Songwriter, Author & Master Coach
Helping people to write their own tickets to success...

Dee Shipman  Dee Shipman  Dee Shipman

"Every song I have translated is well translated, the one who works on the very difficult songs with me is Dee Shipman. I know her telephone number by heart, and her fax. It goes back and forth - 'No! I don't like this word!' And she comes back and says 'Because you don't understand English!' So I have to convince her and she has to convince me, and the rapport is fantastic." 

- Charles Aznavour

"I think it was April of '78, or maybe '79, when Charles said he was going to record a Christmas album, and gave me the first songs to adapt for it, which became 'Goodbye Christmas - Past', and 'My Own Child For Christmas From You'.

Then he phoned and said,

"Remember how we wrote 'Like Pieces Of Summer'? It seemed to work that way round. So why don't you write a Christmas lyric in English first, and then I'll write the music for it?"

" Anything I like?" I asked him. 

"Anything you like." 

I was upstairs in our house in Sussex, Summer Hill, watching the Snooker World Championships........... 

"When do you need it?"

"As soon as possible, of course!"

"Okay", I told him. "I'll get on with it as soon as........."

"As soon as when?" 

"As soon as the final of the Championships is over!" I replied. 

"How long is that?"

"Thirty-five frames" I told him. 

"It's good then that you write fast.....!"

And it was....... and I do......! 

The title came first, because I'd decided to make it an intimate Christmas love the words "very private" had to be in the title ; and as I've always loved playing with words, I then came up with 'Merry Christmas' reframed to 'Christmas Mary'............... ! 

All this was happening in my head unconsciously, while consciously I was watching the snooker match.
I've always been able to give my 'inner writer' a detailed brief of what I want, and trusted it to come up with it when it was ready.

And by the time the final frame had been played, there was a new World Champion - and as soon as I'd written it out of my head and on to paper, a new Christmas song! 




A Very Private Christmas
(Dee Shipman / Charles Aznavour)

It's Christmas, Mary
Fairy lights are on the tree
It's Christmas, Mary
Dark and deep 
The world's asleep 
Except for you and me

It's Christmas, Mary
It's Christmas Eve 
I can't believe
The year has flown
Let's have a very private Christmas evening
On our own

It's Christmas, Mary
Carefree moments can be bliss
It's Christmas, Mary
Here below the mistletoe
We two can slowly kiss

It's Christmas, Mary
This is our chance 
To touch and dance
While we're alone
And have a very private Christmas evening
On our own

The children will be wide awake tomorrow
With noise, and toys, and snowmen dressed in white
For now let's just forget about tomorrow
Let's concentrate on you and me

It's Christmas, Mary
Merry Christmas, I love you
It's Christmas, Mary
Dear, it's late, why hesitate
When nights like these are few?

It's Christmas, Mary
Why should we wait 
To celebrate
As lovers do?
Let's have a very private Christmas evening
Just for two



ABOVE: Aznavour performs 'A Very Private Christmas' 


  • A PRIVATE CHRISTMAS - Charles Aznavour (1978 MAM) CLICK TO LISTEN»

  • MY CHRISTMAS ALBUM - Charles Aznavour (1981 Pickwick)

  • VIENNA NOEL - Charles Aznavour (1995 Sony)



All lyrics and all texts are copyright Dee Shipman and no unauthorised use will be permitted
©  2010