You probably hear them everyday now. Christmas songs are played most everywhere and if you turn the radio on, you will probably hear them being played even more. In some countries, Christmas songs are played as early as September. More often than not, though, the really successful songs are those that were created eons ago – the classics, as we call them.
Over the decades, though, year in and year out, artists attempt to come up with their own Christmas songs. I am not talking about remakes of the oldies but modern originals. Yet I still have to find one that can hold its own amongst Christmas songs of old. It seems that the experts are thinking the same way. Pete Paphides of The Times Online tried his hand at defining what a great Christmas song is:
An uphill struggle? “Yes, that’s one way of looking at it.” Displaying the laconic realism that was once the hallmark of his old band Squeeze, Chris Difford is contemplating the task that he set himself when the BBC asked him single-handedly to revive the pan-generational irony-swerving Christmas classic. Has he pulled it off?
When his choir-festooned, bells-blazing cockle-warmer Let’s Not Fight This Christmas airs on The One Show on BBC One tonight — all proceeds to Children in Need — you’ll get to judge for yourself. You would have to be “optimistic to the point of madness”, Difford acknowledges, to go into such an enterprise thinking that you might emulate deathless seasonal classics by Slade, Wizzard and the Pogues. “Not only are you fighting against the quality of those songs,” he adds, “but you’re fighting against the nostalgia people feel for those songs, not to mention The X Factor.”
He goes on to say that it seems that Christmas songs coming from the working class are more successful. I honestly do not know – I actually walked away from his article a bit confused. All I know is that a good Christmas song makes me feel nostalgic and giddily happy at the same time.
What makes a good Christmas song for you?