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 Doesn’t 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?