This list was a lot harder to put together than you’d think. I was torn between my American roots & the very different Christmas songs that I’ve grown to love (and hate a little!) in over a decade of living in the UK.
When growing up in America, I only really heard the very traditional Christmas songs and I do love all those (White Christmas, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, etc etc etc). Sometimes those songs would be sung by rock & pop stars (like The Jackson 5) or screamed annoyingly by Bruce Springsteen. Ugh. Stop screeching, Bruce! Then there’s that damn Mariah Carey song – All I Want For Christmas Is You….. to SHUT UP, Mariah! And Michael Bublé can kiss my ass.
I was totally unaware that the UK had all these original Christmas songs (from the Seventies & later) that are really damn good & a lot more fun to listen to than Jingle Bells. Those in the UK will probably roll their eyes at my list as these songs are massively massively overplayed each year but I suppose I haven’t had to suffer with them for as long. Therefore, I’ve decided to do a Top Ten of my favorite contemporary Christmas songs at this point in time. Yes, some of these are American but I think the majority are bigger in the UK.
Here’s what I’ve had to leave out so that this top ten didn’t have 100 songs on it:
– Traditional Christmas Songs (unless sung by David Bowie) 😉
– Songs From Favorite Christmas Movies/TV Specials. If I was including these, I’d have to say that my ONE true favorite Christmas song of all time is most definitely Linus & Lucy by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. But I’ve left these out to keep the list simple as I love far too many songs such as Linus & Lucy and songs from Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer & How The Grinch Stole Christmas.
So let’s get this over with as I know some of you will already be sick of these songs by now. Here are My Top Ten (contemporary) Christmas Songs:
10. TIE: The Darkness – Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) & Run-D.M.C. – Christmas In Hollis
I had to include Christmas In Hollis because I’m an 80’s kid. As for The Darkness, I still respect the fact that they got a penis reference into a Christmas song. To those not in the UK, a “bell end” is an insult, meaning a “penis”. Or, more specifically, the tip. I guess. Because of the shape? I’ll stop there so I don’t attract all the pervy Googlers.
9. John & Yoko – Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
War is over? Really?! Well, it’s a good song & I love all of The Beatles. This probably deserves to be above my next song, which is from another Beatle.
8. Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime
This song walks that fine line between “enjoyable” & “making you want to kill if you ever hear it again”. I still enjoy it, though. For now.
7. Mike Oldfield – In Dulci Jubilo
It’s no Tubular Bells but it’s still good. The power of Christ(mas) compels you!
6. TIE: Frankie Goes To Hollywood – The Power Of Love & The Pretenders – 2000 Miles
The Power Of Love is an odd one as I didn’t even know it when I moved to the UK then was confused as to why a song with the lyrics “I’ll protect you from the hooded claw. Keep the vampires from your door.” was considered a Christmas song. It’s apparently just because of the below video for it, which is all about the birth of Christ. Huh. Very different from their video for Relax, which had men symbolically ejaculating all over the place. Oops – I’m definitely going to get the pervy Googlers now. As for 2000 Miles, it’s just a damn good song.
5. Chris De Burgh – A Spaceman Came Travelling
I promise that you will never EVER see the words “Chris De Burgh” on this blog again. But, screw it – I’ll admit that this is actually a really good song. As far as Jesus songs go. (The spaceman is Jesus, right?? Oh I love 70’s music & their obsession with space! Like the artist who’s next…)
4. David Bowie & Bing Crosby – Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy
DAVID BOWIE!!!!!!!!!! And, you know, Bing Crosby. Their cheesy banter at the beginning of this video is hilariously cringeworthy.
3. Jona Lewie – Stop The Cavalry
This is one I didn’t know before moving to the UK. I love it! It’s so catchy. If hearing this song doesn’t cheer you up at Christmastime, you’re a Scrooge.
2. Greg Lake – I Believe In Father Christmas
Yeah, I just really love music from the Seventies… 😉 This song is awesome.
1. Slade – Merry Xmas Everybody
Yes! More cheesy 70’s glam rock goodness! I’m sure a lot of people in the UK HATE this song by now (unless they’re drunk off their tits at a Christmas party) but I have yet to get sick of it & doubt I ever will. I’d have loved hearing this growing up. It makes me want to get drunk at an office Christmas party & photocopy my ass. Okay, I’d never actually do that… But if I do, I hope Slade is playing!
Elton John – Step Into Christmas
Wizzard – I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
Jethro Tull – Ring Out, Solstice Bells
The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping
I didn’t realize I had so many songs that “make me happy” until I started putting this list together. I wouldn’t say that these are songs that cheer me up, exactly, as I tend to listen to angry heavy metal when I’m down. However, when I’m already in a good mood and the sun is actually shining (rare occasion in the UK), these are my favorite “happy songs” to listen to. A lot of these are pure cheese, I know… Don’t judge me! 😉
Counting down from ten to my number one favorite, here are My Top Ten Happy Songs:
10. TIE: Slade – Run Runaway & Matthew Wilder – Break My Stride
9. Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag
8. Joe Jackson – Steppin’ Out
7. Electric Light Orchestra – Mr. Blue Sky
6. Kermit – The Rainbow Connection
5. Sweet – Love Is Like Oxygen
4. Hot Butter – Popcorn
3. The Cure – In Between Days
2. Supertramp – The Logical Song
1. The Clash – Train In Vain
Honorable Mentions: Paul Simon – You Can Call Me Al
R.E.M. – It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
Cat Stevens – If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out
Sugar Ray – Every Morning
Iggy Pop – Lust For Life
Kid Cudi – Pursuit Of Happiness
New Radicals – You Get What You Give
David Bowie – Magic Dance
Donovan – Sunshine Superman
New Order – Temptation
I had about a million honorable mentions – I really had to narrow it down! A special shout out to David Byrne as hearing his voice on any song always makes me happy as well.
Top Ten Lists:
I’ve had a list for ages now of just under 100 different top ten lists I’d like to do but just never seem to get around to putting the posts together. Does anyone like these top ten lists? Should I keep doing them? I was thinking of aiming to post them on Thursdays (when I have the time). They’re mostly movie-related but there are quite a few music ones as well. Sometimes it’ll just be a simple list like this one but other times I’ll explain myself (like I did with last week’s list of My Top Ten Band Names). Let me know what you think. I can’t guarantee every Thursday but I’d do my best. 🙂