A gift of song from Todd Hobin

Syracuse singer and songwriter Todd Hobin sent out an email to friends and family last night, and I just opened it now.

(from toddhobin.com)

(from toddhobin.com)

The member of the Syracuse Area Music Awards Hall of Fame talks about a fruitful 2014, tells of good plans ahead for 2015, and, most importantly, shares the story behind his original Christmas song “Emmanuel.”

Hobin, a singer, musician, songwriter and music educator of some note, was working that 1988 night before his appearance on the annual live Christmas radio broadcast of popular Syracuse morning man Big Mike Fiss. And, he explains in his email, the words and music to the song he knew all of a sudden he must play on that radio show just came to him in a rush.

So he wrote it.

And the next morning, performed it for the very first time.

It’s all in Todd Hobin’s own wonderful words on his web site, which you can find by clicking he link below.

Here’s the link to Todd Hobin’s website.

You can hear “Emmanuel” there, too. Hobin is making it available for download there for the very first time.

Merry Christmas, indeed.

What’s your favorite traditional Christmas song? What’s your favorite new Christmas song?

45 thoughts on “A gift of song from Todd Hobin

  1. This post has it all, Mark–Todd’s fabulous song, Big Mike checking in and a chance to think about our favorite Christmas tunes. Childhood favorite: “Must Be Santa” and the more recent, “All I Want for Christmas Is You” . Happy New Year, all! πŸ™‚


  2. That’s so cool! I do not like “new” Christmas songs. It’s the Asperger’s in me.) My favorite religious one is Oh Holy Night (with the best version being sung by Susan Boyle) and my favorite non-religious carol is Carol of the Bells (with the best version being sung by The Harlem Boys’ Choir.) (And, yes, I do know all the words to Carol of the Bells… And I also sometimes play it when it’s the middle of summer, too, just because I like it so much! Yes, really. LOL!)


  3. “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow” by Steve and Edie. Because it never does, never does, never does. But I love Christmas songs, and this one is, too. Ones I can’t stand are “Santa, Baby” because EW and because she’s greedy. And “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” unless it’s Elf singing it. Ones that always make us wonder are “I Want A Hippopotamus for…” and “Dominick the Donkey.” Those are strange, no??


  4. Mark every time I try to say I have a favorite I hear another one that takes me to another moment of singing or memories and I just can’t do it….there’s too many beautiful tunes. Though…Away In A Manger is the one I love to sing all by myself when no one is around. πŸ™‚


  5. Merry Christmas Bro! Favorite classic: Blue Christmas, Elvis; New Favorite: Drunk on Christmas, Jimmy Fallon Google it if you haven’t heard it. Hysterical. And spot on. xoxo


    • This one worked for Todd, that’s for sure.

      As a columnist, I know my best stories were in my head and dancing off my fingers, through the keyboard and onto that page in what seemed like one continuous flash of thought, Mark. Afterward, mere fiddling.


  6. Hi Mark! I’m always reading your blog and cool to see my name! Yes, “Emmanuel” sure is a strong and beautiful song, written by a beautiful and talented man, Todd Hobin! I remember well the first time he performed that song, live on the radio, and then told me he wrote it the night before as it came to him while looking out at the cove where he lived. It was stunning. And it still is a joy to hear. Merry Christmas Mark!


  7. exactly what I needed as my Christmas spirit is quickly waning.Hate that it comes to bah humbugging, but that’s where I am right now. So it’s wonderful to hear a song that spells out what Christmas is about. Wanted to watch a quick Christmas show with the fam tonight (thinking Peanuts or Frosty) and instead we found a Madagascar thing where the plot revolved around running over Santa and candy canes scattering and I think Santa may have lost his pants at some point. Arrrgh. Your post couldn’t have come at a better time. Christmas blessings to you and yours πŸ™‚


    • Don’t go bah humbug yet, Liz. We’re at the home stretch. You can make it, my friend. Though that sounds like an awful special you took in with the fam. No need for a de-pantsed Santa, no.

      I’m glad Todd’s “Emmanuel” helped put the holiday back on track for you, Liz. Merry Christmas to you, Larry, and the girls.


  8. It’s hard to pick a favorite, Mark. I like “Sleigh Ride,” “Walking in a Winter Wonderland.” I guess I like sleigh bells. Ha ha! Believe it or not, I haven’t heard that much Christmas music this season, except when I go grocery shopping. I haven’t been to the malls much as I did most of my shopping online. How nice of this musician to make his song available. What a nice gift for all of us. Thanks for sharing!


  9. Wow, that’s an incredible story! What talent to be able to just have the song come to you the night before you are appearing on live radio! And it was his first time playing it, right there in the studio?! Crazy talent! I love that he brought his priest for support! Beautiful song. Thank YOU for sharing it with us! And happy holidays. Merry Christmas to you.
    michele at Angels Bark


    • Todd is a great talent, Michele. I had to share the song as soon as I saw he did. His albums are fantastic. The Todd Hobin Band toured the country in its prime, and celebrated its 40th anniversary two years ago … Happy holidays to you and yours, too, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Interesting story Mark. My browser won’t play Emmanuel and it’s not on Youtube that I could find. I need to update my hardware. I don’t pay a lot of attention to xmas songs – I like the postive beat and music but I couldn’t identify and of the new ones.


  11. I enjoy Christmas songs with meaning and this was lovely, Todd, you wrote one with true meaning and beauty. Mark, great job focusing on this musician and thanks for sharing his lyrics!!


  12. You know Mark, by this time I’m totally burned out on Christmas music. It’s been playing non stop on every station in the area since Thanksgiving and now it just makes me want to gag. I’ve stopped listening now, so when I go to church on Christmas I’ll be able to enjoy “O Holy Night”, my favorite. As for the other, not sure about how new it is, but for some weird reason I can still listen to “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” and still get a belly laugh from that one. The same laugh I can get in July, as a matter of fact. I think I just like the total absurdity of the thing.


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