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Okay, so on Tuesday, we saw the Top 10 Worst Christmas Songs, as chosen by ThingsThatAnnoyMe.
And, well, it was a little depressing seeing so much hate for Christmas cheer...so I decided to present a rundown of the Top 10 best Christmas Songs...supporters of CLICmas door #13 may want to look away now...
So, in no particular order (as I love them all equally):
10) Wham! - Last Christmas
Yes, it’s that one with George Michael in it. Fabulously 80’s, drowning in Christmas cheese, I love this song. Primarily because everyone knows the words, and a good sing song at Christmas is never a bad thing. It’s got everything a Christmas hit should have: a bad video, an infectious chorus and jingly bells, even! Winning, methinks.
9) Jona Lewie - Stop The Cavalry
Of all my favourite Crimbo songs, this has got to be the oddest one. It’s a surprisingly cheerful song about a soldier wanting to go home for Christmas, instead of fighting in the snowy trenches of WWII. It’s pretty cool, if I’m honest. It’s definitely under-appreciated. It even has a brass band in it.
8) Wizzard - I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
Aside from the fact that it has a robot at the beginning, as well as a lead singer sporting Gandalf-like locks with a Where’s Wally? hat plonked on top, this has to be amongst the few not over-played, not-unknown Christmas songs of our lifetimes, surely? Everything about it is amazing – the video even has a castle and moustaches and fancy dress. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without it.
7) Xander Rawlins - 1000 Miles Apart
Okay, so this isn’t a classic, but it’s still a brilliant song. Written by a soldier whilst on tour in Afghanistan, it’s sad, there’s no two ways about it. But it’s important, I think, to the idea of a modern Christmas. Mainly because it makes me feel thankful for what I have around me, and what it cost to those who risked their lives for our liberty. Because, as this song explains, some people won’t have a father, mother, uncle, aunt, cousin, brother, sister, best friend, girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife this Christmas owing to their sacrifices for our country. And Christmas should be a time where we are thankful for peace, and those who fight for it.
Sadly, however, there aren’t many snowmen in the video.
6) John & Yoko & The Plastic Ono Band With The Harlem Community Choir – Happy Xmas (War is Over)
This is definitely one of my favourites. There’s nothing like John Lennon singing about peacetime with a children’s choir with jingly bells to make me smile and give me faith in humankind and stuff. Get your St Nick cap on and get swaying to it, because no Christmas is complete without this belter.
5) Tom Jones & Cerys Matthews - Baby, It’s Cold Outside
Christmas traditionalists may be up in arms about this, but I’m going to carry on regardless. Maybe there is no actual reference to Christmas but it is cold outside, and sometimes, it snows like Narnia, and well...that’s Christmassy, right? Plus there’s nothing to make you chuckle like Cerys Matthews finishing with “bloody freezing, innit?”. So, I argue, this is a heart-warming song full of oomph and sing-along-a-bility.
4) Band Aid 20 - Do They Know It’s Christmas?
Honestly, now, this is a good song. Yes, it has bad, overused rhyming schemes. But they weren’t angling for Shakespeare, were they? It’s actually, musically speaking, quite well put together. And I’d just as happily listen to the original as I would this version, if I’m honest. But this one goes one step further, I think. It has a bit of Hawkins guitar magic; a bit of Sugababes pop; Dido’s soothing tones; and there’s a rapper in there somewhere, I swear. But the beauty can be found in two forms: the firstly, because it was written to raise money to help starving families dying from AIDS and illness in Third World Countries. Secondly, it allowed a group of people, who all compete against each other for their careers, to come together and do something unselfish and lovely. And for that, I think it deserves a bit of credit.
3) Twisted Sister - White Christmas
I am a firm believer in Christmas Rock. And here is a fine example of a Good Cover Version. There are so many, but this has got to be nothing less than awesome. A brilliant Present Wrapping tune. Everyone knows the words, so big smiles all round, I think.
2) The Pogues & Kirsty McColl - Fairytale Of New York
Now, I’m not saying this one isn’t offensive – in fact, I’m slightly surprised that they play it on the radio anymore. However, I think the magic is lost on some people. It’s nostalgic, and perfectly conveys a more realistic Christmas – with a bit of an argy-bargy and imperfect relationships. I think, aside from the homophobic references, it’s just a fun song to have around. It’s full of that melancholic British outlook on life, and it makes me chuckle to think that we can always see the bad side to things, even at Christmas. It’s reasonably cheery, it gets me in the festive spirit, and it’s a laugh to sing along to. Nothing wrong with that.
I will, however, deem the Ronan Keating version a tragedy of human intelligence, and a big black stain on the tapestry of musical history.
1) The Darkness - Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)
This, I reckon, is the “I wish it could be Christmas Everyday” of my generation. And I can’t believe anyone would disagree with that. It’s all a bit of fun, isn’t it? I’m biased, because I love The Darkness, but this is just glorious. A multi-neck guitar, a killer chorus and a Christmas tree...what could possibly be wrong with that?! It’s got to be a thousand times better than anything X Factor produces his year, surely? Better than Bieber? ‘Course it is! It’s fantastic!
So, merry Christmas, joyeux noel, nadolig llawen, nollaig chridheil, CLICers!
Are you a writer, photographer, film-maker, illustrator, DJ, musician, animator, blogger, poet or generally creative so-and-so who has something to say about Christmas? Well email firstname.lastname@example.org to grab your CLICmas window now and win a Nintendo 3DS!