Christmas creativity needed

I was in Morrisons this afternoon, and noticed that they’ve already started playing Christmas songs. Modulo the usual complaint that the third week in November is too early, it occurred to me that we really need some new Christmas songs. It’s OK to be playing all the traditional favourites, but the problem is that all we seem to have are the old traditional favourites. The Christmas single used to be a staple of the musical season, but bands seem to have largely given up on them in recent years.

Personally, I blame Simon’s Karaoke Show. By creating a guaranteed Christmas number one that’s there on the back of pure marketing hype, not merit – or even unpredictable random popularity – it’s put other artists off trying to aim for the traditional year-ending chart topper.

Maybe the forthcoming demise of the show – it’s widely rumoured that this year will be the last, and not a moment before time – will open up the opportunity for a genuine battle for the Christmas number one, just like we used to have. If so, then maybe there’s an opportunity there for some of our current best-selling artists to come up with something suitable festive.

I’ve got nothing against the likes of Slade, Wizzard, Jona Lewie or Ella Fitzgerald, but they’re hardly contemporary. I reckon that Ed Sheeran or Adele could come up with a cracking Christmas tune. Heck, I’d even put up with something by Justin Beiber or One Direction, if it’s at least original and fresh. So come on, musicians, how about taking up the challenge for Christmas 2016?

The twenty best Christmas singles… ever

Today is formally the first day of Advent, the start of the Christmas season. So, to kick off, here’s my list of the twenty best Christmas singles ever written:

  1. Fairytale of New York – The Pogues and Kirsty McColl
  2. Merry Christmas, Everybody – Slade
  3. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day – Wizzard
  4. Saviour’s Day – Cliff Richard (less popular, but far better, than Mistletoe and Wine)
  5. I Believe In Father Christmas – Greg Lake
  6. Happy Christmas (War is Over) – John Lennon and Yoko Ono
  7. White Christmas – Bing Crosby
  8. One More Sleep ’til Christmas – The Muppets
  9. Stop The Cavalry – Jona Lewie
  10. 2000 Miles – The Pretenders
  11. Do They Know It’s Christmas – Band Aid (the 1984 original, not the rather pants 1989 and 2004 remakes)
  12. In Dulci Jubilo – Mike Oldfield
  13. Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End) – The Darkness
  14. Walking In The Air – Aled Jones
  15. er….
  16. …that’s it
  17. unless you include Last Christmas by Wham!…
  18. …which is probably fair enough, even though George Michael is incredibly irritating
  19. but definitely not the Frog Chorus…
  20. …or any other attempt by Paul McCartney to write something festive.