It’s that time of year once again, ladies and gents. The time of year where I go into my iTunes Library, click the little checkbox next to all of my favourite Christmas songs, and sync them to my iPod. And in looking through that list, I’ve assembled quite a vast and varied selection of tunes over the years. There are the songs I listened to as a kid that were part of my parents’ collection (Nat, Ella, Frank, and Bing, anyone?), and the more modern stuff I enjoy as well. But as an Anglophile, I’ve wondered: How many of my holiday faves are sung by British artists? Well, I decided to find out. There are many standards that you’d expect to find on a list such as this, but also a few wild cards thrown in for good measure, because, well, that’s just how I roll. So, here are the results for your listening pleasure.
Last Christmas by Wham!. I feel like I don’t need to really explain why I included this one, but I will. It’s my favourite modern Christmas song of all time. And the video for it… a truly epic, cheesetacular classic. I firmly believe that everyone needs to observe some perfectly feathered 80’s hair, along with the exchange of furtive glances during some poorly acted tree decorating and dinner scenes, in order to really get into the holiday spirit. I heart you, George and Andrew.
Do They Know It’s Christmas? by Band Aid. Featuring a virtual Who’s Who of British artists from the mid-1980’s, the chorus of this song (originally written to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia) gives me chills to this day whenever I hear it.
2000 Miles by Coldplay. A beautiful cover of The Pretenders’ classic. Nothing but love for this tune and this band. A music loving friend of mine put it on a Christmas mix CD for me many years ago, and I’ve been in love with it ever since.
Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney. It’s simply not Christmas without this one in the rotation, in my opinion. I adored it as a child, and it makes me just as happy today when I hear the intro.
Happy Xmas (War Is Over) by John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band. Another Christmas song by a different member of the Fab Four, and this one conveys a powerful message. Warning: The video for this song has very strong graphic images included in it, so please be advised.
Step Into Christmas by Elton John. A fun, upbeat holiday tune by one of my all-time favourite artists. It always puts me in a festive mood. Sing it, Elton.
25th December by Everything But The Girl. In contrast to the last tune, this is a beautiful, sad, holiday song. I first heard it as part of a Christmas compilation album a few years back, and I’ve loved it since that initial listen.
Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth by Bing Crosby & David Bowie. A very interesting pairing indeed for this tune, and a rather odd video to accompany it. Yet, somehow it works and has become a Christmas classic.
She Won’t Be Home (Lonely Christmas) by Erasure. As much as this time of year brings joy and happiness to many, it can also be a melancholy time for some as well. And Erasure has provided us with a gem of a synthpop tune for that very purpose.
Frosty The Snowman by Cocteau Twins. A music loving friend sent this to me just this past week. I love Cocteau Twins, but I’d actually never heard it before. Including it on my holiday playlists from here on out.
Is This Christmas? by The Wombats. I’m a new fan of The Wombats (check out their song Jump Into The Fog; really catchy), and was delighted to find out that they released this Christmas tune a few years back.
Christmas Lights by Coldplay. Yes, two appearances by Coldplay on this list. I couldn’t help it. (Side note: Their rendition of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas is brilliant, too. Highly recommended.) But this song… It’s an original.
Christmas Is All Around by Billy Mack. And to round things out, this is for my fellow Love Actually fans.
And there you have it. So, what’s your favourite British Christmas song? Please share the title and artist (and a link, if possible) in the comments below. I’d love to know your recs, and to have a listen.
Happy Christmas, Everyone. xx