Christmas Crooning, Some Festive Favourites

Christmas Crooning, Some Festive Favourites

I wrote about how the Christmas Countdown has already started here, and of course, Chrsistmas music plays a massive part in creating the festive atmosphere.

Was it really 1973 that Slade first assaulted our eardrums with “It’s Chriiiiiiiiiisttttmasssssssss”? (Merry Xmas Everybody). Wizzard also came out with their timeless  ‘I Wish it Could Be Christmas Everyday’ the same year. I loved the video, especially when the kids sang their bit at the end. Elton John and Paul McCartney also had a go with their Christmas attempts, although they are not my favourites, and good old Sir Cliff Richard (bless him), trots out a Christmas song almost every year although he has been quiet lately. You have got to love him for trying, and I think he hit the number 1 spot with a couple of them.

Johnny Mathis with his version of ‘When A Child is Born’ always brings a tear to my eye, as does Mud’s ‘Lonely This Christmas’ (despite his dodgy Elvis impersonation).  Boney M’s  ‘Mary’s Boy Child’ however, will have me jigging about as it is so upbeat and cheery. Jonah Lewie’s ‘Stop the Cavalry’ is great too. Shakin’ Stevens singing ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ reminds me of my great friend Karen and the Christmas back in 1985 when we were both in the Army, and had landed up on duty over the entire Christmas period. (We did manage to have some fun, although the less said about that, the better)!

The other great Christmas songs of the 70s and 80s have got to be Wham’s ‘Last Christmas'(I have to say, that one does get on my nerves a bit now), and John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s ‘Happy Christmas (War is Over).’ My favourite of them all though has got to be the Pogues and Kirsty McCall with ‘Fairytale of New York’. I just love the story of two drunks, scrapping one minute, lovey-dovey the next.

Of course, Christmas songs were around way before then, and many of those are included on the typical festive compilation album that gets dragged out by the shops and offices around mid-November to get us ‘in the Christmas mood’. Everyone loves Nat King Cole singing ‘The Christmas Song’. It can’t fail to bring a warm and rosy glow to your heart. Good old Bing and his ‘White Christmas’ , so moving. Then we have  the sultry Eartha Kitt with her ‘Santa Baby,’ Ooooh, saucy! I also like ‘Let it Snow’ and ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ for a bit of sentimentality.

The 90’s and 2000’s do not have a lot to offer though in the Christmas song department. The one huge exception, of course, is the dulcet tones of Mariah Carey belting out ‘All I Want For Christmas is you’. Oh , and Destiny’s Child did ‘The Eight Days of Christmas’.Personally, I love the Darkness and their ‘Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bell’s End),  a catchy song and great video. (Where the hell do they get those leotards?)! Lastly, in this period, I love ‘Stay Now’ by East 17. Not exactly Christmassy lyrics, but add a few bells to the music and a bit of snow to the video and Bingo, a Christmas hit is born!

I also love some of the traditional Christmas carols as well, ‘Silent Night’, ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ and ‘Once In Royal David’s City’ to name but a few! These are even better when sang by a children’s choir. I remember taking my daughter to the Christingle service at church when she was about 4, and it was so lovely hearing them singing ‘Away In A Manger’. I was also moved to tears when a primary school choir were singing Christmas carols in the town centre where I live. It just sounds so pure and magical to me.

I know a good many of these songs are re-released every year, or they are on the compilation albums, but it seems we can never get enough of them.

What’s your festive favourite?

29 comments

  1. Yes, I too love Winter Wonderland by Annie Lennox. One of my favorite Christmas songs. It’s so true, there are so so many wonderful Christmas songs and to me the most beautiful are those classics of the 70’s and 80’s to me. The newer ones don’t really do it for. And yes, each of those “old” Christmas songs has a history about the Christmas at that time. Very lovely post which I can totally relate to, sis 💖

  2. I like a lot of Christmas music. Carol of the Bells, Ode to Joy, Winter Wonderland, War is Over (Is that its name? “So this is Christmas…”) Oh Holy Night, and the entire Handel’s Messiah would be my tops 🙂

  3. I love Christmas music but I want to at least wait another day or two to hear it, LOL! I get some nice instrumental Christmas music on our DISH CD stations and can listen to it all day, again, in a few more days 🙂

    1. I haven’t actually got out my Christmas CDs yet, as like you, I think it is a little early. However, once it gets near to Christmas then it will be blasting out! 🙂

  4. I love a good Christmas tune, me. Love so many of the ones you mentioned. I really like all the old school ones from the 50s. My favourite is Bowie & Bing though (ropapompom) x

      1. Decs no…but xmas songs…I have been playing them already…ha ha..Not too much just the odd Now Christmas album breaking them in gently see how considerate I am ha ha

    1. I’m with you Carol – I’ve been collecting Christmas music all my life (and not a Frosty in the bunch!) — so they play almost constantly throughout December, still playing for Epiphany. You give me a mood and I’ll match it with a playlist I curate through iTunes, and my friends have learned that there will be *at least* one track they’ll love that they’ve never heard before.

      I do keep ONE playlist of old standards (Bing, Clooney, etc), but must admit it doesn’t get a lot of play since most of them get over-exposed in the shops, etc. I CERTAINLY don’t play them as much as the Chorales from around the world, the best from the jazz cats, the stylistic covers of “standards” like Mannheim Steamroller’s Faeries from the Nutcracker. The Temptations Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer is fabulously clever – as is The Pointer Sisters’ Carol of the Bells — along with quite a few unknowns that never got the play they deserved that I picked up for a buck or two from “remainders” bins through the decades because they looked interesting (and were!).

      I tend to avoid tracks with vocals for the most part, however, unless I plan to simply sit and listen. I can’t get any work done if there are words – too distracting – and it can be annoying to try to talk over if you’ve got folks over for dinner and want Christmas music in the background.

      Why is SO hard to find CDs that don’t feature some vocalist on at least one or two tracks? I can’t rack up more than a few into my Bose for that very reason!
      xx,
      mgh
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
      ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
      “It takes a village to educate a world!”

  5. My favourites are Elton John with ‘Step into Christmas’ and Chris Rea with ‘Driving Home For Christmas.’ I do love hearing a choir sing Christmas carols, though. I’ve been lucky enough to have attended midnight mass at both St Paul’s Cathedral and also at Westminster Abbey. Those were magical nights for more than one reason, Judy. I’m sure I heard the distant sounds of sleigh bells as we walked back home. Then again, maybe it was the sherry playing tricks on me? 😀

    1. It sounds truly magical Hugh, going to Midnight Mass at Westminster Abbey and t Paul’s. Maybe the sherry helped you to tune into Santa’ sleigh bells! I love the video for ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ too, 🙂

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