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The Spirit of Christmas

[Steve Ashley]

Tinder Box was a duo with Steve Ashley and Dave Menday before Steve went solo, before the Albion Country Band Mk I and long before Ragged Robin. The Spirit of Christmas is an out-take from the Stroll On sessions. It was included a year later on the famous anthology Electric Muse: The Story of Folk into Rock and finally appeared in 1999 as bonus track on the CD reissue Stroll On Revisited. A live recording from Steve Ashley’s 60th birthday concert was included in the CD Live in Concert.

St Agnes Fountain (Chris Leslie, Chris While, Julie Matthews and David Hughes) sang this song as title track of their 2010 CD The Spirit of Christmas. It was also included in 2011 on their double CD Best of St Agnes Fountain.

The Spirit of Christmas has also been included in Dave Thompson’s book 1000 Songs That Rock Your World.


I am the ghost of Christmas past,
The flicker within the fireplace,
Plucking the letter from the hearth,
Floating it on a snowflake.
The man that pulls the bell rope down
Knows well that I am the ringer.
Carol singers in the town
Will tell you that I’m the singer.

I am the ghost of Christmas past,
Haunting in the evening.
In wintertime the paths are dark
And travellers think they see things.
I am the lonely cartwheel leaf,
The creaking in the branches.
I am the cheeky headscarf thief,
Teaching the trees their dances.

I am the ghost of Christmas past,
Pleasure within the giver,
Glowing within the welcome glass,
The quiver within the shiver.
I am the mitten on the hand,
The head in the balaclava.
I am the goodwill in the land,
The invisible Christmas father.


Song lyrics reproduced with kind permission of Steve Ashley.