We met up with Songwriter George Wells at Art & Soul, a Huntsville gallery that consigns local art. The walls teem with it, but one of the most recent series of additions comes from Wells. He has visions of a Christmas hit.
He reminisces, “I had a real pretty song called ‘The Colors of Christmas,’ and I couldn’t get anybody interested in it because it was too pretty and too serious, I guess. So I said, well, I’ll write a funny song.”
The Christmas carol of sorts even comes with an e-book. It shows Santa trundling over to his barn to find his reindeer missing, borrowed by Jack Frost.
But, who could take their place?
Wells answers, “I thought of the pigs. And, I named the pigs like Hambone, Porkchop, Pattycake. I even got one named Stinky.”
The song follows Santa on his journey, turning pigs into sleigh-pulling porkers.
The prints they stock at Art & Soul tell the tale in all its glory.
They’ve even got a little plush piggy that sings their song, called ‘It’s A Merry Christmas When Pigs Fly.’
George Wells and his partner, Patsy Trigg, that’s who’s singing, push the song hard. It could be a last hoorah.
Wells notes, “Believe it or not, I’ve been writing for 51 years. I hope this is going to be my best project. It might be my last. I don’t know.”
Art & Soul Owner Kim Potter is just glad to be involved selling the merchandise, “I think it’s a wonderful thing. And, I think I’m very lucky to be a part of this right now. Because once they get an animation, I think it’s probably going to be very big for them.”
That’s right. They have an animation in the works. After all, Patsy Trigg has some pull.
Wells recalls her rise, “Patsy, they were in Las Vegas, and a young man came up to her with a song and said he had a song he wanted her to listen to, so she listened. They had a crazy name on it, like, ‘Killer Reindeer,’ you know? And she said, ‘We can’t use that title.’”
They eventually came up with the title “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.” Wells says the song has sold over 15 million copies.
He got roped in through a later rendition, namely, a rap remake of the song, produced by Trigg.
Wells plays Grandpa in the video.
He didn’t even know that’s why he’d been summoned to her Fayetteville home. “She put me right to work in the video. And, I said, ‘Patsy, why didn’t you tell me?’ and she said, ‘Well, I knew you wouldn’t come.’”
Now they’re on the next Christmas extravaganza.
Again, it’s Trigg telling the story; Wells penned it. Since creating the lyrics for this one he’s been busy, “We worked up the song and it led to all the different things we’ve been involved in. The biggest of which is going to be the animation, I hope.”
You can find the video for “It’s a Merry Christmas When Pigs Fly” here.