I’ve chickened out of writing this list for a long time. That’s because there are so many great Christmas songs, that it’s a real struggle to narrow it down to just 10. There are a few songs that simply have to be on the list, but I cringe thinking about those that didn’t make the it.
But I’ve been really ruthless, and narrowed it down to ten classic Christmas tunes that I love:
10. The Waitresses – “Christmas Wrapping”
A great, funky little pop number that always gets me dancing in the aisles doing my Christmas shopping. I know nothing about this group other than this song, but this is sheer class.
9. Ramones – “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)”
The Ramones hark back to their 70’s glam rock influences with this festive banger. It’s great to have a really influential, cool band in the top 10 (much better than Wham! for example).
8. Showaddywaddy – “Hey Mr Christmas”
This Showaddywaddy song is criminally unknown these days. It really is a classic bit of 70’s stomping/clapping/singalong fun. Do yourself a favour and rediscover this gem now!
7. Dean Martin – “”I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm”
There are loads of awesome Christmas tunes from the master, Dean Martin (Baby It’s Cold Outside, Let It Snow!…, etc). But this track is my top pick from Deano, if only for the wonderfully uplifting instrumental introduction. You can argue if this tune is actually a Christmas song or not, but it’s on the indispensable “Ultra Lounge Christmas Cocktails” album, so I’m claiming it.
6. Wizzard – “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday”
Another glam rock 70’s nugget. Absolutely essential. It seems like I’ve heard this song all my life – I probably have – and it never gets boring. Christmas magic!
5. The Crystals – “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”
Timeless stuff from the wonderful “A Christmas Gift For You from Phil Spector” album. You’ve heard this song on film soundtracks, everywhere – it instantly conjures up a vivid feeling of Christmas nostalgia. Superb.
4. Darlene Love – “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”
Another track from the Phil Spector record (if you don’t own it, get it. You need it). The fantastic intro and Wall of Sound production are just perfect. Sends a Christmassy shiver down your spine every time.
3. The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl – “Fairytale of New York”
Nowadays it’s as traditional as Christmas pud. “Fairytale of New York” has grown on me massively over the years – it’s now an essential part of the festivities.
2. Shakin’ Stevens – “Merry Christmas Everyone”
Instantly recognisable, the Welsh Elvis rocks out a total seasonal masterpiece. Newsflash: Shaky is, was, and always will be COOL. This song is crucial for any Crimbo fun.
So what’s number one in my festive all time top ten? It can only be…
1. Slade – “Merry Christmas Everybody”
Forget the Coca Cola truck, the official start of the Christmas (not “holiday”) season is when you first hear Noddy bellow “It’s Chriiisstmaaaaasss!” In the 1970’s, Christmas was great. This is the sound of every family get together from then and ever since. Unbeatable.
There you go – my Top 10 Christmas songs. I may need to re-visit this next year, maybe do a top 20 – just to cover off a few of the great songs that didn’t make this list.
Though there’s no way that East fucking 17 will ever get in here.
Merry Christmas to all my readers!