Mariah, The Pogues, Elton John... the best and worst Christmas songs ranked: One thing or a mother

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 3:03 pm
Mariah is the goddess of Christmas. Hands down. Shutterstock image. SUS-200212-144255001

As it’s December, ’tis now the season where it’s socially acceptable to give your children (and yourself, if you’re a big kid like me) chocolate for breakfast – hello, advent calendars, I’ve missed you. It’s also officially the time where you crank up the Christmas tunes.

I mentioned in a column a couple of weeks ago about my love of Mariah Carey’s festive song All I Want for Christmas, which got me thinking about the other festive classics I love, and some that I don’t.

So here it is, my not-so-definitive list of the five best Christmas songs, and a couple of the worst, according to me and starting with the best...

1) Easy, I’ve already said it. Mariah for the win! What’s not to love? It features the amazing Mariah, and that’s enough to do it for me. Plus, it’s got clanging bells and a video featuring the goddess herself dressed as Santa, playing in the snow and sat in front of a roaring log fire holding cute puppies.

2) There’s nothing surer to get me doing some embarrassing mum dancing than hearing Elton telling me to Step into Christmas. It’s just so jolly, I can’t fail to be put into the Christmas spirit when I hear it.

3) I feel like this one is a bit controversial, as lots of people in the office (I use this term loosely, as for the last eight months that have become almost mythical people I occassionally see on Google hangouts) are not fans, but I love Driving Home for Christmas. As soon as I hear those first few notes on the piano and Chris Rea’s gravelly tones, I get excited about the trips I’m going to take to see loved ones over the festive season (actually, perhaps this isn’t a wise choice for 2020, after all...!).

4) Stay Another Day – East 17. Maybe this one is because I grew up listening East 17’s Steam album on repeat on my Walkman, but I have a real soft spot for them. Plus, it’s got bells aplenty. But if you’re still not convinced, just enjoy the video where they wear ridiculous, oversized white fluffy coats.

5) Shock-horror, I used to really dislike this one. But, just like I now love dark chocolate, gin and smelly cheeses, it’s really grown on me. It is Fairytale of New York by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl. And now, Christmas wouldn’t be completely without me wailing along to this whenever it comes on the radio (it’s possible my husband may disagree!).

And the worst?

Ever heard the ‘Unpopular Opinion’ segment on Greg James’s Radio 1 show? (Check me out, all down with the kids with my millennial-appropriate references). Well, my least favourite Christmas songs would very much fit perfectly on this item.

The first seems to be universally loved by everyone, but to me there is nothing more annoying than Noddy Holder screaming ‘It’s Christmas’ in Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody. Plus, their hair is terrible.

And perhaps even more likely to get me shunned from Worthing is my dislike of Wizzard’s I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day and John Lennon’s Happy Xmas (War is Over). It’s got nothing to do with the sentiment of the songs, but my dislike of groups of children singing. Don’t get me wrong, hearing my own children and their friends singing in school productions is like listening to a chorus of angels and will get me blubbing like a baby within two seconds. But other people’s children singing in groups (professional choirs not included here) is like nails down a blackboard to me.

So, on that happy note, bah humbug! Scrooge signing off for another week.

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