the aim of spreading seasonal cheer through Ireland and across the world.
The station raises funds for a selected charity each Christmas, and since 2008, has donated more than €890,000 for organisations including Simon, Age Action, the ISPCCC, Aware and Focus Ireland. Its partner for 2016 is Focus Ireland.
And, of course, it also plays songs – Christmas songs to be precise, classics and new compositions such as Malcolm’s
His song has been getting great airplay on the station since he won the competition and he’s hopeful that it will lead to greater interest in his work.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.