In which our reluctant hero can’t be bothered to write a proper blog post and figures that nobody will actually notice.
Everybody has their favourite Christmas songs, and they’re all rubbish. Fact. Take this selection from the Mirror earlier this week.
- Fairytale of New York – The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl
- All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
- White Christmas – Bing Crosby
- Last Christmas – Wham!
- Happy Xmas (War Is Over) – John Lennon & Yoko Ono
Dreadful. All of them.
So, without further much ado about nothing, here’s my Christmas countdown of the best five Christmas songs of all time ever. Probably.
Don’t expect Slade in there mind. We live in Wolverhampton so it’s a given that it’s number one. Plus, it saves you actually listening to it. Again.
The Cheeky Girls – Have a Cheeky Christmas
I read somewhere that Gabriela and Monica Cheeky were to noughties pop music what Agnetha and Anni-Frid Abba were to the seventies. Or something.
“Have a Cheeky Christmas” certainly shows a consistency of writing and performance as all of their other hit(s?)
Now you may not actually recall the song, but that is probably more to do with the other festive hit of 2003, “Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)” by The Darkness, taking up every available bit of air space. Think Joe Dolce’s “Shaddap You Face” vs Ultravox’s “Vienna.” It’s time to redress the balance, methinks.
I took one of them shopping once. I’ve no idea which one, but it got in the Express and Star. That’s top five for me. Enjoy.
Paul McCartney – Pipes of Peace
Let’s face it, number five of the best five Christmas songs was a shoo-in. The tricky work starts right now. Help!
Fortunately, you can’t have a top five songs list without including a song by national treasure and top Angela Lansbury lookalike, HRH Sir Paul McCartney. It’s the law of the (Pepper)land. I’m sure that we can work it out.
It has been a remarkable career, spanning five decades, while effortlessly churning out some of the most iconic songs ever. Quite why the National Anthem hasn’t been replaced with “Hey Jude” remains one of life’s great mysteries.
OK, “Wonderful Christmastime” was awful (and don’t get me started on Mull of Kintyre) but this little gem from 1983 is the absolute bees knees. Do bees even have knees? I have no idea. I’ll bet Macca has a five-minute anecdote about them, though.
Anyway. Macca, football and Christmas, all packaged in three minutes and fifty-one seconds of loveliness. What more could you want?
Frankie Goes to Hollywood The Divine Comedy – The Power of Love
It’s all getting a bit tense now isn’t it? Five and four were relatively straightforward choices. However, my selection for the coveted number three spot has two potential problems.
– I’ve picked a cover version.
It’s true. Frankie Says “look at the link.”
This is actually the less problematic problem of the two. Everybody knows that (nearly) all cover versions are better than the originals. The original artists are far too busy writing and recording their song than to worry about interpreting it properly after all. The only exception to this rule is Roxy Music’s version of “Jealous Guy”, despite what everybody else on the planet thinks. So there.
I’ve gone for a live version by The Divine Comedy for no other reason than they’re my favourite band. What other reason should I need?
– Is it even a Christmas song?
Ah. Let me open with the case for the defence.
“The Power of Love” was Top of the Pops in December 1984. It may even have been a Christmas number one had the “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” juggernaut not squashed it as flat as a leftover sprout pancake.
The video featured a sort of Nativity thing, the single cover was a picture of “The Assumptions of the Virgin” and, most importantly, the song reminds me of Christmas even if there’s no mention of snow, baubles or Jesus/Cliff. So I’m saying yes.
Case dismissed. Enjoy.
Tim Minchin – White Wine In The Sun
Two. Zwei. Deux. Dos. Dau. So near yet so far. Close but no cigar. Second place in the Top 5 list that nobody asked for and nobody read. Ah, well.
For me, Tim Minchin is someone who I associate with the phrase “He was good on…” rather being that familiar with his work as a whole. Which is odd as he is such a unique talent that I can’t quite work out why not.
Wikipedia describes him as a comedian, actor, writer, musician and director. I can’t help but think that the word “songwriter” should also be segued in there somewhere.
“White Wine In The Sun” is a brilliant song. Occasionally funny, occasionally pithy, but a song with an incredibly warm heart. A song about cutting through the hypocrisy and recognising the things that are important. Which, I guess is what Christmas should be about.
Chewbacca – Silent Night
After what has seemed like a more protracted process than the “Topsy and Tim Tie Their Shoelaces” feature length special, we’re there. Over the finish line, spraying cheap Cava over unsuspecting passers-by. The winner can be rightly pleased.
For brass players such as myself, “Silent Night” is about as bad as carols get. Too long, too slow, too low and usually involving a terrible arrangement that causes tuning problems that could strip paint.
So imagine my delight upon discovering this little belter last December. I initially assumed that it was a version of “Stille Nacht” in its native German. But then my ears perked up and I realised what was going on. After that, there was really no competition.
All you need to do is sit back and enjoy. Simples. Just remember, a Wookie is for life, and not just for Christmas.