Friday Five – The Christmas Songs Edition


I have such fond memories of Dad playing Bing Crosby’s White Christmas on the record player at home. The only other Christmas songs record we had was Frosty the Snowman. My younger sister knew just the line “Frosty the Snowman had to hurry on his way.” To this day I think of her when I hear that line – even when Michael Buble is singing it.

The thing is, I’m not really a carol loving sort of girl. Sure, I have a Christmas songs playlist – I have a playlist for most occasions – but traditional carols? Yeah, not my type of thing. I have a few absolutely personal dislikes – “The Little Drummer Boy” being at the absolute top of the most disliked list – carols that aren’t even made tolerable when sung by Michael Buble or Kate Ceberano.

Which brings me to Christmas albums – I have two…yep, you guessed it, one by Kate Ceberano and the ubiquitous Michael Buble aka The Bubbleman. He does a version of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home” that I adore.

So, given that most Christmas songs make me want to go running for the hills, I’ve come up with a list of exceptions. Five, in fact…fancy that…and they’re on repeat on my playlist…alongside the Bubbleman and Kate.

1.Do They Know It’s Christmas?

The original Band Aid version, of course.

This came out at a time when I was discovering my political leanings. I remember hearing about the food surpluses in the West, and was appalled. It was only many years later that I really began to understand the complexities of the situation.

Anyways, I can still pick the voices of each artist. I do have the new one as well, but it doesn’t have the same power of the original. Perhaps it needed George Michael, Bono, Sting, and Simon Le Bon. Just saying.

2. Wham’s Last Christmas

Daggy but true. And before you suggest it, Taylor Swift’s cover absolutely doesn’t do this fabulous song justice.

3. All I Want For Christmas is….

This is the only song by Mariah Carey that I can not only listen to without wincing but actually really like.

I also love the version in Love Actually, which is, actually, my favourite Christmas movie. I even like…and promise you won’t tell anyone…Justin Bieber’s duet of this with Mariah. Sad but true.

There’s the little bell bit at the start that’s perfect for a good, satisfying boob shimmy, and the high note at the end which I attempt to hit every time – and which, so my daughter says – makes me sound like a howling cat…or those singing goats on that episode of The Good Wife…but I digress.

4. Happy Xmas (War is Over), John Lennon and Yoko Ono

To me this is the quintessential end of year, end of cycle song- and says it all.

5. It Doesnt Often Snow At Christmas, Pet Shop Boys

Ok, so this isn’t a traditional carol, and the lyrics are far from traditional…

Christmas is not all it’s cracked up to be
Families fighting around a plastic tree
Nothing on the TV that you’d want to see
And it’s hardly ever snowing
The way it’s meant to be

…but I love it.

What about you? Christmas songs – love them or hate them? Any faves? 

5 Replies to “Friday Five – The Christmas Songs Edition”

  1. I don’t think I know the Pet Shop Boys song! Must suss it out.

    A friend is hosting some FB challengre re Wham’s Last Christmas – to see how long we can go before hearing it. I’m heading for the shops tomorrow early and suspect I’ll be at risk then.

    As you know I don’t listen to music much – really only when I’m in the car or if I’m walking etc… but can’t even think of any Xmas songs I like. My mum on the other hand is a HUGE fan of Christmas Carols and keeps buying new CDs featuring the same damned songs!

  2. I just love your Friday Five list of Christmas Songs!
    #1 is perfect! Since we’re almost the same age, I’ve the same experience as you do about that song. George Michael, Bono, Sting, Paul Young and Simon Le Bon are great!
    #2 is also one of my fab favourites! You need to hear the original, no one can compare with George Michael!
    #3 is my #1 and I love the version in “Love Actually”. Mariah Carey has a beautiful voice and she’s great, of course, but Olivia Olson in “Love Actually” is a snap better – a little childish but so warm and harty!
    #4 says it all, I do agree!
    I used to listen to Pet Shop Boys quite often before but I must admit that I don’t remember #5! Had to google it and listen to You Tube – and yes, it’s good! Pet Shop Boys are great!

    I would like to add “Something about Christmas Time” with Bryan Adams – it’s sooo good! I’m sure you’ll love it!

    I also would like to introduce you to two Swedish singers, Sanna Nielsen and Peter Jöback – two great voices! Among the more traditional Christmas Carols I like “Silent Night” and “O Holy Night” the most.
    Please listen to Sanna’s Swedish version of “Stilla Natt”
    and Peter’s “O Helga Natt”

    Right now I’ve Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli in my headphones… singing “The Prayer”… chills down my spine…

    Merry Christmas and keep singing and cheering!
    Anna Karin

    1. Thanks for that suggestion – I always love new (to me) music & I have a feeling we’d have similar tastes…(&with you on the chills you get with Andrea/Celine The Prayer)…

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