Happy Gravy Day!
It’s the 21st of December and you know what that means… Time to put your gravy out and blast Paul Kelly’s iconic Aussie Christmas classic ‘How To Make Gravy’ at full volume.
Although this year, you’ve got a new version to choose from.
Kelly has re-recorded his festive classic 25 years after its initial release for a brand new all-star Chrissy double album entitled Paul Kelly’s Christmas Train.
And not only has he tweaked a couple of the old lyrics, he’s also given the tune a brand new meaning courtesy of a freshly minted music video, out today.
Featuring clips sourced from fans (plus sneaky cameos from the likes of cameos by Brian Nankervis and Gretta Ray), the video soundtracks the joy and heartbreak of families coming together, and those kept apart, during the festive season even more poignantly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The music video has been made by Siân Darling, lovingly and skilfully… is a thing of wonder, sadness and joy,” Kelly explains.
Originally written as a letter from prison at Christmas time on the “21st of December”, Kelly’s 1996 ballad has become permanently embedded in the Australian psyche, so much so that its lyrical date of December 21st has become affectionately known as National Gravy Day.
On this deeply significant holiday — observed by all Australians regardless of race, religion or dietary requirements.
But, as Kelly explains, the song itself has evolved a lot over the past quarter-century.
“The original How To Make Gravy came out 25 years ago and I must have played it now thousands and thousands of times. It’s a staple in our set,” he says.
“The band and I thought it would be worthwhile putting our current version to tape. The way we play the song has evolved over the years but not that much. We’ve always kept the crucial slide riff, originally played by Spencer P Jones, and on this recording by Ashley Naylor. Playing this song is like going on a ride. Once you’re on it, it just takes off! Note for music nerds: Peter Luscombe plays drums on both versions.”
Watch the emotional official music video for the 2021 version of Paul Kelly’s ‘How To Make Gravy’ below.
And a friendly reminder you can catch him playing live at WOMADelaide in 2022.