Hadrian’s Wall’s lead singer Neil Emberg penned “Gingerbread Town” as a loving tribute to Christmas in Vankleek Hill. Ahead of its official release, the local Celtic band asked residents to submit video clips or photos of themselves preparing for the festive season. Those community videos would be compiled into a music video for the song.
Emberg said he hoped filming the videos or taking photos would help families get together for quality time while showcasing the community’s spirit. “Even if it’s a family saying we’re going to get together and go on a sliding hill for a quick video, or mailing a letter to Santa, it’s getting together and taking that five or 10 minutes,” he said. “Because so many people are at home, and so many businesses and other activities are closed or limited, it’s a way to get everyone’s minds off what’s happening in the world.”
Emberg said he had originally written the song more explicitly about the town, but had tweaked some of the lyrics to more broadly appeal to Canadians at Christmas. He said the spirit of the song stemmed from his experiences with friends and family in the town he calls home.
“It’s pretty well a Canadian Christmas song but it’s based in Vankleek Hill, on everything I’ve done with my family and friends,” he said. “But you could probably find the same themes if you’re listening in many other towns across Canada. Being home for the important moments, especially when you have young kids, that’s what you look forward to.”
The videos could be between three and 10 seconds long. Images and video for the music video can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or the band’s Facebook page by Saturday, December 5.