Originally written December 4th 2010 – Published in Roar! Newspaper

With Halloween waving us goodbye and Coke adverts pervading our televisions, clearly it’s that time of year again. Holidays are coming! So, in the spirit of giving, here is a collection of Christmas musical gold (frankincense and myrrh) to include in your festive playlists – and some tracks you must avoid at all costs! Glad tidings we bring…

TOP 5

Clearly straight...

Wham! – Last Christmas. Is there anything more Christmassy than a young George Michael denying his latent homosexuality? It’s soppy, ever so slightly magical, and undoubtedly many people’s Christmas guilty pleasure. Slow-dancing shoes and mistletoe at the ready…

Skindred – Jungle Bells. With their ragga-metal stylings, Benji and the boys deliver once again with a seasonal song that is sure to get your feet moving and your dreads flailing like a Jamaican Santa.

Jackson 5 – Santa Claus is coming to town.  Despite the controversial media portrayals of Michael Jackson leading up to his death, Jacko remains one of the world’s biggest pop stars. Here’s a chirpy hit from early in his musical career.

Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel with dreidel I will play

Radiohead – Winter Wonderland. Radiohead, the kings of British angst, covering a sparkly Christmas number…?! You better believe it. This rare 2002 cover of the Crimbo classic is definitely one for the history books.

Dreidel Song, South Park. ‘Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made you out of clay. Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, with dreidel I shall play’ – classic Jewish philosophy. This catchy Hanukkah ditty might not be as instantaneously memorable as talking Christmas poo, but it’s still a welcome addition to our December playlist.

FLOP 5

Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas. Back in ’84, celebs banded together to produce one of the most patronising charity songs ever released. Unfortunately, Bono’s questionable line ‘Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you’ managed to single-handedly undercut the charitable sentiment.

It was a white Christmas that year

The New Kids on the Block – Have a Funky Funky Christmas. With worse rapping than Vanilla Ice in Ninja Turtles 2, this ’80s crimbo tragedy is best forgotten. The song couldn’t be any less funky if it tried – James Brown would be turning in his grave.

From First to Last – Christmassacre. Avoid this try-hard alternative tripe (with ‘inspirational’ lines like “Don’t forget your Christmas cheer coz Santa’s going to die this year.”) at all costs. Having said that, the song did supply Pete Wentz’s phone number, initiating perhaps the biggest mass prank-calling in history. Every cloud, eh?

Watch out - the Hoff's about!

Cliff Richard – Mistletoe and Wine. You must watch the video to fully appreciate this cringe-worthy Christmas horror. Mr Richard starts by peering into the window of an unsuspecting child – not creepy at all Cliff – then delivers perhaps the cheesiest pop song you’ve ever heard.

David Hasselhoff – Twas the Night Before Christmas. The most memorable Christmas story ever told, eternally damaged by Baywatch’s tiny-shorts-laden hero. Is it any wonder his best friend was a car? If for some reason you’re taken with the Hoff’s rendition, check out ‘Stille Nacht’, his unintentionally hilarious Christmas tribute to the Germans that adore him so much.

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