A few locals and University of North Texas students took one of the most popular songs of 2013 and added a little Christmas spin, turning it into what some are calling a perfect song for the holidays.
UNT student Kayley Walker said she was listening to a Christmas music station recently as she was decorating her apartment and heard the song “Royals” by New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde.
“I remember thinking, ‘That’s weird. Why would that be on the Christmas station?’” she said. “And then I thought, ‘Hey, it would be cool to do a Christmas version of it.’”
With the assistance of friend Tiffany Boerner, Walker wrote new lyrics in a day or two. They took the original song and turned it into a tune full of witty humor and subtle jokes.
One line goes: “But every song’s like chestnuts roasting, Mama kissing Santa, sleigh bells ringing, reindeer running over Grandma. We don’t care; she gives us knitted socks anyways.”
And in another line, Walker and Boemer write: “And we’ll be overeating, resolutions we won’t keep. Maxed out our credit cards, we’re in debt up to our knees.”
Fellow UNT student and Walker’s friend, Alexandra Hobbs, produced the parody, and the two thought the song needed to be made into a video.
“The song was too funny not to be made into a video,” Hobbs said.
The video was filmed in Arlington and directed and edited by Austin James. It was filmed just after the recent storm swept through North Texas, covering most area roads with ice.
“We didn’t think we would be able to make it because of the ice,” Hobbs said. “But school was closed and we drove to Arlington.”
“So technically we risked our lives to make this video,” Walker said with a laugh.
In two weeks, the video has more than 30,000 views.
“That’s a lot considering most of my own videos have fewer than 200 views,” Walker said.
Officials with the Kidd Kraddick in the Morning radio show posted about it on their website, and the video has been shared more than 4,000 times.
As of Sunday, it was the second most popular link on the show’s website. The show describes the song and video as “part haunting, beautiful, funny and odd.”
The show’s website goes on to say that the video “features the beautiful voice of Kayley Nell [Walker] who has the Lorde singing-style down and has her own potential star-power.”
Walker also called KVIL-FM (103.7) to tell them about the song under the guise of a normal listener “who happened to stumble across the video.”
The station posted the video with the caption “I had a listener call me this afternoon and bring this to my attention, too funny!”
“After that, we started getting a bunch of views,” Hobbs said.
This isn’t the first time Walker and Hobbs have worked together. The two young women have written at least five songs together and have dreams of breaking into the music industry.
Walker says her dream is to become a professional singer-songwriter, while Hobbs is more interested in becoming a producer.
“Songwriting is seriously the only way I can communicate, because normally I’m kind of a shy, reserved person. I kind of use that to let out of all of my emotions,” she said.
Though she admits her shyness, she isn’t afraid to hand out demo tapes or throw them on the stage of her favorite artists.
Walker says she’s probably written at least 100 songs.
“She’s always writing songs and she writes like she’s 80 years old — like she’s an old soul,” Hobbs said.
Walker said she likes writing about life, observations and love.
“Mostly unrequited love — let’s be real here,” she said jokingly. “If I like a guy, I’ll actually write a song about him instead of telling him. So, it’s probably not the healthiest thing to do.”
The parody video is on YouTube.com as “Lorde - Royals Christmas Parody (US).”
To listen to songs written by Walker and produced by Hobbs, visit https://soundcloud.com/kayleywalker13.
JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @JDHarden.