Entertainment

Rhys’ Musical Christmas List – Part I

Impact's Rhys Thomas shares the first part to his musical list, all to introduce a more real sense to those Christmas spirits

There are certain methods many of us go through when transitioning over to the cheeriest holiday of the year. Here at Impact, we want to help with a small count down of some of the best songs around as you become the most jolly/emotionallyintouchwithChristmas as you can be!

12. Stop the Calvary – Jona Lewie

I remember this track coming on in a pub once, with some drunken folk on the bar saying, ‘it’s a poor man’s Fairytale of New York really’. I had to agree. However, this is a Christmas track that is underappreciated. When’s the last time you actually skipped the song when it came on? Same, never. That combined with the syncopated bop of accordions and the classic ‘dub-a-dub-a-dum-dum’ line (oh yeah and the witty orchestration of its anti-war message, which was its original purpose anyway) are why this deserves an honourable 12th place.

11. It’s the most wonderful time … (Andy Williams)

… of the year. Yes it is; and this song forever puts me in the Christmas mood. However, have you ever finished the song? Me neither, hence the title. That being said, Christmas without the first minute or so of Andy Williams’ iconic track simply wouldn’t be right, therefore it rightfully leapfrogs Jona Lewie into eleventh place.

10. Band Aid – Do They Know Its Christmas

Do they know it’s Christmas (1984, obviously) – if not for the charitable cause alone, this song deserves tenth place. It is an a-list song, with vocals from Paul McCartney and Bono to Boy George and Simon Le Bon and a good compositional effort from Bob Geldof and Midge Ure. The song’s only hold back for this list is that it’s overplayed, although that’s how it raises money, so I suppose it’s the point. Poignant video also.

9. Cristmas In Harlem – Kanye West

Christmas in Harlem – Kanye West’s Christmas effort is objectively a banger all year round. I really ought to put it higher in the list, however it doesn’t really sound Christmassy on the ears if you’re not paying attention; and ask any other person to write a list of Christmas songs and they likely won’t remember this track for those reasons. For those lyrically inclined however, this is a goldmine of references, from The Night Before Christmas to comments on the cocaine industry of Harlem and the surrounding NY areas. Let it snow? Oops.

8. River – Joni Mitchell

If you thought I was doing a list of Wizard’s tracks and overtly happy Christmas songs, you were mistaken. Yes this song is emotional, yes we think of ‘Love Actually’ and how could Professor Snape do that to the national treasure Emma Thompson?! Yes, but the song is purely beautiful, from the Jingle-bells inspired Piano at the introduction we feel very sober. It allows us a little sadness in the sentimentality of the time of year, in reflection on the good and bad of 2017. Even if the world is “cutting down trees, putting up reindeer and singing songs of joy and peace”, or catcalling about nuclear war and playing hard-to-get with Brexit negotiations, in our case, we’re reminded it’s fine to feel less great about everything. We all need a balance in life and what better way than to cuddle up to some lovely Joni with a glass of wine.

7. White Wine in the sun – Tim Minchin

I know what you’re thinking. Who and what is this? Well, he’s that guy that looks like a ginger Russell Brand, hailing from Australia. He’s mainly a comedian, though a seriously accomplished and intelligent musician in his own right. This track is from his stand-up shows. However, it is the most humble and sentimental Christmas track I know, a personal number one. Even without living in Australia, this song speaks to me and my view of Christmas on a personal level – ­‘some of the hymns they sing have nice chords but the lyrics are dodgy’ being a prime example.

The main theme of the song is about ‘seeing my dad my brother and sisters, my gran and my mum’ and ‘drinking white wine in the sun’ which is why I look forward to Christmas more than anything else. Swapping out the white wine and sun for mulled wine while in front of a classy fireplace. Consequently, it’ll often leave a lump in my throat. It’s real, human and if you’re Australian, it’s going to be all the more accurate. If you haven’t heard it before, give it a listen.

The top six will grace your screens very shortly. They’re a little more traditional than the ones mentioned so far, which is why they’re a little higher up. The best Christmas song has to do it all, be Christmassy, popular, in touch with emotions and simply brilliant. Click back soon to see the top six!

Rhys Thomas

Featured Image courtesy of Antonio Castagna via Flickr

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