QUEER VOICES

Singer-Songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway Pens Holiday Song To Wife

The Tony nominee's latest is a jazzy yuletide delight.

Tony-nominated, singer-actress Ann Hampton Callaway promises "a fresh take" on the holiday season with her new album, "The Hope of Christmas."

The 12-track collection, which was released in October, eschews traditional carols in favor of original jazz material. One highlight is the closing track, "Fly with the Angels," which Callaway co-wrote with Emmy Award-winning lyricist William Schermerhorn. The song is dedicated to her wife, Kari Strand, and Schermerhorn's husband, Dan Dutcher, in the album's liner notes. 

Like the rest of "The Hope of Christmas," the song was a surprise to Callaway, 57, who said she "really had no idea how beautiful" a holiday album could be before she hit the studio. She credits Schermerhorn with coming up with the idea for the tune as a "really romantic" gesture in honor of their respective spouses.

"Usually, on Christmas albums, you hear the same five, six songs," Callaway, who has written songs for the likes of Barbra Streisand and Patti LuPone, told The Huffington Post. "I mean, how many ways can you do 'Jingle Bells'? [But] it's so nice to be able to celebrate being married and the wonderful feeling that adds to the holidays."

Callaway, who came out publicly in 2009, just celebrated her one-year wedding anniversary with Strand earlier this month. So it's fitting that she performed "Fly with the Angels" as the encore of her latest club act, "Feminine Persuasion," which played to enthusiastic audiences during the week of Thanksgiving at New York nightspot Feinstein's/54 Below.

With lyrics like "Hold me close, on this night dreams come true/We can fly with the angels, two hearts wrapped in love," the song has a distinctly yuletide vibe. But we reckon we'll carry its heartwarming sentiment into the new year, too.

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