Christmas Playlist Top 20

Christmas Wrapping - The WaitressesFairytale of New York - The PoguesA Christmas Gift For You - Phil SpectorSnow - Cocteau TwinsBlue Valentine - Tom WaitsChristmas EP - Mary Margaret O'HaraThings Fall Apart - CristinaTrouble In Paradise - Randy NewmanChristmas - Low


Having recently stayed at a hotel in North Somerset where they only had 3 cds, one of which was a Christmas compilation, I found myself constructing my own ideal Christmas playlist.

1/ Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses (any song that starts “Bah Humbug” and then paints a picture of life in New York over Christmas and the beginnings of an unsentimental love affair in 5 minutes has to be the winner).

2/ Fairytale of New York – The Pogues (up until my stay in Somerset, this may well have been the winner but hearing it 500 times in 3 days does tend to jade the palate).

3/ Santa Claus Is Coming To Town – The Crystals (every Christmas growing up would mean Phil Spector’s ‘A Christmas Gift For You’ resounding through the house as it filled with the smells of cooking. Sensory overload)!

4 Frosty the Snowman – Cocteau Twins (the crystalline vocals of Elizabeth Fraser and the ethereal guitar of Robin Guthrie create an icy, swirling blizzard around the head of Frosty).

5/ Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis – Tom Waits (a timely reminder of what Christmas means to those on the margins. Heartbreaking).

6/ Christmas Evermore – Mary Margaret O’Hara (maverick musical genius versus traditional Christian festival – difficult to predict a winner).

7/Things Fall Apart – Cristina ( stone wall classic on the legendary Ze record label: a tale of mental disintegration at Christmas).

8/ Christmas In Cape Town – Randy Newman (few writers can manage to nail prejudice the way Newman does over and over in his songs. Forget the kids’ soundtracks, this is bold and daring).

9/Xmas In February – Lou Reed (US involvement in wars abroad and how ex-servicemen are treated when they return seem appropriate at this time of year as well).

10/ Just Like Christmas – Low (slowcore? No, nothing like it. This is jaunty pop perfection with sleigh bells ringing out in a manner Phil Spector would be proud of).

11/ Thank God It’s Not Christmas – Sparks (Thank God for Sparks: witty, literate and still going).

12/ Corpus Christi Carol – Jeff Buckley (this might be a good one to put on first thing as you stumble round in the dark clearing the trail of destruction left by your kids up since 5).

13/ Child’s Christmas in Wales – John Cale (Cale may have studied atonality under LaMonte Young but he writes some lovely tunes).

14/ Xmas Curtain – My Morning Jacket (simply a beautiful song that would be number 1 in a better, alternate universe).

15/ Star of Bethlehem – Neil Young (and here’s the source without whom My Morning Jacket wouldn’t exist).

16/ Soon After Christmas – Stina Nordenstam (very Rickie Lee Jones but that’s a good thing in my household).

17/ Gaudete – Steeleye Span (I love English folk music and love Steeleye Span nearly as much as Fairport Convention).

18/ Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence РRyuichi Sakamoto (the only connection between David Bowie,  David Sylvian and hardcore Japanese porn).

19/ Black Christmas РPoly Styrene (a song incorporating  reggae, race and Poly Рwhat more do you want?)

20/ If Christmas Can’t Bring You Home – The Reigning Sound (not advised listening if you are apart from a loved one).

And one more to get the party started:

Rock N Roll Santa – Yo La Tengo (first to pogo to the height of the Xmas tree gets the magnum of champagne).

And finally a very merry Christmas to all my lovely readers.

Charlotte x


Kimono My House - SparksGrace - Jeff BuckleyParis 1919 - John CaleXmas Curtain - My Morning JacketMemories of a Colour - Stina NordenstamSteeleye Span - GaudeteBlack Christmas - Poly StyreneIf Christmas Can't Bring You Home - Reigning SoundRock N Roll Santa - Yo La Tengo

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