‘Tis the season to be jolly and this means hearing an endless stream of Christmas songs wherever you go. No matter how hard you try to dodge these festive favourites, they’re going to inevitably creep up on you like a bad hangover after a few too many mulled wines. So, why not ditch the downbeat attitude and embrace the all-time classics that we secretly (or in some cases, not so secretly) all love.
5. Wizzard – ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day’
Yes it’s cheesy but it’s just so damn jovial it’s like sticking your head into a pile of tinsel and coming out covered in glitter. This is one of those songs that once it gets into your head, slapping you in the face with Christmas cheer. With the combination of sleigh bells, the sax and a choir of children, if this doesn’t get you in the Christmas mood we don’t know what will.
4. Slade – ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’
Number one in the charts in 1973, 40 years on we’re still looking to Noddy Holder’s deafening screech of ‘It’s Christmaaaas’ to remind us what time of the year it is and frankly it wouldn’t be the same without it. With an almost euphoric rock ‘n’ roll party vibe, Holder’s gritty vocals and a mash-up of electric guitars, no wonder this still remains a seasonal favourite.
3. Wham – ‘Last Christmas’
This song is surely a staple of everyone’s Christmas playlist. With the twinkling of bells and George Michael’s sultry and wistful lyrics that dwell on heartbreak, it is this sweet nostalgic pop song that finds its way into our hearts every year and this is what makes it so special (special).
2. Mariah Carey – ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’
This tune has just about everything you want in a Christmas track. Schmaltz, sleigh bells and a dog dressed as a reindeer in the video. Not one person can say they haven’t attempted the near impossible feat of matching Carey’s note at the end and no matter how many times you hear it, you still find yourself stopping everything to sing along. It’s catchier than festive flu and makes us all want to snuggle up with that special someone at Christmas (cue tears).
1. The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl- ‘Fairytale of New York’
A bittersweet folk ensemble that perhaps captures the Christmas spirit more than any other. Even at the hardest of times there’s still hope, this 4 minute narrative seems to say. MacGowan’s raspy vocals lamenting lost youth is complimented perfectly by MacColl’s pleasing tones. Backed by a series of uplifting strings, this song feels more emotionally real than most. Charming, edgy and with profanities galore, there’s no other Christmas song quite like it and it is exactly this that makes it one of the greatest if not the best of all time.
These timeless classics put newer Christmas releases to shame and after hearing Lil’ Chris’ (of Checking It Out fame) woeful effort for number one this year, one can only ponder whether any Christmas songs of the future will ever match-up. We can only hope…