Why is it, that when Christmas rolls around, we are all treated to terrible media? I am using the term media to describe a whole range of things here, as it’s not just one thing that’s bad. Think about it; Christmas Songs are pretty much all bad, so are Christmas TV Shows, Christmas Video Games (few in number thankfully), Christmas Movies, and Christmas Songs. Nearly everything found in each of those subcategories are bad! Now while I could do lists for each of those categories of things which are good, I don’t really fancy starting a series right now, and for the moment at least would like to stay focused on possibly the most prolific of those sub categories: Songs at Christmas!
At work, we have Radio 2 played in the background throughout the working day, and most of the time that is ok. But at the same time, Radio 2 persists on playing some songs three times during the entire work shift; stuff like ABBA‘s new song, or Rod Stewart‘s new song, or Duran Duran‘s new song; three times a day, everyday, for six weeks or more, and claim that after six weeks or more it’s still a new song! So can you imagine what Christmas time is going to be like on Radio 2 for the next few weeks?
Songs at Christmas time are bad, really bad! They are all played way too much, and they are very annoying. And some of them are pretty nonsensical. Consider Last Christmas by Wham!; the lyrics are as follows:
“Last Christmas, I gave you my heart, But the very next day, you gave it away, This year, to save me from tears, I’ll give it to someone special.”
Hang on a second, you are already gave your heart away which was then passed on to someone else; so how are you supposed to give it to this special one, when you are no longer in possession of it? And then there’s the Wizard ‘classic’; I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday. Now while that does sound great; I still think we would quickly get sick of eating Turkey, and watching bad TV, because that’s all that’s ever on Christmas Day! If that is what Roy Wood wishes to do each day, then fire away, I would rather eat what I would like, and have a selection of good stuff to watch on TV; that’s just my preference.
So there is a lot of garbage music (not in genre) at Christmas; but there are a few which do slip through the cracks, and can be enjoyable. So I thought I would attempt to find some to present to you. Originally I was going to include a song from The Muppet Christmas Carol (It Feels Like Christmas), but at the last second I did find another single, rather than cheat a little, so I did find five songs for this list. Also, the appearance by Mistress on a Christmas episode of Never Mind the Buzzcocks sadly doesn’t count either! Moving on, and without further ado, here are my Five (GOOD) Songs about Christmas; Enjoy!
5. David Essex: A Winter’s Tale – I first heard this song on a repeat of a Two Ronnie’s Christmas Special, that’s unrelated. It’s a slow and steady song, not faced paced, and merely plods along. But this sweetness is rather pleasant. We get to hear the song’s lyrics in full, and when it gets to the chorus, it feels like we have reached a special moment in both it’s lyrics and tune. It’s not a bad song, especially as it’s one of the very few that isn’t repeated to death at Christmas time, so in that sense it’s pretty good, and something of a treat!
4. Slade: Merry Xmas Everybody – From one song that isn’t played all that much, to one that is played way too much. Yes, it’s Slade’s Christmas song. But it’s not all that bad. It features Slade’s rock style, and is similar in theme to some of their old classics, plus is a great song to get an adrenaline boost from. So it may be done to death, but still feels like a genuine rock classic!
3. The Darkness: Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End) – This is another major feature of the Christmas Music Charts, but thanks to it’s more independent composure and slight metal style, it makes it more of a treat, rather than one of the many other Christmas songs which sound like each other. It’s something of a modern rock classic, but it uses the theme of Christmas to make a raid on the charts, and leave a better taste in your ears, than all the other more done to death hits, by being as different as possible!
2. The Pogues: Fairytale of New York – We now venture into classic territory, with two songs that are genuine Christmas Classics, but don’t follow the mold, each being as good a song as possible, but not shilling out to be Christmas Songs. They are songs which feature Christmas, but they work at being simply songs released at Christmas time. The first is the classic Pogues hit Fairytale of New York. A well remembered classic which had a troubled history in it’s production, and is renowned for it’s bad language (Which BBC Radio 1 tried to censor). It features a wonderful piano based intro, before then jumping into it’s jaunty riff (which makes you think of a Dropkick Murphy‘s classic). It’s quite a beautiful composure, it’s rude, but sweet, and it’s just the right length to be enjoyed, but without going over the top!
1. Jona Lewie: Stop The Cavalry – I first heard this song on a VHS tape of American Football sent to my brother, again unrelated. This anti war song was never intended to be a Christmas song, it’s just the line ‘Wish I was at home for Christmas’, and Brass sections made it an ideal release, so it was. You’d think this would be another done to death Christmas release, but I find it hard to remember this song exists, as it is rarely played at Christmas time. So much like the David Essex song above it acts like a real treat in a sea of garbage. But more than that, it’s different styles, and different sound make it sound fun and cool, with the mumbling section, and the horn at the start. It’s an easy going piece of music, with some sad lyrics, but creates a positive spin on your Christmas listening!