I promised myself I wasn’t going to do this.
Stay away from the Christmas tunes, I said.
I had made a pledge to myself. You have nothing to add to the medium of Christmas tunes, nothing your readers won’t already know, I told myself, so steer clear.
But did I listen? Well, here we are, so did I fuck.
Because two things happened.
Thing number one: I worked from home on Thursday. Not the most Christmassy of things to do, I grant you. I spent the afternoon tapping away at my keyboard whilst listening to Radcliffe & Maconie on 6Music. I learned two things from their show:
- That the chocolate on a chocolate Digestive biscuit is actually the bottom, not the top (who knew???), and
- The Courteeners, a band I had no time for up until now, had only gone and released a rather fine Christmas song.
I could track it down and post a link to it so you can download it for nothing, but the single is released in conjunction with the homeless charity Shelter, so what kind of monster would that make me?
So, you can hear it here, but please go and buy it too.
Well, if I’m going to post a song called “Winter Wonderland”, then I can’t really ignore this, now can I? Taken from undoubtedly the greatest Christmas album ever, I give you:
Darlene Love – Winter Wonderland
Thing number two: as I was sitting here, searching for inspiration about what I could I write, shortly after 1am this morning I had a text from Hel, telling me she was watching a music channel which had devoted itself to playing Christmas records, as they often do at this time of year, and she had heard the following two songs:
Oh, and here’s them doing the same song, in a rather lovely acoustic kinda way:
The Pretenders – 2000 Miles (Live & Acoustic)
That was co-written by Mike Batt, who of course is much better known for his involvement with this bunch of scrounging homeless benefits-cheats:
The Wombles – Wombling Merry Christmas
Batt is also known for co-writing this, with Tim Rice, a totally non-Christmassy record, but I was asked to post it a few months ago, so here we go Chad, I finally managed to crowbar it in:
Elaine Page & Barbara Dickson – I Know Him So Well
Ok, so I seem to have got off the Christmas vibe with that one, so let me get things back on track with the final two songs.
Every year, me and my little group of buddies meet up for a Christmas knees-up. same venue every year: The Dublin Castle, or the Scrublin as we affectionately refer to it, in Camden.
The nights generally follow the same pattern: we meet, exchange Christmas cards (I try to think of a new reason why I haven’t bothered writing them this year), then we proceed to get right royally trashed, somewhere in the middle there is a speech, then we plough money into the juke box, all the time waiting to hear the one song that will have us all drunkenly swaying, hugging each other, and singing along. I speak of none other than the undisputed greatest Christmas record ever made:
The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale of New York
My parents lived in Ireland for a few years; I would pop over there at Christmas to be with them, and on the drive back from the airport, Dad would put the radio on. And this was being played on repeat on whatever radio station he put on. It’s practically their National Anthem.
So, final tune. When Hel told me she was watching Christmas tunes, I emailed her a link to the YouTube video for the next song. Her response, and I quote:
“They sing Santa, mistletoe, snow and Christmas tree. It’s Christmas song bingo!” You can see why she’s my bezzy mate, right?
Since my only DMCA take down notice has been served by this lot, you will excuse my deliberate mis-spelling of their name, but here’s
Qatus Toe – It’s Christmas Time
I guarantee, that’ll be stuck in your head for ages now.
Anyway, that’ll ding dang do from me for now.