Tracey Thorn On World Cafe

  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Tracey Thorn. i

Tracey Thorn. Edward Bishop/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Edward Bishop/Courtesy of the artist
Tracey Thorn.

Tracey Thorn.

Edward Bishop/Courtesy of the artist

When veteran U.K. singer-songwriter Tracey Thorn decided to put together her own Christmas album — a project she'd been pursuing for several years — she opted for a slightly less traditional approach. The Everything but the Girl singer's new album, Tinsel and Lights, has only one very familiar holiday tune, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." The rest of the record is a mix of Thorn's original work and traditional songs that, while still written in the holiday spirit, aren't as well-known as the songs we hear in every shopping mall throughout the season.

Set List

  • "Joy"
  • "Like A Snowman"
  • "River"
  • "Tinsel And Lights"

Among Thorn's original material on Tinsel and Lights is "Joy," which isn't quite as cheery as your average holiday tune. "Joy" was informed, she says, by the change in perspective we experience as we get older: "This is what Christmas is for — you know, it is kind of there to get you through some of the difficult stuff," she tells World Café host David Dye. "And maybe one of the reasons we all get together at Christmas — and we put up lights, and we celebrate this stuff — is precisely because life starts to seem really difficult when you're older."

Thorn performs songs from the new album and recounts the story of its creation with David Dye in this session of World Cafe.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor