With their song Hope Christmas Gets You To Me, two Glasgow schoolteachers are aiming to reach the Christmas charts.
Phil Ford and Tim Kwant, who act under the name of Lapwing, wrote the song during the Covid Lockdown about wishing for human interaction.
The song proved more popular than they imagined it would be. It has received around a million streams across all platforms since its release on Dec. 1, and has been played by DJs including Jo Whiley and Ken Bruce nationwide.
You can listen to the song below and watch the music video during the Covid pandemic, which reveals several peaceful locations in Glasgow.
Phil Ford, a 39-year-old English teacher, spoke to the Press Association and said, “We’re just so grateful that people have taken it to their hearts and it seems to speak to them in some way.”
“It’s beyond the wildest dreams of an English teacher who occasionally writes little songs with his buddy.”
“The two, who cite the Killers’ “Christmas In LA” and Sufjan Stevens’ “Sister Winter” as their favorite Christmas songs, have been friends for about a decade and were inspired to write together a few years ago after attending a Fleet Foxes concert.
“We’ve been writing songs together pretty regularly, mostly while sitting around a wood stove with a single malt,” Mr. Ford said.
Mr. Ford, who wrote the lyrics for the album, said he wanted the world that people live in to be expressed.
“A lot of Christmas music is relentlessly optimistic, and this year just feels a little different,” he said.
A lot of people have had a very, very difficult year, and for a lot of people, Christmas will be very unusual and pretty rough.
“When I was thinking about the song and the lyrics, I just wanted to write something that acknowledged the difficulties this year and still had some hope in it.”
The couple say they are lucky not to have been too affected by the pandemic, but they are mindful of the adverse effect it has had on the lives of friends and family – something that inspired the vocals of Mr. Kwant in the album.
“It’s really hard on grandparents,” says physics instructor Kwant, who has two small children.
It’s a big deal not to see your kids, and I almost sing it from their viewpoint.
“It’s much harder for them – kids are trash on Zoom, it’s so hard for a kid to interact with a grandparent on Zoom, it’s just impossible.”
The duo claims to be “overwhelmed” by the reception the song got.
Not only did celebrities such as Graham Norton and Lorraine Kelly play the song, but the couple got messages from music lovers who were moved by the song.
“The way it’s affected all these people is incredible,” Mr. Kwant, 33, said.
“As a musician, it’s what I’ve always dreamed of, that my music makes a difference – almost more important than being famous or making a lot of money is that you want to make a difference, that your music really helps people, impacts them.”
The song’s performance – which was No. 18 on the iTunes chart Friday afternoon – is also being felt by the students of the two teachers.
“I have a lot of kids in class who say things like ‘when you get famous, sir, you still have to teach us, you have to put us through high school, wait until you do that and then you can go,'”I have a lot of kids in the classroom who say things like, ‘When you get famous, sir, you still have to teach us, you have to put us through high school, you have to wait until you do that and then you can go.
If the students are right about their teachers’ imminent glory or not, Mr. Ford says they are making the most of the experience.
It’s just an incredible motivation that we’ve been able to write something that people are connected to, so I want to keep doing it,”It’s just an extraordinary encouragement that we were able to write something that people connect with, so I’d like to keep doing that,”
“Whatever happens with that happens, but I’m definitely just enjoying this moment.”
In our sister paper, The Glasgow Times, you can also read the interview with the band.