Top 5 Christmas songs

3 December, 2019
Episode notes

Guest

Daz Wright

Every ounce of his being is focussed on discussing video games, cats and the popular music of the day. He live in Moseley in Birmingham.


The Christmas season begins with Mark talking to Daz Wright of Moselele, about the best songs to ring in the festivities.

Daz is a musician, and a founder-member of the Birmingham-based ukulele group Moselele. He’s also a big fan of Christmas, and delivered a sack full of joy to the List Envy studio, along with an honest-to-goodness Christmas cracker and actual sleigh bells.

Whamageddon

The pair discuss this real-world survival game. Like many pure things, Whamageddon has been co-opted by the corporate world, so we’ll stick with the original rules rather than those imposed by the Bauer Media corporation, who have attempted to make it their thing recently.

  • The object is to go as long as possible without hearing the original version of Wham!’s song Last Christmas (you won’t hear that version in this episode, so you’re safe).
  • It runs from Dec 1st until Christmas eve.
  • As soon as you recognise the song, that’s it, you’re out, and play resumes for you next year.
  • If you’re deliberately sabotaged, bad luck, but that’s not the spirit of the game. You’re still out, but the saboteur is a dick.

Honourable mentions

Daz’s picks

In order of discussion:

Slade — Merry Xmas Everybody

This is, for Daz, a perfect Christmas song, as it falls into one of the main categories: nostalgia, a description of the Christmas day or event, and a shameless emotional trigger… and perhaps it embodies all three.

The Oasis cover Mark refers to was not done for the BBC’s Live Lounge series, but for the NME in a joint venture with the War Child charity.

Elton John — Step into Christmas

A late addition to Daz’s list, Step into Christmas is nothing if not meta, opening with the line “welcome to my Christmas song”. Daz calls it shameless, but you can be the judge.

Wham! — Last Christmas

You were promised that your ears would remain a Wham!-free zone, so the demonstrative track for this segment is brought to you by courtesy of the Crazy Frog (who still has 6.5 million YouTube subscribers). Daz enjoys that Last Christmas embodies the spirit of the day (as per his third category of Christmas song success).

Mariah Carey — All I Want for Christmas is You

Despite Daz describing Mariah’s vocal opening as “warbling nonsense”, he enjoys the chunka-chunka piano that follows… and frankly, who doesn’t? This easily satisfies the “emotional trigger” item of Daz’s Christmas song checklist, and who among us doesn’t want to be wholly owned by a quasi-religious semi-fictional wizard?

The Weather Girls – Dear Santa, Bring Me a Man this Christmas (Part 1)

Following on from, and largely borrowing from the success of It’s Raining Men, Dear Santa, Bring Me a Man this Christmas (Part 1) is pretty much the same song, but festive. If you haven’t watched the video, now’s your chance.

Mark’s picks

In order of discussion:

Greg Lake — I Believe in Father Christmas

Mark enjoys this quiet and conemplative ballad, that Daz describes as one of the more musically interesting festive offerings. But sadly, the line “the Christmas we get, we deserve” was not enough to make it Christmas #1, which ended up that year being Queen.

The Waitresses — Christmas Wrapping

Mark feels there is a “Dickens quality” to this story song (to be fair, it does start with the line “Bah humbug”), about loneliness and romance, leading to a joyful and merry Christmas day.

The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl — Fairytale of New York

Anyone who’s offended by the lyrics towards the end of this song has our axe, and there’s an argument to be had around the specific meaning of the word in that time and context, but for now, let’s focus on the fact that it’s a winter banger, and a wonderful piece of Christmas melancholia.

Johnny Mathis — When a Child is Born

It took eight songs before the pair got to one that actually described the li’l baby Jesus, but here we are. It’s.a crooner’s song, and pretty sappy, but it does fall squarely in that mid-70s bracket that seems to categorise Christmas songs.

Tom Jones & Cerys Matthews - Baby It’s Cold Outside

If you’re offended by any of the lyrics in this song, you’re a child and you don’t know what grown-up words mean (sometimes two consenting adults can do something naughty and that’s OK). Mark gravely prefers the cover over the original as he believes it packs more personality and fun.

More of Daz Wright

Join Moselele twice a month at the Prince of Wales pub in Moseley, Birmingham, to play popular songs of the day. And be sure to join them on Sunday December 22nd where they’ll be singing Christmas songs in the beer garden of said pub. Mark will be there, and we hope you will too. You can also follow Daz on Twitter.

Links