How To Write A Christmas Hit

Slade. Wizzard. Wham!

When it comes to Christmas songs, we know what we like, and we like what we know. But is there a magical formula to writing a festive hit? Can a novice, armed with the right chords, instruments and lyrical motifs, unlock the secret and crack the Christmas charts? 

Last year, our very own Ollie Peart attempted to give it a go. This is his story.

Including footage never previously broadcast, Olly Mann tracks Ollie’s journey in this feature-length documentary, as he consults music journalist Chris Lochery and songwriter Philippe-Marc Anquetil to discover the role of ‘freewriting’, the significance of writing in a major key, and the importance of ‘finding the line’.

'The Sounds Of Christmas' was released in December 2018 - but we’ve never announced its final chart position - or revealed how much money it made for charity - until now.

There’s also a BRAND NEW 2019 MIX OF THE SONG for you to buy. Get it HERE:

As before, Ollie’s share of the publishing rights, and every penny of artist royalties, go to Samuel’s Charity. 

Samuel's Charity work with underfunded children's wards in the UK to provide support and comfort to families. From supplying decent meals and internet access, to medical kit that makes children's live that much more comfortable, Samuel's Charity makes a positive difference to hundreds of family's lives at a very stressful time. 

If, after hearing Olly's interview with Samuel’s dad, Martin, you’d like to make the charity a festive donation, please do so HERE:

Big thanks to all the podcasters who gave their time and participated in the song, including The Guilty Feminist, Do The Right Thing, Answer Me This!, Wannabe, The Tip Off, The Comedian’s Comedian, The Beef and Dairy Network, Fun Kids Radio, and For F1’s Sake. 

Remember, this whole mad enterprise began when Jim Taylor, occasional member of Reverend And The Makers, sent Ollie a challenge by filling in our Feedback form. If YOU have an idea of a trend for Ollie to investigate in our next season of The Modern Mann, contact us now at MODERNMANN.CO.UK - where you can also see the video Ollie made for the song, featuring Mann-fans from around the world.

This episode is supported by - the UK’s No.1 beer club. Mannfans can claim a FREE case of beer, worth £24 at

Presenter: Olly Mann. Producer: Matt Hill. Contributors: Ollie Peart, Philippe-Marc Anquetil, Podcast All-Stars. Thanks: Louise Adams, Dani Linder, Mark Goodier. Theme Music: Django Django. Graphics: Jenny Mann Design, Terry Saunders. Copyright Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2019.


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