By Kris de Curtis [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
We are just one week away from Christmas Eve. People are anxiously now looking at weather forecasts – will it (ever) be a white Christmas, just like the ones Bing Crosby sung about? Or will people just carry on as normal, like they always do! Either way, whilst people rush around finishing last minute shopping, making mince pies for those unexpected visitors or sit there sneakily wrapping presents for their loved ones you can guarantee there will be more than one or two seasonal tunes breaking the silence and filling the air with Christmas joy. Now Christmas tunes come in many different shapes and forms – this post is about Christmas songs not carols, so don’t expect O Come All Ye Faithful in this list. Here are my top ten Christmas tracks on my playlist:
10. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Delta Goodrem)
Originally sung by Judy Garland in ‘Meet me in St Louis’ (1944) this song is ideal when enjoying mulled wine and a mince pie around a nice warm log fire. This particular version was released as a B-side to Delta’s single ‘Not Me, Not I’ in 2003. It’s a great, slow version with a contemporary twist and therefore worthy of No. 10 on my list!
9. Driving Home for Christmas (Chris Rea)
This is the tune for the last day of work before Christmas. Picture the scene, you leave work for the last time before the big day (possibly for the last time of that year), you pull out of the car park, and hear this 1986 classic as you drive down the road. It’s enough to get the butterflies of excitement going already!!
8. Jingle Bell Rock (Brenda Lee)
I’ll be the first to admit that this tune could be on the list purely because I’ve been on a bit of a Christmas movie marathon lately… why does this song always make it into the background of every film? Originally sung by Bobby Helms in 1957, it’s Brenda Lee’s version that always seems to prove the most popular…
7. Christmas Time – Don’t Let the Bells End (The Darkness)
Excluding the trips out for Band Aid 20 and 30, and a vague attempt by Geraldine McQueen (aka Peter Kay) to create a decent Christmas song in 2008, this was the last half decent original Christmas song to come out of the UK. Released by The Darkness in 2003 this song came agonisingly close to Christmas number 1 being beaten on Saturday sales by the depressing ‘Mad World’ by Gary Jules. Less agonisingly – it missed number 1 here by a long way – making it to number 7 on my list.
6. White Christmas (Bing Crosby)
There had to be space for this timeless classic on here. Coming in at number six, I have more than a sneaking admiration for this track which was first performed in 1941 and is arguably the most popular Christmas song of all time. What is more, you can be guaranteed that everybody knows the words so all together now…
5. Do They Know It’s Christmas? (Band Aid)
First released in 1984 to help the starving children in Ethiopia this track is like a boomerang – it keeps coming back! All in all there have been four versions of this Band Aid track with subsequent versions being released in 1989, 2004 and 2014. Unfortunately in this chart there is only space for the original. Much debate was given to whether or not this should be replaced by the new version (Band Aid 30 having been released a month ago) but lets face it, it just isn’t as good!
4. Merry Christmas Everyone (Shakin’ Stevens)
With Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody having been left off my list (let’s say it came 11th), many people maybe surprised at the inclusion of Shakin’ Stevens’ camp Christmas classic making onto the list. This is probably my most guilty Christmas music pleasure. With a bouncy melody and a good old fashioned key change like they used to have at Eurovision – this is guaranteed to have you bouncing around the Christmas tree all day long!
3. I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday (Wizzard)
There is always an element of surprise when people realise that this song never made it to Christmas number 1, despite having been a strong UK Christmas favourite for the last four decades. There isn’t a lot to dislike here, but it was beaten by Slade in 1973 to the Christmas Number 1 spot so you can’t be too hard on the track – at least it wasn’t beaten by Mad World…
2. All I Want for Christmas is You (Mariah Carey)
Released in 1994 this song is arguably the most successful seasonal song of the last twenty years. I can even forgive Mariah for re-recording this in a duet with Justin Bieber in 2011 – let’s be honest at that time she probably didn’t know any better. Number 2 is the favourite place for this track – it is another Christmas song that failed to make it to number 1 in the UK. This one was beaten to the top spot by East 17’s ‘Stay Another Day’ in 1994.
1. Fairytale of New York (The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl)
A seasonal favourite this was always going to be the obvious choice for my top spot. Released in 1987 this song continues the tradition of this playlist of having many songs that quite simply didn’t reach the top spot in the UK charts. Another case of close, but not close enough, this track lost out to the Pet Shop Boys ‘Always on my Mind’. It is however regarded as one of the best Christmas songs of all time – so let’s all get drunk and sing…
What are your favourite Christmas songs? Do you agree? Check out the Facebook page or comment below!