'Tis the season to be jolly (or just very very drunk) and in keeping with that here's my Top 5 Christmas Songs. This will be my last Top 5 of the year, I'll be back in the New Year with my Top 5 albums of 2007.
1. Low "Just Like Christmas" - From their simply wonderful "Christmas E.P." this just evokes that long forgotten feeling of what Christmas was all about when you were little. For a band who specialise in quiet, sparse music this is an incredibly upbeat and joyful tune.
2. The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl "Fairytale of New York" - Another tune evocative of cold and snowy Christmas nights, drinking your way round the back streets of New York City ... or Shepperton. The contrast between MacGowan and MacColl's voices is fabulous and some cracking lyrics from Shane at his best.
3. Half-Man Half-Biscuit "All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit" - As perfect a recreation of my childhood as I am ever likely to see in song. Possibly not strictly a genuine Christmas song failing, as it does, to mention Christmas anywhere other than in its title. Transformer problems with my Scalextric and amassing the biggest collection of Subbutteo teams occupied much of my pre-teen thoughts. The Dukla Prague away kit is also one of the greatest football shirts in history, read more about the song and the kit HERE if you're interested.
4. Slade "Merry Christmas Everybody" - A song as universal as Happy Birthday but one that seems to retain it's charm. It's not Kerr-ris-mas until you've heard this song for the first time.
5. The Pretenders "2000 Miles" - From the "Learning to Crawl" album that seemed rubbish when I first heard it but somehow found it's way into my heart. For some reason the lyrics "2000 Miles, Is very far through the snow" always give me a little chuckle.
An honourable mention for Jethro Tull who have been serial Crimbo song writers. "Ring Out Solstice Bells" is their most well known, but I enjoy Ian Anderson's cynical lyrics for "A Christmas Song" and the subsequent, and appropriately named "Another Christmas Song".