25 December 2010
the christmas top 40
i've spent the last week or so working out my top one hundred christmas songs for this year. but in the end i had far too many to fit in and i was getting nowhere with it. it was just a long pointless list. i'm not sure if anyone would even want to read just a list of that many christmas songs. so i've shortened the list to a top forty. it seemed more manageable. and now it's christmas day and i haven't wrapped any presents yet and i haven't posted the list either so here it is. the christmas top forty. these are the christmas songs i've been enjoying most this year.
40. the lovely eggs - tyrannosaurus rex for christmas
39. lou monte - dominique the italian christmas donkey
38. deerhoof – little drummer boy
37. saint etienne – i was born on christmas day
36. the waitresses – christmas wrapping
35. chris rea - driving home for christmas
34. frank sidebottom - christmas is really fantastic
33. low – just like christmas
32. the beach boys - merry christmas baby
31. nat king cole - the happiest christmas tree
30. david essex – a winter’s tale
29. kermit the frog – have yourself a merry little christmas
28. the pogues and kirsty maccoll – fairytale of new york
27. elvis presley - santa bring my baby back to me
26. john prine - i saw mommy kissing santa claus
25. michael jackson - little christmas tree
24. claudine longet - i don't want to spend christmas without you
23. the crystals - santa claus is coming to town
22. rosemary clooney - suzy snowflake
21. slow club – christmas tv
20. summer camp - christmas wrapping
19. wham – last christmas
18. best coast and wavves - got something for you
17. the pipettes – santa's on his way
16. the ronettes - sleigh ride
15. heather noel - santa came on a nuclear missile
14. johnny cash and tommy cash - that christmasy feeling
13. bob dylan - must be santa
12. belle and sebastian – are you coming over for christmas?
11. the school - let me be the fairy on your christmas tree tonight
10. saint etienne - 21st century christmas
i've only just got the saint etienne christmas album so i don't even know if this will end up being my favourite song off it. but on first listen this is great. i'm looking forward to driving for a few hours on christmas day listening to it.
9. john denver and the muppets - christmas wish
i've been so obsessed with 'where the river meets the sea' off the john denver and the muppets christmas album that i've completely overlooked this song all these years. then my friend sent me a christmas compilation last week and this was on there. straight into the top ten. kermit sounds so troubled.
8. betty and the werewolves - jon's christmas make up
it sounds like the sort of christmas song marie would have written for kenickie. and as it's the closest i'll ever get to a kenickie christmas song, apart from the lauren laverne song on the xfm compilation, i'm embracing it lovingly.
7. caitlin rose - you never come home for christmas
caitlin rose sings everything so sweetly. i really like her album. this is on the columbia hotel ep that comes free with the album when you buy it from rough trade.
6. rodd and judy - santa fix my toys for christmas
i found this on the album 'daddy, is santa really six foot four?' the american song poem christmas album. for anyone that isn't familiar with the song poem phenomenon, these are songs that were recorded by record companies in the nineteen seventies. they would get people to send in lyrics and money and in return they would get a few copies of a song composed and arranged to the poems that they'd sent in. the results are usually odd. the heather noel song at number fifteen is taken from the same compilation. this song is like a really weird nancy and lee outtake. it's all about a child writing to santa to let him know he doesn't need any new toys for christmas. he'd be quite happy if he could just fix the ones he already had. it's kind of sweet.
5. dolly parton - hard candy christmas
just because it's christmas and it's dolly parton.
4. emmy the great - christmas in prison
it was in last year's top forty, but this year i've really fallen in love with this version and it's climbed all the way up to number four. particularly the bit when she sings the line "the search light in the big yard swings round with the gun and spotlights the snowflakes like dust in the sun". yep, christmas songs can be pretty beautiful sometimes.
3. allo darlin - will you please spend new years eve with me?
this song describes perfectly how i always feel on new years eve. i hate going out on new years eve. it's always so disappointing. this song is all about staying in and not going out when everyone else is out partying. watching harold and maude, making popcorn and playing nintendo. which sounds like a perfect new years eve to me. i love the line, "it's embarrassing to think that at twenty five i'm not doing something more wild with my life", because i feel like that every time i hear people talking about all the amazingly exciting things they're going to do for the new year when all i want to do is stay in.
2. eux autres - another christmas at home
i can't stop listening to this. an instant christmas classic. any song that begins with the line "touch down in fields of freshly powdered snow" is always going to be amazing. actually, any song that begins with the words "touch down" is going to be amazing. i want to listen to this everywhere i go. and i do.
1. the boy least likely to – george and andrew
oh my god. this is so unexpected. i never thought we'd do it. i want to thank everyone for going out and buying the album and for all the nice things that have been written about it and thank you to everyone involved in making the video too. when i think about it, it does seem like an odd thing to write a song about. i'm still not completely sure why i wrote the lyrics. i know i wanted to write a lyric about an enduring friendship, one that's always there and that two people always come back to no matter how far apart their lives grow. i suppose george and andrew have always had a friendship that fascinated me, because their lives went in quite different directions after the band split up. and it turns out that i know quite a lot about what happened to andrew afterwards. i always wonder if andrew missed being in wham! and if he ever felt like it finished too soon. i wonder what it must have felt like after their final concert, knowing that things would never be the same for him, and that even though george would still have a pop career, for andrew that dream they'd shared since they were at school was pretty much over. i've aways wondered if he was ready for that. he seems so happy and contented now whenever i read about him and i suppose george still seems troubled in some way. i guess that adds another layer to the lyrics. when i heard the music that pete had written to the words i was so happy. he captured so perfectly the sentiments that i was trying to get across. it's so exciting to be christmas number one.