Our resident columnists battle it out with Online Music Editor, Lewis Norman to determine whether there is actually such a thing as a good Christmas song.
Lewis Norman, Online Music Editor
Those of you that know me probably know me for 1) My shameless debauchery in Timepiece and 2) The fact that I am quite literally one of the most fun-hating people on the planet. Smiling; rainbows; the circus; ‘socialising’ and, of course, Christmas make me crawl into my dark, edgy hole and find comfort in Thom Yorke’s back catalogue. Aside from the ghastly trend that is the abhorrent ‘Christmas Jumper’, I think that Christmas music may be the worst thing ever to have arisen out of this festive period.
One only needs to listen to incessantly irritating piano chime in Shakin’ Stevens’ ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ to know where I am coming from. Whether it is Mariah’s shrill chirping or the embarrassment that is Paul McCartney’s Christmas effort, I think it is pretty safe to say that there is NO such thing as a good Christmas song. Now its up to these girls to try and prove me wrong (good luck with that).
Sabrina Aziz, Copy Editor
Strong words, subject to a lot of controversy. With the onset of Christmas comes the inevitable onset of catchy, repetitive Christmas songs that clutter the charts and raid our radios on the countdown to Christmas day. Whilst some may welcome these mindless tunes with open arms, exultant at the thought of yet another rendition of Mariah’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’, I’m afraid that I’m of the Grinch minority.
Don’t get me wrong, not every Christmas song is a tasteless, commercial nuisance. ‘Fairytale of New York’ is a masterpiece, but then it hardly possesses the usual Christmas cheer does it? Perhaps it’s the thought of words such as ‘scumbag’ and ‘maggot’ being classified alongside the usual ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘White Christmas’ that fills my heart so, but god help me if one more poptastic, unoriginal Christmas tune posing as a charity single hits the charts.
It’s not that I hate Christmas; I love Christmas, like any warm-hearted person. But I hate Christmas songs. Not so much for the premise, but more for the product. The result is almost always bland, unoriginal, soppy and lacking in style. Christmas songs are very rarely liked for the music itself, but merely because people want to listen to something special at Christmas time. So please music industry, provide us with something magical. I’m waiting.
I see that Lewis Norman made the very bold statement that ‘there is no such thing as a good Christmas song’.
Now before all us Christmas music lovers gather to form a mob complete with torched Christmas trees to viciously deface his house with the words ‘Scrooge’ and ‘Grinch’, we must take a minute to reflect. Clearly Mr Norman has thus far lead a very unfortunate life devoid of ‘decking the halls’ or ‘singing loud for all to hear’ and for that our hearts must go out. It takes a very special kind of good-nature and patience to be able to listen to the same selection of Christmas hits on replay every year and still find them as heart-warming as when they were first released.
Yes Mr Norman, Christmas music isn’t anywhere near being in the same league as ‘Candle in the Wind’ or ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Frankly it’s in an entirely separate league of its own, one where the subject of several songs can be an animated snowman, and the lyrics actually include the phrase ‘bah humbug’. It must be evaluated on its own, compared only with others of its own kind and we must excuse the poor covers of the timeless classics that only dirty their reputation. Such as Taylor Swift’s cover of Santa Baby (definitive proof that if she didn’t write the song and it’s not about a heart-breaking ex lover then she shouldn’t sing it).
The Christmas songs of today might seem a bit of a cop out, where artists look to restore their reputations by re-releasing yet another version of All I Want For Christmas Is You, but you can’t really slam Bing Crosby or Mariah Carey for trying to capture the festive joy. If you hate on Christmas songs it’s equivalent to hating on the entire festive holiday. Christmas songs are just melodious captures of the essence of Christmas, so no one is actually asking them to break billboard records or be ‘good’. They just are.
Lastly, to wrap it all up, technically ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ is a ‘good’ Christmas song, with the 3rd cover Band Aid 30 raising £1 million within five minutes of debuting on X Factor alone. So there Mr Norman.
And lastly, have a very Merry Christmas! From Lewis & Pav xbookmark me