They don't make them like they used to, do they?
There was a time in the UK, before such shows as X Factor but after WW11, when the Christmas Number One chart single each year would be a 'Christmas song'.
Slade's Merry Christmas, Cliff Richard's Mistletoe and Wine and John Lennon's Merry Christmas War is Over all had chart success at Christmas-time. The Christmas theme ran through the glam rock December number ones of the 70s and beyond.
Somewhere along the line though new 'Christmas' songs started to become scarce. There was Wham's Last Christmas, Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas and a couple of years ago George Michael released a Christmas song.
But when the UK had Rage against the Machine battling for the top Christmas spot with X Factor winner Joe McElderry and his winner's song of The Climb you had to wonder where all the Christmas songs had gone?
Whether you loved or loathed either of those songs neither were Christmas songs, by any stretch of the imagination.
So with a fanfare here are a few of my Christmas favourites blasting in from the past and all have the Christmas Factor in so many ways.
Fairy-tale of New York
Irish band the Pogues teamed up with Kirsty MacColl for this unusual Christmas song. The words are a couples' drunken reminiscing of what might have been. As a couple who have hit rock bottom they both blame each other somewhat for their demise.
Despite this unlikely Christmas message the song works so well. It speaks of hope, love and despair. The Irish themed music is perfect for Christmas and the rough edge of Pogue's lead singer Shane Macgowan's voice sits well with Kirsty's beautiful vocal tone. This song is made more poignant as Kirsty sadly died in an accident in December 2000 aged 41-she was killed whilst scuba diving with her sons in a restricted diving area off Cozumel, Mexico.
Classic line from this song:
I should have been someone.
Well so should anyone.
[No person or persons was ever held satisfactorily accountable for Kirsty's death and her family continue to seek justice]
Merry Christmas Everybody
Slade's Merry Christmas Everybody still receives masses of Christmas airplay. Originally released in glam Rock's heyday of 1973 this song is now 42-years-old. It has been re-released more than once and remains popular.
Let it Snow
Classic Dean Martin from the late 1950s with Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow. This has been recorded by so many people. Doris day, Frank Sinatra and more. However for me Let It Snow needs Deano's warm, relaxed singing voice in order to excel.
Hallelujah was Christmas number one in the UK for Christmas 2008 and yes that was down to Simon Cowell and the X Factor. The single was a recording by that year's X Factor winner Alexandra Burke. For me though Jeff Buckley's version is the best and perfect for Christmas. However as a fan of Leonard Cohen his version runs a close second.
Canadian Leonard Cohen penned Hallelujah but it was John Cale who found recording success with the song and later Jeff Buckley.
Merry Christmas War is over
John and Yoko's hopeful anthem for world peace was first released in 1971. The song hoped to express that War, such as the campaign in Vietnam, could be over, if people wanted it to be.
Sadly all these years later the world has war, terrorism and strife rife in many countries. The YouTube video I have chosen for this Hub is doubly sad as it shows John Lennon with his own family.
Silent Night is I guess my all-time favourite Christmas carol. It has been recorded by many artists down the years. However one of the best versions is a choir of young people gently singing their hearts out.
I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
Roy Wood, previously of The Move, sang this Christmas song with his band Wizard. First released in 1973 the fashions may have dated but the Christmas feel good factor has remained.
And more, and more.
Of course there are just so many great Christmas songs. From Carols such as "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem" to children's favourites such as "Santa Claus is coming to town" and "Frosty the Snowman".
"Mary's Boy Child" expresses for some the true meaning of Christmas whilst other songs have immortalised "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer."
However most of the Christmas Classics that we love are from the past.
Recent offerings, in the UK for example, such as "Proper Chrimbo" are funny but have these renditions longevity? I doubt it.
So as you settle into your Christmas celebrations search out your favourite Christmas songs and play them long and play them loud. These classics Christmas anthems deserve to be enjoyed and celebrated.
THE Christmas blog
Christmas is always just around the corner