A Winter's Tale (David Essex song)

"A Winter's Tale" is a song performed by David Essex on the 1983 album The Whisper. First released as a single in 1982, it reached #2 in the UK singles chart in January 1983, kept off #1 by Phil Collins's cover version of "You Can't Hurry Love".

"A Winter's Tale"
Song by David Essex
from the album The Whisper
ReleasedDecember 11, 1982 (1982-12-11)
GenreSoft rock
Songwriter(s)Mike Batt/Tim Rice

Production and releaseEdit

"A Winter's Tale" was written by Mike Batt and Tim Rice in late 1982 in response to a request from Essex.[1] It was released as a single in December 1982. It spent ten weeks in the UK chart, peaking at #2 on 15 January 1983.[2] Later in 1983, the song was included on Essex's album The Whisper.[3]

Cover versionsEdit

The song was covered by Michael Ball for his 2000 album Christmas.[4]

It was also covered by the English a capella group The Magnets in 2000.

The Moody Blues recorded a version of the song for their 2003 Christmas-themed album, December.

Joe McElderry performed the song at Durham Cathedral, this version features a new verse written by Sir Tim Rice.[5]


"A Winter's Tale" was used to open the musical All the Fun of the Fair, launched in 2008, in which it was performed by Louise English.[6]

A 2008 article by Asian News International saw "A Winter's Tale" placed as the fourth worst Christmas song.[7] However, in 2014 The Independent reported a list of 50 Best Christmas songs by PRS for Music, ranking "A Winter's Tale" as the 34th best Christmas song.[8]

The Coronation Street Christmas special of 2010 ended with the character Rita Sullivan performing a version of the song accompanied by Mary Taylor on the electric piano in the Rovers Return pub. During the song, various characters come to terms with their losses after the devastating tram crash.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "A Songwriter's Tale". Mike Batt. Archived from the original on 2012-03-17. David Essex rang me late in 1982 - just after my return from Australia, and asked if I could write him a Christmas hit. It was already late October so we didn't have much time. I was due to be writing with Tim Rice the following day- and was hoping to develop my idea for a musical about the Aztecs...anyway so I told Tim about the David Essex request, and we started thinking of ideas. ... we wrote a bit of the chorus and two lines of the verse, and then when Tim had gone home I sat and worked on it, coming up with the finished chorus and the second verse lyrics.
  2. ^ Official Charts Company - David Essex - A Winter's Tale
  3. ^ The Whisper at AllMusic
  4. ^ Christmas at AllMusic
  5. ^ Tallentire, Mark (9 December 2011). "Royal approval for charity carols night". 'The Northern Echo. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  6. ^ "All the Fun of the Fair, King's Theatre". The Herald. Glasgow. 5 November 2008. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  7. ^ "The 10 worst Christmas songs ever". Asian News International. London. 19 December 2008. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  8. ^ Clark, Nick (10 December 2012). "The 50 Best Christmas songs: Bells continue to ring for the Pogues' 'Fairytale of New York'". The Independent. Retrieved 23 December 2016.

External linksEdit