Oioioioi, chaboi’s got himself on the Christmas articles!
Indeed, rather than muddle myself up in movies for a third year in a row, I thought I’d do better to document my favourite tuneages of the season. Don’t get it twisted though, we ain’t talking carols and we ain’t talking hymns. In fact, we ain’t talking anything that predates 1970 — I think you know where this is going (somewhere BAAAAAASIC!!). Of course, there is no defined set of rules, but if it’s Christmassy enough, it’s going in the list, but I don’t think we’ll have any problems there though.
10. Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakin’ Stevens (1985)
Let’s kick this festive f*ckery off with an appearance from Welsh Elvis himself. With an abundant use of jingle bells (as you would), this song is very fitting with the singer’s 50s rock n’ roll image, but with a chrissy twist of course. It’s all very 80s as you’d expect, right down to the sax solo, but it’s Christmas mainstay that would be amiss if omitted.
9. Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney (1979)
Probably my favourite non-Beatles McCartney song (which is kinda depressing when you think about it), Paul’s ear for pop catchiness is showcased here as he crafts a pretty perfect Christmas song. With those goddamn jingle bells here again, the song is also notably for it’s keyboards that make up a large part of the instrumentation, and serve to set it apart from other Xmas tracks.
8. Happy Xmas (War Is Over) – John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir (1971)
With the video above decidedly more upsetting than the one shown on TV, it seems fitting, considering this track’s powerful message. While songs like I Am The Walrus (which was, admittedly, written to mock those looking into his lyrics), serving as argument to the “John Lennon is best songwriter ever” POV, we do have this, where the Beatle manages to infuse an anti-war protest song with a sensational level of festivity, making it a holiday staple.
7. Merry Xmas Everybody – Slade (1973)
In complete and utter opposite to that, we have Slade in with a Christmas glam rock track, personified by Noddy Holder’s ragged and charismatic vocals, that is a true staple of a UK Christmas. With a steady tempo, the song was almost made for Christmas parties, with the simplicity being perfect for everyone to have a lil’ groove to it, especially with such a sing-a-long chorus.
6. Fairytale Of New York – The Pogues & Kirsty McColl (1987)
Probably the most gleefully depressing song in Christmas canon, what has been voted many a time as the greatest Christmas song ever, is, while not quite that in my opinion, still a song I look to hear every December — thank God it’s played on every music channel, every radio station and it’s on my phone anyway, what a world we live in today. The jovial, decidedly Irish instrumental, coupled with the charming delivery of Kirsty McColl and Shane McGowan (who has a voice quite fitting of his former teeth), makes for a brilliantly written song regardless of any festive-tinting. That, and the “Will they censor ‘faggot’?” game is always one of my favourites.
IT’S HALFWAY AND I’VE ALREADY SAID CHRISTMAS ENOUGH TIMES. CHRISTMAS.
5. Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) – The Darkness (2003)
From the same falsettoed-voice of I Believe In A Thing Called Love, probably my ultimate guilty-pleasures (even though there is no such thing), comes the only Christmas song with the word ‘bellend’ in it. That alone is enough to qualify here. However, what puts it so high is catchy pop-hard-rock songwriting and the sense of melodramatic campiness in the lyrics and performance, which is more than matched in the video.
4. Step Into Christmas – Elton John (1973)
OOOOOH damn! I only really got into this festive badboi this year, so forgive me for dying to write about it. I do love me some Elton though, so it’s a wonder it took me this long. The icon is such as an accomplished songwriter and performer that the essence of this song is permeating straight through the festive season like water through permeable rock type during heavy rainfall – ha, and they said Geography would be a wasted GCSE. Moreover, Bernie Taupin’s excellently metaphorical lyrics paint a brilliant picture over the lively and danceable canvas.
IT’STHA TOP 3. CHRISTMASCHRISTMASCHRISTMAS.
3. Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses (1981)
The most underratedly excellent Christmas song, The Waitresses’ ’81 holiday offering serves as probably the coolest (get it? Cold? Good? The synonymy of the word ‘cool’ meaning both agreeable and to describe low temperatures? Classic.) in Christmas canon. Pervaded by a criminally-funky new wave instrumental, the hipstery-ish lyrics are delivered in an excellently aloof rap-stylee by vocalist Patty Donahue. However, we’ve got enough Christmassnessneses in the song’s infectiously catchy hook, as well as the brilliantly batshit holiday tradition of out-of-nowhere sax solos.
2. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday – Wizzard (1973)
OH. DID SOME ONE MENTION AN OUT-OF-NOWHERE SAX SOLO? Cus this badboi has aplenty, son, don’t worry ’bout it. With a brilliantly festive hook and novelty-tinged instrumental, Roy Wood manages to infuse his legendary glam rock roots into the Christmas genre, with universally-adored themes and lyrics. Moreover, I’ve only just began to how quirky and offbeat the song is, with Wood’s eclectic vocals and many little features in the video.
‘ERE’S SOME CHRISTMASSY CHRISTMAS HONOURABLE MENTIONS-CHRISTMAS. CHRISTMAS.
Underneath The Tree – Kelly Clarkson (2013)
2000 Miles – The Pretenders (1983)
Stop the Cavalry – Jona Lewie (1980)
Last Christmas – Wham! (1984)
Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Lord – Boney M (1978)
Do They Know It’s Christmas? – Band Aid ‘84 (1984)
1. All I Want For Christmas Is You (1994) – Mariah Carey
Indeedly do, it seems you can be as edgy, alternative and metal as you want, but, at the end of the day, you’re gonna turn into the basic bitch you were destined to be when this classic comes on. It goes without saying that Mariah’s voice is absolutely showstopping, with lyrics that have been strainedly sungalong to for 23 years now. It’s also got every instrumental hallmark of a song that ellicits good-will and fuzzy nostalgia in literally any old heartless bastard (just look at your truly), with jingle bells, jingly piano and a frickin’ frackin’ gospel choir. It’s just pitch perfect (high-pitch for that matter) and universally recognized as the best Christmas song; so why should we be any different?
Now seems like a better time than any for a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukah, a Happy Kwanzaa, and, if you don’t celebrate any of those, a good week-off I guess. I might have a few more articles (including a particular movie review…) lined up before the yule-tidal wave hits us, but a Happy Holidays regardless?
Lots of Christmassy hugs, kisses and lacerations