Top five Christmas song crimes…
5) Mariah Carey: all I want for Christmas
4) Chris Rea: driving home for Christmas
3) Elvis Presley: Blue Christmas (controversial? Just because it’s the king doesn’t make it right)
2) Cliff Richard: Saviours day
1) Cliff Richard: Mistletoe and Wine
Numbers 1 and 2 are equally as bad. I picked mistletoe and wine as number 1 as I know more of the lyrics and that annoys me. That’s the problem with really bad Christmas songs, you still know the words.
I am not saying that I hate all Christmas songs, far from it. There are songs that I can’t wait to dust off and play each December (not October or November). I love the classic crooners, Bing, Nat, Dean and of course Frank. They have a real ‘this is Christmas’ feel to them. I will happily hum along to wham, Elton, Mr Lennon and the Pogues too. So what makes a great Christmas tune? List anyone?
1) the right level of cheesyness. You have to get the mix right. Either that or go completely one way or the other. John Lennon, zero cheesy. The darkness, full on cheesy. Mariah, what are you doing?
2) not a cover. The spice girls did a Christmas song once. They even did a medley (jive bunny and the master mix style). As each song clunked along into the next all I could think was ‘this ain’t as good as the original’. Money spinner? Oh yes indeed.
3) some form of Christmas percussion. The sleigh bells are the best. Come to think of it, they are the only really.
4) you need to feel Christmasy. Some efforts just leave you feeling like you’ve eaten too much and, although this is a feeling associated with Christmas it is not a Christmasy feeling. To be fair, some of the songs I hate feel Christmasy, but I still hate em.
So, what is my favourite of all time? It’s a tough one. It’s a bit like John Cusack says in hi fidelity, my favourite at home or in a club? In the shower? While eating? If I had to pick one it would have to be The Christmas Song by Bing Crosby. It just IS Christmas.
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost nipping at your nose
Yule-tide carols being sung by a choir
And folks dressed up like Eskimos.
Everybody knows a turkey
and some mistletoe
Help to make the season bright
Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow
Will find it hard to sleep tonight.
They know that Santa’s on his way
He’s loaded lots of toys
and goodies on his sleigh
And every mother’s child is gonna spy
To see if reindeer
really know how to fly.
And so I’m offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two
Although it’s been said
many times, many ways
Merry Christmas to you.