I’ve woken up with ‘Merry Christmas Everyone‘ going round and round in my head. This was the Christmas number 1 in 1985 by Shakin’ Stevens (apparently the B side was Shakey’s version of ‘Blue Christmas’) I have no idea what the dream was which this song was part of, but now it’s stuck in my head as an irritating ear-worm… I guess it could be worse, there are some really terrible Christmas songs. I’m not of course thinking of Christmas carols or classical Christmas music, I’m thinking of what you might call pop music.
The problem with Christmas songs is that for retailers, the Christmas season seems to start in September, so shops and shopping centres are belting out all the old (some very old) seasonal ‘favourites’ for months. The music is on a loop and I feel really sorry for the people who work in those places who hear the same thing over and over and over and over again.
There are several sorts of Christmas music… there are the ‘classics’ such as ‘White Christmas, sung either by the original artist or other well-known singers, or by an anonymous session singers. Even if you like these songs, hearing them dozens and dozens of times does begin to leave me jaded… here’s a popular selection:
- Blue Christmas
- Do They Know It’s Christmas?
- Frosty the Snowman
- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
- I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
- I’ll Be Home for Christmas
- It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
- It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
- Jingle Bell Rock
- Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
- Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
- Santa Baby
- Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
- The Little Drummer Boy
- White Christmas
- Winter Wonderland
Another element of Christmas music is the race for a song or album to be number 1 in the charts on Christmas Day; however most No 1’s have nothing to do with the season or festival… these, however, have:
- Dickie Valentine – Christmas Alphabet
- Harry Belafonte – Mary’s Boy Child
- Slade Merry Xmas – Everybody
- Mud – Lonely This Christmas
- Johnny Mathis – When a Child Is Born
- Boney M. – Mary’s Boy Child – Oh My Lord
- Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas?
- Shakin’ Stevens – Merry Christmas Everyone
- Cliff Richard – Mistletoe and Wine
- Cliff Richard – Saviour’s Day
Obviously there are hundreds more well-known and popular songs about Christmas, I’m dreaming of…. I want to be home by… etc, and a lot more really lovely and hardly ever heard numbers deserving to be played more frequently.
Here’s a little something, a different something…. not exactly Christmassy, but looking at the Christmas cards I’ve been fortunate enough t receive, penguins seem to be this year’s favourite theme: