I’m not sure why it took me so long to pay attention to the BritMums festive playlist linky, I’m just glad I spotted it in time to take part.
The format here is pretty straightforward – pick (at least) five festive songs and explain why I love them. Given that a week or so ago we spent a night building a spreadsheet whilst trying to decide which Christmas album to buy (Heather insisted on Christmas music in the car) and have been listening to Christmas music at home pretty much ever since, it shouldn’t be that hard to do, right?
There are, of course, plenty of very obvious songs I could include here. But where’s the fun in that – everyone’s already heard Slade, Band Aid, Wizzard and the Pogues (feat Kirsty McColl) more times than they probably care to mention. So, instead, I present here a bunch of less well-known Christmas songs which are floating my boat this festive season.
1. Pearl Jam – Let Me Sleep
Lifted from a 1991 fan club single, this anti-festive ditty is actually quite nostalgic at its heart. When you were a kid there really was something magical about Christmas, and now I’m getting to see that all over again, through the girls’ eyes.
2. Noel Gallagher – Merry Christmas Everybody
I’m pretty sure this was recorded for a Royle Family Christmas special back in the late 90s. I’m also sure my dad hated it when I played it, because it’s a bit more melancholy than the Slade original. But that’s its charm!
3. Manic Street Preachers – Ghost of Christmas
Another nostalgic one this, and one I suspect the Manics would never have dreamed of recording at their outset. I mean, it’s got saxophone and everything! No idea where the visuals in the below clip come from btw, pretty sure they’re nothing to do with the song itself.
4. Geraldine McQueen – Once Upon a Christmas Song
Is this obvious? I don’t know, but Peter Kay’s Christmas parody is certainly not one you’ll find on any commercial Christmas compilation, that’s for sure. Which is a shame, because it’s actually a decent tune, and one which definitely gets stuck in my head every time I hear it.
Bonus fact: I once saw Conleth Hill, the actor who played Geraldine’s mum on TV, in a Russian play about a suicide. He was very good, as was the play.
5. Lou Monte – Dominick the Donkey
Anyone who listened to the Chris Moyles Show will know this one, as it got played to death, in honour of newsreader Dominic Byrne. I think it might even have got into the Christmas charts a couple of years ago, presumably around the time we bought it. The only other time I’ve seen/heard it mentioned was by my cousin last year, just after he’d moved to New York, questioning if it was a real thing!
And speaking of the Real Thing (see what I did there?) this linky is all in aid of promoting Coca Cola’s Designated Driver programme, which you can find out more about by clicking on the link below.
Update: Only after I’d posted this did I discover Chris T-T has recorded a Christmas EP. I’ve seen Chris a few times now, and have written about how his brilliant Disobedience album inspired me to read AA Milne to Heather, so I’ll definitely be picking this new EP up. I’m pretty sure it would have made this list, had I done so in time!