It is a familiar ritual at this time of year. I connect my iPod to the computer and transfer my Christmas playlist. All the old favourites are there, ready to be played on a loop for the next 2 weeks, before being deleted for another year.
Another ritual is the race to the become the Xmas no 1. Who will it be this year? The Paraorchestra are hoping to pip X Factor winner James at the post. Not particularly Christmassy, but very moving. I am awarding it a 5.5 on the Kleenex Scale.
What are your favourite Christmas songs? I have put together my all time top 5 Christmas songs.
#5 Let me take you back to a time when we wore oversized wool coats over blouses with pussycat bows and shoulder pads, when our hair was permed and bobbed and our eye make up was electric blue.
In 1984, Wham! released Last Christmas. It was beaten to the Xmas #1 spot by the Band Aid single, Do They Know It’s Christmas and is the biggest selling Xmas song of all time in Germany, entering the German singles charts every year since 1997.
#4 Forget Buble, when it comes to Christmas songs, there is no one quite like Bing. I’ll be home for Xmas was recorded during WWII. It is a sentimental tale of a soldier who looks forward to Xmas at home. It has since been covered by just about every singer in America, including most recently by Olivia Newton John and John Travolta on their Christmas album, which also included the cheesefest of the worst Christmas song video EVER .
#3 For feel good Christmas songs, you cannot beat this incredible collaboration with David Bowie, recorded not long before Bing died. The story of how it came about is an interesting one. Bowie refused to sing Little Drummer Boy (no wonder, it is the MOST boring Xmas song ever) so the producers sent the writers to rework it, and they introduced the melodic Peace on Earth, which winds its way through the pa rumpa pum pums. The song was not released until a few years after it was recorded, and it remains one of the most popular Xmas songs of our times.
#2 You can’t have Christmas without The Boss (and where can I buy a Santa Clause stetson?)
#1 THIS is the ultimate Xmas song. From the very first line, ‘It was Xmas Eve babe / in the drunk tank’, it is clear that this is not a Mariah Carey style schmaltzfest. Matt Damon makes a short appearance, The Pogues rock and Kirsty McColl is truly the Queen of New York City.