Scottish singer-songwriter unveils 'deliberately anti-social' festive anthem Stay Away This Christmas
It could be the anthem that captures the real spirit of the festive season for many this year.
A Scottish singer-songwriter who has written more than 60 new songs since the start of the pandemic has unveiled a “deliberately anti-social” Christmas number ahead of restrictions being eased across Scotland later this month.
Adam Ross’s song Stay Away This Christmas warns of the dangers of meeting up for traditional gatherings and urges: “Let’s wait until next year to do it properly.”
The chorus includes the plea “I’m sure that we can cope without tradition for one year. Stay away this Christmas, I don't want you coming near.”
Last year Ross, from Nairn, in the Highlands, and the rest of his bandmates in the indie-pop outfit Randolph’s Leap released a festive single entitled Christmas, Burn It All in aid of Friends of the Earth Scotland and partly inspired by 2019’s climate change protests.
It also appears on the soundtrack of a new Scottish romantic-comedy Lost at Christmas.
However, the new song includes the lines: “I will not miss the awful carol service, the thought of it's enough to make me nervous.
"Stay away from me and I'll respect you, it's Christmas and I don't want to infect you.”
Recently recorded at home in Aberdeenshire by Ross, who releases his music under the guise of Randolph’s Leap, the new song is available on a digital Christmas album he updates every year.
Ross said: “In 2013 I recorded a short EP of Christmas cover versions. It was quite a silly affair, including songs from The Muppet Christmas Carol and the highly underrated Smurfs Christmas Album, which was a big hit in my house when I was growing up.
"I've tried to add at least one new song every Christmas and it's now become a 14-song album. I've mostly moved away from covers and the last few additions have been original songs, although I’ve tried to avoid obvious song-writing routes.
“I felt, this year, the obvious thing would be to write a song about how hard it will be to be separated from loved ones.
"That feeling is something I can totally relate to, but I didn't want whimsy to get the better of me.
“So 'Stay Away This Christmas' is a deliberately anti-social song to hopefully puncture some of the more sentimental, maudlin feelings we're all prone to.
"I think it's really important for us all to consider whether meeting family this Christmas is really essential or if it's better to play it safe.
“As a gigging musician, I've got a vested interest in things getting back to ‘normal’ sooner rather than later, so this was just a tongue-in-cheek reminder that it's OK to embrace a low-key, micro-Christmas this year, particularly if it means avoiding another spike in Covid cases.
"This year has been tricky, but not a total disaster for me. With so much of the music industry on ice, it's reinforced the value of DIY ethics.
"I've recorded and released around 60 songs this year, a lot of it has been purely through Bandcamp and Patreon, so I think Covid has helped me figure some things out which will continue to be really useful to the way I make music.
"I can't wait for gigs to start happening again though."
A message from the Editor:Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.
If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.