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Marc’s hit single captures Christmases past

It started out as a bit of musical brainstorming on the piano, when a line came into Marc Roberts’ head: “Everyone’s counting the hours, the minutes for….” – but for what? And then it was obvious what they were waiting for – Christmas!

That’s how his brand new chart-topping festive single came to life, and while he originally wrote It’s Christmas Time in just twenty minutes, it took a few more years – and reworking of the melody and the tempo – to end up with the finished product.

“After I realised it was going to be about Christmas, it just flowed – kind of fell off my lap. Having started the line about waiting for something and then wondering ‘for what’, it was a quick process, even if it has hugely evolved since,” he said.

Released at the start of the month, it shot straight to the top of the iTunes all-genre chart – holding off the likes of Elton John, Ed Sheeran and Dermot Kennedy – and it’s still comfortably among the top downloads as the big day itself dawns.

“I did a demo of the original years ago, with the late great Eugene Kelly, but it was only in the last year and a half that I revisited it and worked on it again,” he says.

And when he came to recording it, he admits he ‘threw everything at it’. “We didn’t spare anything; we even had members of the National Symphony Orchestra come in to play.”

The song is his take on what Christmas was and still should be – a world away from commercialism; just families and friends coming home; the innocence of children waking at six in the morning to see what Santa brought and then rushing upstairs to tell Mammy and Daddy.

So there are snowflakes and chestnuts and Santa – not, as he says, as a checklist but just because that’s the way he remembers Christmas.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

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