Thursday, 19 December 2013

MY TEN FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS SONGS



Tonight we're playing a Christmas show at New Slang in Kingston. Feel free to come on down - it's not that far from London, I promise.  We're going to be doing some of our songs mixed in with some festive classics, so with that in mind here are, in no particular order, my top ten Christmas songs. 


1. Kate Bush - December Will Be Magic Again

Sure will Kate, it sure will. How does she do that with her voice?  It's like she's falling down a waterfall and then is ordered to sing as low as she can or all her family will die.  Also pretty sweet Bing Crosby reference, almost as great as her crimped hair.


2. Joni Mitchell - River

Another powerhouse performance from Joni.  There's a deep underlying sadness in her songs, it's like she's never satisfied, always searching.  I guess a lot of people feel like that, especially at this time of year.  But then there are other people who just think this is a song about ice skating.  This fan video below is a nice merging of the two.  Also, there's a lovely Jingle Bells reference in the piano part.


3. Paul McCartney - Simply Having A Wonderful Christmastime

I love Paul, he's awesome.  He is so overflowing with grins and contentment.  This song reminds me of so many great childhood Christmasses, selction boxes and chocolate oranges and my first bike.  And, weirdly, brussel sprouts.  This video is a bit nuts though, right?


4. John Lennon and Yoko Ono - Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

Meanwhile John was grit and anger and bitterness.  That said, this is a ridiculously warm and enchanting song, it makes me feel nothing but joy. P.S. Yoko Ono is marvellous. 


5. East 17 - Stay Another Day

I am CRAZY about this song, but not as crazy as the video.  It's pure 90's bliss.  Huge white puffa jackets, goggles (?!), a faceless woman in a wedding dress, and fake snow.  I remember getting this single for Christmas and singing along using the karaoke function on our Hi-fi in the living room.  Definitely going to do that again this year.


6. The Waitresses - Christmas Wrapping

I love this one so much, we covered it.  There's also a cover by Save Ferris which is altered to reflect Jewish celebrations if you're interested.  And you should be, it's great.  The lyrics of the song take you through a whole year, an almost-love-story which finally gets resolved on Christmas Eve.  I'm a sucker for love stories.  Is spending Christmas on your own fun though? if anyone's ever done it let me know.


8. Jona Lewie - Stop The Cavalry

This song is on this list 96% because of the parping synth and the brass that features so heavily.  Again, this is actually quite a melancholic Christmas song about a soldiers' desperate plea for the war to stop on Christmas.  It's like the Blackadder ending in song.  But you can't help but bob your head along.  Major props for getting the phrase, "Nuclear fall-out zone" into the lyrics as well.


9. Wham! - Last Christmas

We covered this one too this year.  I want to go to a ski lodge with all my friends for Christmas.  Especially if the boys promise to bleach the ends of their hair, grow mullets and wear shell suits.  Come on guys!  Let's do it!  There is so much festive chasing each other around in this video it really warms my cockles.  I think my favourite shot in the video is the close-up of George in the huge furry hood looking really sad.  Also, he's wearing a wedding ring?! What a player.


10. Brenda Lee - Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree

Like most people who grew up in the 1990's, I can't listen to this without imagining Macaulay Culkin desperately pulling strings on mannequins and cut-outs of basketball players to convince some burgalars he wasn't Home Alone.  The Duane Eddy-esque guitars and fantastic saxaphone solo make this a slammin' party anthem, though.  Once again Kevin McCallister knocks it out the park.


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