Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Christmas songs are rubbish

Chances are over the last few weeks you have been to a shopping mall and heard one of the following:

Cliff Richard – Mistletoe and Wine

Wham – Last Christmas

Slade – Merry Christmas Everybody

Wizzard – I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday

I have a theory about these songs. I believe they have been specially designed by multi-national corporations to be so insipid that eventually they breakdown your brain at molecular level and cause you to buy everything insight regardless of whether anyone in your family will actually want it. They drill irritatingly catchy choruses into you like a Scientologist until you actually believe you are having a good time. Of course the reality is you’re stuck in a queue as long as the Great Wall of China and you’ll have to remortgage your house to pay off the debts you have surmounted.

What really makes me gag is that the people who wrote these awful tunes must be absolutely raking in the royalties. This financial benefit seems to be limited to a select few whose tasteless tunes are rolled out year upon year. Nobody new has been allowed on this A-List for years now.

If someone else was allowed on the list I wondered who the contenders might be. Surely first in the queue should be the great Bob Dylan who recently released an album of Christmas songs called Christmas in the Heart. Bob would be there to save us, surely?

Wrong! I’ve only heard clips of it, but to be honest that’s enough. Dylan’s voice has disintegrated so much now that he sounds like a drunk staggering around the streets of Soho on Christmas Eve at the split second before he pukes in a wheelie bin.

Julian Casablancas has also had a stab, but it’s not much better. I wish It Was Christmas Today is a cover of a Saturday Night Live sketch. Casablancas takes the mildly amusing sketch, gets out a big old iron and makes it flatter than the hills of East Anglia. Maybe something got lost in translation when crossing the Atlantic, but for me, if you’re going to do a comedy song then, well, you have to be a comedian and not a moody rock star.

The only Christmas tune that is worth anything is Fairytale in New York by the Pogues, featuring Kirsty McColl. I’m a sucker for a song with a story, and this is one of the best. You can see and feel the characters McColl and McGowan create, and the lyrics pack a punch too. My favourite is probably: I could have been someone/Well so could anyone. So mean, so cruel, so true!

If only there could be more proper miserable Christmas songs like this then maybe I would truly enjoy Christmas!

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