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22 December 2008

the boy least likely to christmas top 40


we didn't get the christmas number one in the end. oh well. i really didn't expect us to, so i'm not at all surprised or upset. i'm really happy because there were some lovely things written about the single all over the world and in lots of unusual places too, and that's the sort of thing that matters to me.

i'm not sure if anyone else has noticed, but the charts are a bit weird now. particularly this week. beyonce has got three songs in the top twenty, wham are at number twenty seven and the top three are all cover versions and two of them are the same song. the winner of the x factor is number one with a cover version of 'hallelujah', and jeff buckley is at number two with his version of it. apparently there was a campaign all over the radio and the internet trying to get people to buy the jeff buckley version.

i don't really understand the campaign. i don't particularly like the alexandra burke version either, but the campaign had a few weird subtexts. it seemed to be all about jeff buckley being somehow more authentic because he was a white male rock star, and so had a natural predisposition towards understanding misery and suffering, and that a female pop star couldn't possibly carry the emotional weight of the song. i don't really understand why everyone was being so precious and protective about it. i don't even like the jeff buckley version. i always thought it was a bit histrionic. there was no subtlety or humour in the song when jeff buckley did it, and i always thought the original version by leonard cohen was quite a funny song, full of self deprecation and sexual innuendo, in the same way that most of his songs are. i like the way that leonard cohen pronounces the word "you" as "ya" whenever he's rhyming it with the word "hallelujah", and how it seems to get more and more ridiculous as the song goes on, and i always thought the lines "there was a time when you let me know what's really going on below, but now you never show that to me do you" were a really funny description of the sexual desperation of a bitter middle aged man in a failing relationship. but jeff buckley always seemed to be lacking the wry smile when he sang it. and as for alexandra burke, once the x factor has finished, i don't want to know about it anymore. it's the same every year, as soon as the winner is announced i stop caring. i just liked watching the little dorks for twelve weeks while they got slowly picked off by the british public, but then at the end of it all, even though i'm momentarily happy for whoever wins and everything, i don't actually ever want to see any of them again. i don't want them to actually release records and i don't want to see them on tv unless it's on another celebrity reality tv show trying to revive their failing careers.

anyway, because the christmas top forty was so rubbish. i decided to make up my own one, like i used to when i was eight. the only difference being that when i was eight i used to write it in a little notebook that had all my lists in and that no one ever saw, and now i'm going to write it down and post it up on the internet so that the whole world can read it. this isn't a list of my all time favourite christmas songs in the order that i like them, although some of my all time favourites are in there. it’s just a list of the christmas songs i've been listening to this christmas. it's not that different to the official uk top 40. wham are still at number twenty seven. 


the boy least likely to offical christmas top 40


40. lauren laverne – in the bleak midwinter

39. comet gain – asleep on the snow

38. saint etienne – i was born on christmas day

37. david essex – a winter’s tale

36. the waitresses – christmas wrapping

35. daniel johnston – rock around the christmas tree

34. mariah carey – all i want for christmas is you

33. emmy the great – christmas in prison

32. john denver & the muppets – when the river meets the sea

31. my morning jacket – xmas time is here again

30. malcolm middleton - we’re all going to die

29. mogwai – christmas steps

28. arab strap – christmas (baby please come home)

27. wham – last christmas

26. bright eyes – silver bells

25. sufjan stevens – once in royal david’d city

24. feist – lo, how a rose e’re blooming

23. the wedding present – holly jolly hollywood

22. low – just like christmas

21. frightened rabbit – it’s christmas so we’ll stop

20. prairie cat – winter wonderland

19. the pipettes – white christmas

18. belle and sebastian – are you coming over for christmas?

17. badly drawn boy – donna and blitzen

16. the voluntary butler scheme – wombling merry christmas

15. camera obscura – little donkey

14. kermit the frog – have yourself a merry little christmas

13. the pogues and kirsty maccoll – fairytale of new york

12. amiina – hilli (at the top of the world)

11. low – santa’s coming over

10. rod thomas – on a silent night








rod premiered this christmas song last week when he played at our christmas show, and now you can enjoy it too if you just go to his website.

9. the school – kiss you in the snow


this is my favourite christmas song from last year, but i still haven't got tired of it so it's made the top ten this year too. i had to leave it off my christmas compilation that i made for our gig last week because the school were playing before us and i guessed that they might play it live because it was christmas and they did and it was wonderful.

8. au revoir simone – christmas time is here


i found this song on this compilation and it's lovely. it replaced 'fallen snow', which would usually have been in this list.

7. lucky lucky pigeons – red santa


apparently this was originally included on a compilation of christmas songs called 'a very cherry christmas 2". 

6. little my – xmas song

this song was on a cdr that little my very kindly sent to me and then i was just looking at their website and found out it was originally on little my's fourth, which i haven't got but now need really badly because not only does it have this song on, it also has their version of shakin stevens 'merry christmas everyone' on it. i'm annoyed. i only just found out about it's existence. my christmas compilation is incomplete. my christmas is incomplete. 

5. versus the lion – santa santa claus

an indie pop christmas classic from one of my favourite new bands of the year.

4. deerhoof – little drummer boy

i just found this last week and i fell in love with it.

3. slow club – christmas tv

jude rogers mentioned this song in the same guardian article about writing christmas songs that we were included in last friday, and when i heard it i thought it was just so sweet and hopeful that it immediately jumped into my top three.

2. the bicycles – snow

the bicycles are sill one of my favourite bands in the whole world and christmas came early when i got an email on friday telling me that this song is included on a five track free download compilation on fuzzy logic recordings. you can get it too from the fuzzy logic website. quickly.

1. the boy least likely to – the first snowflake




hooray!! we’re number one!!! thank you to everyone that bought our single and thank you to everyone that wrote nice things about us.

happy holidays




I'm not much of a Christmas song collector in the way you seem to be - we don't go as crazy for Christmas in Australia the way you crazy Britons do - but my favourite Christmas song (before I heard 'The First Snowflake', of course, and 'All I Want For Christmas Is You', which at least deserves to be in your top twenty) is 'Things Fall Apart' by Cristina (not Aguilera - she was a fantastic pop star in New York in the 80s who went by just her first name, like Madonna or Cher). Anyway, it's a very sad song about being alone at Christmas, but it has a music box and a killer guitar riff, and I think the refrain "Things fall apart, but they never leave my heart" is quite sweet. You might like it.

Posted by: Liam | 23 December 2008

any top 10 that has slow club and lucky lucky pigeons in is a good one for me

Posted by: mathew | 28 April 2009

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