I LOVE christmas songs however I still feel that they need to release some decent new ones. Christmas CD’s are dominated by tunes released mainly in the 1970’s to 1980’s ,although I have to say they are the best….. Here are my top 5 favourites.
5) I Believe in Father Christmas (Greg Lake)
I really love this song. I remember singing it as part of “singers” (our school choir) for one of the Christmas concerts at school. This version was released in 1975. The song for some reason is sometimes interpreted as an anti-religious song. The music video also caused some controversy as it showed some shots of the Vietnam war, many people believed that it should not be shown at Christmas, I feel that they were denying reality.
4) Gaudete (Steele eye span)
This song was re-recorded by Steele eye span in 1973, but the original was written and composed in the 16th century. It was written in Latin and the verses are sung in acapella (with no music). I just find it really amazing& quite “haunting”! I always get goosebumps when I listen to it !
The Latin text is a typical medieval song of praise, which follows the standard pattern for the time – a series of four-line stanzas, each preceded by a two-line refrain . In the past Carols could be on any subject, but typically they were about the Virgin Mary, the Saints or Christmastide themes.
3) Do they Know its Christmas original Band aid (1984)
How can anyone not like this song. It features over 20 music legends such as George Michael ,Boy George, Bono (from U2) and Paul Mc Cartney. It was founded by Boy George and Midge Ure to raise money for “anti Poverty” efforts in Ethiopia. They made a rehash in 2004 with stars such as Jamelia, The Sugababes and Will Young but it was really poor compared to the original as I don’t feel the vocals are anywhere near as strong!
2) Last Christmas ( Wham)
Last Christmas was a song written by the popular pop duo “Wham” released in 1984. The single sold well over a million copies and became the biggest selling single in UK chart history not to reach #1. A year later, it was re-issued for Christmas again (this time without a billed flip-side) and got to #6. A second re-issue at Christmas 1986 – by which time Wham! had split – stalled outside the top 40. Many artists have attempted to do a cover version of the song but none have ever been as good as the original.
1) Fairy Tales of New York (Kirsty Mac Coll & The Pogues)
This was written in 1987 by the irish “rock group” The Pogues and featured the English singer Kirsty Mac Coll.
The song takes the form of a drunken Irish immigrant man’s Christmas Eve reverie about holidays passed while sleeping off a binge in a New York City . The drunken man (MacGowan) begins to dream about the song’s female character. The remainder of the song (which may be an internal monologue) takes the form of a call and response between the couple, their youthful hopes crushed by alcoholism and drug addiction, reminiscing and bickering on Christmas Eve in New York City.
The contrast of the 2 voices are quite unusual as MacGowans voice is very harsh and verging on him not being able to sing very well whilst Kirsty Mac Coll has more of a “melodious ” voice !
The song was released in the United Kingdom and Ireland in November 1987 and quickly became a hit, reaching #1 in the Irish charts. On December 17, 1987, the Pogues and MacColl performed the song on the BBC’s popular television show Top of the pops, and it was propelled to #2 on the official Uk top 75. For the Top of the Pops appearance, the BBC insisted that MacColl’s singing of “arse” be replaced with the less offensive “ass”, although as she mimed the word MacColl slapped the relevant part of her body to make it clear what was meant.
The song was re-released in 1991 and reached number 36 in the charts.
Anyway that’s my top 5! what are yours?