Our favourite festive tunes....and our Christmas turkeys! - The Leamington Observer

Our favourite festive tunes....and our Christmas turkeys!

Leamington Editorial 24th Dec, 2020   0

THE CHRISTMAS Number One used to be as much a part of our festive tradition as mince pies and the Queen’s speech.

So, with warm thoughts of watching the Top of the Pops Christmas special in a pudding-induced slumber, our editors reflect on their festive favourites, and their Christmas turkeys…

Festive favourite – ‘Don’t Let the Bells End’ by The Darkness – The excesses of Christmas are no better captured in song than in this ridiculously triumphant affair.

Outrageously camp yet somehow sincere, it is served with a buffet of double-entendres, lashings of sarcasm, and a rich, chocolatey guitar solo.

But if you don’t want to answer any awkward questions on Christmas Day, you should probably avoid showing the hilariously suggestive video to your children.

Christmas turkey – Happy Xmas (War Is Over) by John Lennon and Yoko Ono – The Christmas spirit has its limits.

Having long passed his Beatles heyday, John Lennon sleepwalks through the dreary verse before – shudder – Yoko Ono screeches in for the cacophonous chorus, drowning out the poor Harlem Community Choir.

Festive fingernails on a blustery blackboard.

Andy Morris

Festive favourite – ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ by Slade comes from a time when Christmas songs were planned and honed.

I handed my pocket money over for it in 1973 and I’d buy it again every year if the original wasn’t still working.

Jim, Don and especially Dave provide a joyous, pounding backing for Noddy’s rendition of words as much a part of the festive lexicon as Hark the Herald Angels.

And as for the legendary lung-bostin shout at the end, well it simply isn’t Christmas until Noddy tells you it is.

Christmas turkey – Take your pick from the dozens of production-line karaoke singers from the talent shows of the last ten years or more.

Any Best of Christmas album which used these people alone would sell about a dozen.

If you have someone else to write it, endless dark arts in the studio to get it in tune and primetime TV exposure for two months before the big day and you CAN’T get to number one….

Matthew Salisbury

Festive favourite – ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ by Slade – Being a lad from the Black Country I have stay loyal to ‘our Noddy’ and not just because my mum and dad once lived next to Noddy Holder’s parents.

As the nights draw in and you add more and more layers what better than a glam rocker from the West Midlands shouting “IT’S CHRRRISSSTTTMASSS!!!”

One burst lifts your spirits but also reminds you of Father Christmas’s drinking habits, the high spirits our family members can get into and the possibility of being ‘slayed’ (geddit?) sliding down a snow covered hill.

Sorry Wizard but it’s Noddy all the way for me, ay it!

Christmas turkey – ‘Mr Blobby’ by Mr Blobby – Let’s take a moment to remember this was a thing, yes in 1993 enough people went into Our Price, Virgin Megastore or HMV and paid for this…..with their own money!

This pink bulbous accident waiting to happen went to No. 1 on the back of Noel Edmonds and his Crinkley Bottom.

It staggers me to this day someone wrote lyrics to this while Blobby’s contribution was to endless say ‘Blobby, Blobby, Blobby.’

It remains the last of the truly weird Christmas number 1’s thanks to the efforts of Simon Cowell.

Did I buy it? Course I did, what can I say it’s Christmas!

Rob George

Festive favourite – ‘Fairytale of New York’ by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl – Being an eternal Chrimbophile, I have a lot to choose from, but this is the ultimate singalong Christmas anthem.

It’s a lyrical rollercoaster, and, like most Christmases, it starts upbeat before a row, then they make up at the end.

Sadly we have to go through the annual debate about some of the words used and which radio stations will or won’t play the original version.

I am yet to meet anyone offended by the lyrics – leave this genius piece of festive art as it is.

Christmas turkey – ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham! – Most Christmas songs I can listen to over and over again and don’t mind their resurgence each Yuletide but for some reason Last Christmas is not one of them.

I just think it’s too depressing for what should be the most wonderful time of the year.

Tristan Harris

Festive favourite – ‘When The Thames Froze’ by Smith and Burrows – This immaculate conception of Tom Smith from Editors and Andy Burrows, the former Razorlight drummer, is a 21st century Christmas classic.

Originally released amid the austerity of 2011, it has a political message combined with heart-warming lyrics that use imagery of “tired London” to retell a tale of capitalist greed that harks back to Victorian times but can equally skate gracefully into the frozen landscape of 2020.

While it is the work of two wise indie kings, the brass section and choral crescendos give it a timeless appeal.

Christmas turkey – Simon Cowell – A big ‘bah humbug!’ to the man who, through his ruthless X Factor marketing campaigns, destroyed the great British craft of Christmas pop songs, all in the name of corporate greed, with some terrible artists jangling along the way. Long may we rage against his machine!

James Iles

Festive favourite – ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’ by Bruce Springsteen – It’s classic Bruce in his heyday in which he magically conveys the fun and sheer joy of Christmas. He takes a season staple and turns it into something wild and wonderful.

Christmas turkey – ‘Mistletoe and Wine’ by Cliff Richard – The housewife’s favourite of yesteryear really plumbs the depths here, spurning the opportunity to do something a bit different he instead plays it straight and the result is saccharine sweet and more than a tad nauseating.

Ross Crawford

Festive favourite – ‘Stop the Cavalry’ by Jona Lewie – While a tad depressing this Christmas hit – which Lewie actually penned as an anti-war song – can’t help but make me feel festive.

A brass band, horns and bells are pretty much the holy Christmas trinity.

It also serves as a reminder of what other generations have been through to ensure we can enjoy Christmas together.

Christmas turkey – ‘One More Sleep’ by Leona Lewis – This is one of those awful songs that every bad radio station insists on playing on repeat from the middle of November.

The wailing, the cheesy backing vocals, the repetitiveness and the music that sounds like it has been pre-recorded on a child’s keyboard.

I can’t think of one thing to like about this song apart from when I hit the ‘off’ button (much like Lewis’ version of Hallelujah – which should only ever have been attempted by Jeff Buckley and Leonard Cohen, but I’m not holding any grudges…)

Laura Kearns

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