It’s nearly Christmas, so it seems like a good time to bring out those old chestnuts we’ve heard a thousand times before – but which still bring a smile to the face. Now that the BBC’s retro-Xmas music show TOTP2 is a minefield of unexploded Coldplays & Adeles, YouTube is your friend for nostalgic pop. So Ali and I picked 5 each of our festive favourites. Do let us know what we’ve missed out..
Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime
) Love this. Great synth sound, jolly words and Paul McCartney and his band teleporting themselves to a dingy pub.
Greg Lake – I Believe in Father Christmas
) I can never resist a bit of bombast at Christmas – and love the stroppy teenage sentiment… ‘they sold me a dream of Christmas’ – oh yes! Choirs and classical music too…love it.
Slade – Merry Xmas Everybody
) If you can avoid shopping centre overkill, which I seem to have done quite well this year, then a quick dusting down of this in the week before Christmas brings back nostalgia undimmed by repetition.
Darlene Love – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
) Totally unreconstructed, totally great.
Chris Rea – Driving Home for Christmas
) In many ways, I’m the wrong sort of person to like this song, mostly because I don’t drive. If I were to sing this song, it would be ‘Being Driven Home for Christmas’ and it would be a lot less gravelly. Anyway, it’s a hard heart that’s not moved by this song about a man trying to get home to his loved ones at Christmas..
Mud – Lonely This Christmas
) Another one of those 1970s songs that I just can’t resist. Elvis-style Christmas hearbreak. Not a dry eye in the house..
The Pretenders – 2000 Miles
) I think this has the most beautiful words and Chrissie Hynde is wonderful. She’s definitley one of my style icons – if only I was tall and thin! My favourite. Definitely.
The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale of New York
) You think you’re a bit fed up of this one, then you hear it again and think… what a great song. I’m beginning to realise that all my favourite Christmas songs have bells in them.
Queen – Thank God it’s Christmas
) A bit of a ropey old song, really, but this reminds me of Christmases when I was little. I bought this single from WH Smiths in Stafford – back when they used to have the top 40 7 inches stuck to the wall – and probably gave it to my sister as a present before nicking it. And what’s Christmas about if it isn’t buying people presents you’re going to pinch for yourself?
The Darkness – Christmas Time (Don’t let the Bells End)
) I’m not going to win any good taste awards with this choice. But it’s so tough to create a proper jolly Christmas song these days, and I think The Darkness have done it here (in spite of the Carry On style lyric). They’ve taken every cliche, multiplied them by 11 and come up with something very silly but rather good.