Every film is not complete with its soundtrack. Whether that’s a rising orchestral score or a selection of top pop tracks, scenes and set pieces are giving a boost through the use of music. Christmas as a time of year is almost synonymous with the music as it is the other staples, and most Christmas films adopt this with the use of the two.
Films aside, we can’t not acknowledge the fact that there are just some Christmas songs that don’t leave us year after year and have become so intrinsic to the Christmas spirit that to not hear them on the radio when walking round ASDA almost won’t make it feel like Christmas. As infuriating as they might be to some people – particularly those that have heard some songs every year since they were first released – you can’t help but admit that it just wouldn’t feel right without them. Here’s our Top 10 Christmas tracks.
10. It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas – Michael Buble
It’s probably being deemed as sacrilege that I have chosen Buble’s version above all others, but the sole reason is because this album for me is the ultimate Christmas album. Soulful, jazzy and sprinkled with enough Christmas spirit to power Santa’s sleigh, Buble’s silk voice matches every great Christmas song. But none more so than this track – the first one on the album and the first one that truly reminds you that it is, indeed, starting to look a lot like Christmas.
9. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing – Carmen Dragon & The Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
No Christmas is complete without the classical/church-y pieces, and this particular version of ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’ is a rousing, goosebump-inducing piece of musical triumph complete with a belting choir. Though I’m not religious, these are the kind of songs I remember my Nan playing as a kid and ones that feature in Christmas classic films to this day, the latest being the Zemeckis version of A Christmas Carol.
8. A Christmas Duel – The Hives & Cyndi Lauper
Not many will know this song and on first listening to it you might wonder why you’d include it in such a positive list, but just like Christmas Vacation and the other films that focus on the less than positive side of Christmas, this song about a car crash relationship finding some strange peace at Christmas is the perfect antithesis to most other songs you might find in your playlist.
7. Proper Crimbo – Bo! Selecta
Alright, it’s not a Christmas song and it’s completely ridiculous but it is funny and strangely endearing. It’s as close to a modern classic as we’ve had in recent years.
6. Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End) – The Darkness
As big a fan of rock music as I am, it often doesn’t go together with Christmas as no amount of jingling bells can balance a whiskey soaked ashtray gravel voice. However, The Darkness managed such a feat – perhaps because Justin Hawkin’s voice makes him sound like he doesn’t have a rock voice but rather one of a choirboy with no testicles. It’s a great little number with the added kids singing at the end.
5. Last Christmas – Wham!
As we go in to the top 5, its getting a bit like a 90’s kid that’s in love with 70’s and 80’s films – we grew up on a diet of films and TV from our Mom’s and Dad’s and this is none more evident than with Christmas songs. It begins with Last Christmas – a classic song that’s less about Christmas and more about heartache yet its become intrinsic for the season and so has to feature in everyone’s Christmas playlist.
4. Fairytale of New York – The Pogues
My Mom hates this song with a passion. I can’t understand why to be honest as it’s a great rendition of love lost through the year with Christmas bringing them together in that most magical of city’s. It’s the Celtic twang and romantic lyrics that make this song a classic.
3. All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
This literally needs no introduction, no explanation and no further words.
2. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday – Wizzard
And so in the final two we have to give kudos to the 70’s tracks that have blasted from shop speakers since their initial release. Though it would be utterly ludicrous to have Christmas everyday, this charming, fun and upbeat song is testament to every die-hard Christmas fan’s feelings towards the season, complete with our inner child belting out the track at the end.
1. Merry Christmas Everybody – Slade
It’s gotta be number one, hasn’t it? It’s so British, it features on pretty much every Christmas TV special since its release and its just so simple: lyrics that identify exactly what’s happening at Christmas, and a belting chorus that’s jovial and positive. The song has become so intrinsic to Christmas that it’s the song that plays at the office party or on Christmas Eve that really signals the start of Christmas.
TOMORROW: Christmas Classics – Home Alone/Home Alone 2: Lost in New York