It’s December…you know what that means!
Christmas will soon be upon us and the onslaught of adverts, decorations and jumpers have already begun…whether we like it or not!
To say I have parents that don’t like Christmas would be an understatement. It’s a borderline army operation to persuade mum to let us put the tree up before the 24th December. This then, followed by begging for her to not take it down on Boxing Day.
However, I really enjoy Christmas. There’s a special feeling in the air that I only feel around this time of the year. The nights are lit up, the people are merrier and everywhere you go you can hear a Christmas tune.
Something I undertake each year with a fierce dedication is the creation of the Christmas playlist, filled to the brim with the classics! You know the ones. You can hear them in your head already, can’t you? The ones that will have driven you mad long before Christmas Eve – but do not fret.
In the season of giving, I come bearing gifts. So you want to feel festive but you will put your head through the wall if you have to listen to Wham! one more time. I feel that. So here is ‘My Top 5 (Alternative) Christmas Tunes’.
#5. I Wish It Was Christmas Today/Christmas Treat – Julian Casablancas
Originating from a Saturday Night Live sketch by Jimmy Fallon in 2000 this catchy synth-led track features everything you could want from a Christmas song. Church bells, sleigh bells and a memorable chorus. In 2009, Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas joined the list of people who have covered this undeniably catchy tune. Casablancas’ defining drawl nicely coats the pop-y goodness underneath. We’re left bobbing our heads to the sentiment I think we all wish at some point in our lives – “I wish it was Christmas, today”.
#4. Merry Christmas (Wherever You Are) – Lower Than Atlantis
This punchy tune comes from the British alternative rock band Lower Than Atlantis. Although sharing the same name as a song by George Strait, this is definitely not the same song. The lyrics are just part of what make this song so spectacular. Frontman Mike Duce’s distinctively British accent feels like home as his raspy voice tells tales of being ‘drunk and singing carols walking home’ or having ‘lunch at home or down the pub’. This song is a must hear just once – if only for the chorus which you will want to belt out like it’s ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’. You’ll definitely catch yourself humming this one for the rest of the day.
#3 Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)
Although you are still very likely to hear this one a lot over the Christmas period, how could I leave this one out? It’s got a children’s choir, it’s got innuendos and it’s got dual guitar solos! If you’re a fan of the film ‘Get Him To The Greek‘ – I’ve linked this track to the music video which is a must-see. Probably one of the songs that this band is most known for, I saw them perform this one live. It was a November. Someone in the crowd had brought a Santa hat especially for Justin Hawkins to wear during it. We all knew which song he had come to hear.
#2 Run Rudolph Run – Chuck Berry
A classic. Although this timeless tune has been covered multiple times over the years, the original still has a special magic to it. This track was the B-Side to Berry’s ‘Merry Christmas, Baby’ and Johnny Marks, the man who wrote ‘Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer’ was one of the writers. If you like ‘Johnny B. Goode’ – this is similar but with a Christmas twist.
#1. A Merry Jingle – The Greedies (Thin Lizzy & The Sex Pistols)
Look up “supergroup” in the dictionary and you’ll find The Greedies. The most super of all supergroups. This odd (yet brilliant) combination of Thin Lizzy and The Sex Pistols was conceived in the late 1970s. From it, ‘A Merry Jingle’ was born. This ‘Jingle Bells/We Wish You A Merry Christmas’ mashup kicks into gear with a blaring opening riff and it’s from then on you realise -this isn’t going to be any ordinary jingle. Complete with Phil Lynott’s velvety dulcet tones and Lizzy’s signature duo-guitar style, this is easily my #1 alternative Christmas tune. Bonus Fact: I own this single on vinyl. The B-Side is named ‘A Merry Jangle’ and is just the song played backwards with some hidden vocals from the group. This is also available to listen to on YouTube, have a listen and tell me what you can hear!