Sam Fender releases cover of ‘Winter Song’

Sam Fender is pleased to share a stark, raw and heartfelt recording of Alan Hull and Lindisfarne’s emotional 1970s folk track, Winter Song.

As meaningful to the people of Newcastle as The Beatles were to the people of Liverpool, Lindisfarne might never have reached the dizzying heights of John Lennon’s men, but in vocalist and songwriter Alan Hull, they had an artist whose music reached and touched millions, and who hundreds of thousands of Geordies, over the generations, remain fiercely proud of. A local legend.

Sam shares the lyric video in collaboration with People of The Streets (POTS), a social enterprise that seeks to meet the less tangible needs of people experiencing homelessness. Founded in a university bedroom in 2017, POTS is an international social enterprise that puts human stories at the heart of the public conversation on homelessness.Participants in their courses learn photography skills and develop a portfolio of visual and written work, which is then exhibited in a range of venues and offered for sale, with profits from each sale going to the creator of the work through a self-development fund administered by the participant in partnership with social workers. The video features a number of those photographs, sharing a perspective of the street from those currently living on it.

In tandem with the POTS collaboration, Sam is also selling The Big Issue via his official webstore at– with vendors unable to work due to COVID restrictions, has partnered with The Big Issue will all profits going straight back to the magazine to be split between them and the vendors.

Winter Song carries a timely message of humility, reflection and reverence, and one that speaks to Sam on a very human level.

Sam Fender: “I wanted to do a Christmas song, and wanted it to be close to my home and my heart. For me, the words are more relevant this year than ever. Christmas won’t be the same for a lot of people this year, and that’s why I picked Winter Song. Alan Hull truly was one of the most fantastic and underrated writers of his time. Geordie legend. 

“I hope I’ve done it justice, I’m really proud of it.”

Like so many artists across the world, 2020 has been a difficult year for Sam with the pandemic putting pay to a huge Summer of planned festival appearances and touring commitments. Whilst the world waits to see how 2021 fares, the touring remains in a state of flux. Check for the latest tour plans. Sam opened the Newcastle Unity Arena socially distanced outdoor series of shows In the Summer with two huge sell-out shows. 

Winter Song by Lindisfarne

When winter’s shadowy fingers first pursue you down the street,
And your boots no longer lie about the cold around your feet 
Do you spare a thought for summer whose passage is complete 
Whose memories lie in ruins and whose ruins lie in heat 
When winter… comes howling in 

When the wind is singing strangely, blowing music through your head 
And your rain-splattered windows make you decide to stay in bed 
Do you spare a thought for the homeless tramp who wishes he was dead 
Or do you pull your bedclothes higher, dream of summertime instead? 
When winter… comes howling in

The creeping cold has fingers that caress with permission 
And mystic crystal snowdrops only aggravate the condition 
Do you spare a thought for the gypsy, with no secure position 
Who’s turned and spurned by village and town at the magistrate’s decision? 
When winter… comes howling in

When the turkey’s in the oven and the Christmas presents are bought 
And Santa’s in his module, he’s an American astronaut 
Do you spare one thought for Jesus, who had nothing but his thoughts 
Who got busted just for talking, and befriending the wrong sort? 
When winter… comes howling in 
When winter… comes howling in

Danny Peart
Editor / Live Music Photographer / Journalist at Soundcheck-Live

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