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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: December 15, 2009 @ 7:06 pm

    Merry Christmas (I wrapped it up and sent it . . .)

    Fiona McCann

    Ah yes. You know it’s Christmas when you start to hear the likes of Wham making a sudden and foreceful return to the airwaves, or Slade on the yuletide loop. What I want to know is, are you all about the mistletoe and wine, or do you prefer your Christmases to be spent in the drunk tank? If snow is falling, all around you, and you’re dreaming of a White Christmas, then chances are it’s Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid. In other words, I want to hear about your favourite Christmas songs, and – AND – I need to know why they should be considered any more special (special) than the festive delight that is Wham’s Last Christmas? I’m not just talking carols either, though they can get a look-in too: I want to see the Pogues and Kirsty MacColl battle Mariah Carey, though it should be pointed out that the award for best Christmas song title ever goes directly to Sufjan Stevens for Get Behind Me Santa. But back to the tunes. The Christmas tunes. And to get the jingle bells rolling, there’s nothing like a bit of Bob:

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    • Urchinette says:

      Sufjan Stevens’s ‘Christmas in July’ – such a fantastic song I find myself playing it even in, well, July.

      And for carols, nothing makes me feel more Christmassy than ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’. I love old English carols.

    • Catherine says:

      It has to be Fairy Tale of New York for music, lyrics, originality and, above all, delivery.

    • mise says:

      For my generation, incontestably ‘Last Christmas’. Its imagined heartbreak was hugely sophisticated and romantic. The boys may have favoured Paul McCartney & the Frog Chorus, as they weren’t as emotionally mature as we were and were probably unable to cope with imagined heartbreak. We never spoke to them so we weren’t sure.

    • Fiona says:

      Urchinette: Love the David Bowie and Bing Crosby David Bowie Little Drummer Boy, also. And that Sufjan Stevens album is wonderfu.

      Catherine: Fairytale of New York is a cracker. Still love it.

      Mise: LOVE LOVE LOVE Last Christmas. (And your comment had me in stitches!)

    • Karine Smith says:

      Everything is new for me !
      I love the irish Christmas !
      I’m really happy to be here learning a loads about Irish lovely Culture :)

    • Aoife says:

      Christmas isn’t Christmas until you’re standing in a circle with your arms wrapped around some randomer and Mary from admin at the end of a drunken night singing Fairytale of New York at the top of your lungs

    • speccy says:

      Even my kids love that Bob song- joyfully bonkers.
      Last year I discovered The Supremes singing Joy to the World, which is fabulous. Apart from me joining in.
      God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/ We 3 kings by Bare Naked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan, and pretty much anything from Kate Rusby’s christmas album are well worth a listen.

    • Eleanor says:

      As far as I’m concerned the best and worst Christmas song are one and the same. I can think of nothing more sublime than the Shane & Kirsty combo singing Fairytale of New York but I hope never to hear again the Ronan Keating/Moya Brennan version.

      Special mention to the lovely Walking In The Air, as sung by Aled Jones.

    • Jim Carroll says:

      Here’s 10 that have nothing to do with Wham!

      Low “Christmas” (all eight tracks on this EP are lovely)

      Run DMC “Christmas In Hollis” (hip-ho, hip-ho, hip-ho)

      Various “A Christmas Gift to You From Phil Spector” (dude may be banged up but here’s all the pop tinsel and glitter you need)

      Glasvegas “A Snowflake Fell (And It Felt Like A Kiss)” (whiskey-soaked melancholy)

      Lord Beginner “Christmas Morning, The Rum Had Me Yawning” (you HAVE to hear this!)

      Mary Margaret O’Hara “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” (tender and sweet)

      Wild Billy Childish “Santa Claus” (even garage rock icons get socks for Xmas)

      Cocteau Twins “Frosty the Snowman” (ridiculous and weird and ethereal)

      Palace Songs “Christmastime In The Mountains” (Will Oldham’s Xmas cheer).

      Tom Waits “Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis” (Tom sheds the tiniest of tiny tears)

      Marvin Gaye “Purple Snowflakes” (Marvellous Marvin is right for any time of the year)

      Sufjan Stevens “Did I Make You Cry On Christmas? (Well You Deserved It!!!)” (this season’s fave from his 5 CD box-set)

      Plug: I’ll be doing the annual Far Side at Christmas radio special featuring Xmas-rated Xmas tunes next Tuesday from 10pm on Phantom 105.2. Tune in and bring a mince pie!

    • paysan says:

      Jim got there before me but I reckon it has to be Tom Waits’ “Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis”

      hey Charley
      for chrissakes
      do you want to know
      the truth of it?
      I don’t have a husband
      he don’t play the trombone
      and I need to borrow money
      to pay this lawyer
      and Charley, hey
      I’ll be eligible for parole
      come valentines day.


    • Conor Pope says:

      All I want for Christmas is a Ducla Prague Away Kit


      Well, it does have Christmas in the title so it does…

    • catcat says:

      oh holy night would be my favourite traditional christmas song/carol

      can’t beat a birra mariah carey and the girls around their handbags for that annual christmas feeling
      also the knife – reindeer

      ah who i am i kidding? i love them all!!

    • Phil says:

      Tom Lehrer’s parody is by far my favourite:

    • meguidemiss says:

      All I want for Christmas is a Ducla Prague Away Kit

      I had that posted to my youtube earlier in the week.

      Also “God gave us life” – Half man half biscuit
      (though it may be more an easter song?)

    • mary says:

      Fairytale of New York

    • hampers says:

      Nice blog with a nice Christmas video. It was nice going through your blog.Keep it up the good work. Cheers :)

    • Nam Citsale says:

      ‘Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis’ – Tom Waits
      ‘Thank God It’s Not Christmas’ – Sparks, (apologies, not strictly Xmassy)
      ‘There’s No Lights on the Christmas Tree Mother, They’re Burning Big Louie Tonight’ – The Sensational Alex Harvey Band
      ‘All I Got Was Clothes for Christmas’ – The Happy Flowers
      ‘Oh Little Town of Deathlehem’ – Killdozer
      And finally, the only one with a smidgin of romance or goodwill -
      ‘Christmas Eve’ – Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci

    • clom says:

      The only christmas album that plays at my seasonal cocktail parties is “A John Waters Christmas” which features Proto-Antony Tiny Tim scaring the horses with Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, the best rendition of Happy Birthday Jesus this side of Full Metal Jacket and the stellar “Sleigh Ride” by Alvin & the Chipmunks…

    • LM says:

      Fairytale of New York. Can’t think of another song, Christmas or otherwise, that successfully pulls off a flashback sequence. Plus you’re humming the song for the rest of the day once you hear it.

    • dave says:

      One of my favourite christmas songs has to be Reuben’s ‘Christmas is awesome’!!

    • Dani says:

      I love Christmas songs in general – especially Fairytale of New York, Crosby + Bowie’s Little Drummer Boy and also Oh Holy Night.
      But, here’s two I adore and sadly they don’t get that much airplay…
      The Pretenders 2,000 miles – i love chrissy’s voice.
      Also Joni Mitchell’s River – with the piano sample of Jingle Bells…
      Christmas songs that are a little bit sad/regretful just get me every time!

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