The 20 Greatest Christmas Songs

Simply a list of our favourite Christmas songs…

20: Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) by The Darkness (2003)
The Darkness weren’t good for much, but they were perfect for Christmas.

19: Do They Know It’s Christmas? by Band Aid 20 (2004)
Maybe controversial that we’ve gone for the reincarnation of the 80’s hit, but Dizzee Rascal tips the balance.

18: Lonely This Christmas by Mud (1974)
♫ It’ll be cold, so cold …

17: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree by Mel & Kim (1987) 
Possessing just that little bit more character than the original.

16: White Christmas by Bing Crosby (1942/1947)
You just can’t not include it.

15: 2000 Miles by The Pretenders (1983)
♫ I miss you. The children were singing, he’ll be back at Christmastime

14: Mary’s Boy Child / Oh My Lord by Boney M. (1978)
The single best Christmas medley, ever. 

13: Santa Claus is Coming To Town
Whoever does it, one of the most iconic Christmas songs of all time.

12: Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses (1981)
♫ Oh Damn! Guess what I forgot?

11: I Believe In Father Christmas by Greg Lake (1975)
Whether it’s protesting the commercialisation of Christmas or about losing youth and innocence, this is a cracker.

10: The Power of Love by Gabrielle Aplin (2012)
Frankie’s version was good, but Aplin’s for John Lewis blew it out of the water. 

9: Driving Home For Christmas by Chris Rea (1986)
Quintessentially Christmas, even if the 2009 video is terrible.

8: Step Into Christmas by Elton John (1973)
♫ Step into Christmas, let’s join together, we can watch the snow fall forever and ever.

7: Last Christmas by Wham (1984)
A dreadful song, but one you can’t stop singing around Christmas.

6: Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by Darlene Love (1963)
It’s one of those songs that gets into your head for hours and you really don’t mind.

Joint 4: I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday by Wizzard (1973)
Ok, a cop out – but we really couldn’t choose between this …

Joint 4: Merry Xmas Everybody by Slade (1973)
… and this. What a year 73 was!

3: Happy Xmas (War Is Over) by John Lennon (1971)
I dare you not to belt it out. I dare you. 

2: Stop The Cavalry by Jona Lewie (1980)
Another fantastic tune not originally intended to be a Christmas hit.

1: Fairytale of New York by The Pogues (feat. Kirsty MacColl) (1987)
For us, the ultimate Christmas song. Both a great song and an iconic hit this time of year. 

 

∗ All I Want For Christmas Is You appeared on both of our top 20’s but too low to feature here when combining. Truth be told, we are both kinda glad about that. We were including it for the iconic nature, not the quality of the song. Gareth hates it, and is delighted it’s not here. 

Get Rich Quick

Music is simply poetry with instruments. A poet writes with their heart. They write words with emotional meaning, not necessarily aiming to make it rich or famous, but more to tell a story of passion and power.

Lyrics do the same job. Both art forms can bring audiences to their feet; both can reduce adults to tears. Both come from the heart and the soul, both allow fans to relate.

Athlete’s Wires is one of my favourite songs of all time. It’s packed full of emotion, first distress, and then hope. Joel Pott, their lead singer, wrote it about his daughter being born prematurely. It’s impossible to listen to it and not hear, even feel, the emotion.

The problem is; Wires is an exception in our time. Music now is more about money rather than passion. The focus of artists is veering more towards singles instead of writing a set of songs that they feel something for.

I have every Coldplay album except their last two. I only like two of their non-singles. Coldplay have made a career out of high selling singles, with little effort focused on the rest of their catalogue.

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Albums these days are less about showcasing music, and more about simply making as much money as possible.

Why does everything surrender to the cheap enticement of money?

Our culture is lazy, born out of the obsession with downloads. It skips the need to hear anything but what you know.

People demand music; therefore simple economics states if you can supply it, it is a great way to get rich. Furthermore, you can earn more if you don’t bother to tour.

While this is great for individuals, it’s clearly bad for the art form. Going are the days of emotion, arriving are the days of soulless tripe.

No Talent Required

Whether through instant communication with the other side of the planet, or complete education via the Internet, there is no question that technology is bringing us closer together by positive domination of our world.

Music embraces technology. It uses it to aid and improve the experience. Electric guitars and microphones weren’t always around, neither were light shows or projections.

However in recent times, technology has been destroying the experience. Nowadays, you don’t need a good voice to succeed and you don’t need to play an instrument or even own one!

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The negative connotations of technology have been slowly infiltrating the art since the 1980s.

At that time, a new form of music was being moulded, now donned dance pop. These artists, such as Michael Jackson and Madonna, found live shows became difficult as they were trying to implement more forms of entertainment into the same three minutes. They focused on dancing and pre-recorded their vocals.

Lip-synching has evolved into auto-tune, and the 21st century has seen an influx of musicians whose vocal “talents” are enhanced by technology. This is a widespread practice, with Ke$ha and T-Pain amongst others to openly admit they use it, and even the X-Factor confessing.

While every artist will use auto-tune in the studio, the real test of talent usually came when seeing artists live. However, even this can be falsified.

What is the endgame for this form of technology? I think that gigs are the best chance for artists to engage with their fans, take Ricky Wilson’s dynamic performances with the Kaiser Chiefs for example. But fans will stop trusting if they don’t believe they are seeing a live performance.

Some artists are open about their use of technology, and I’m fine with that. It’s the ones who aren’t who are ruining music for everyone.