Everyone knows that December means ubiquitous, unavoidable Christmas music, but have you ever wondered which Beatle wrote the best Christmas song, or which songs you should avoid listening to with elderly relatives at all costs? If so, you have come to the right place – sit back and enjoy as the honoured winners of the five prestigious categories are announced!
Most Underrated Christmas Song
The Ebenezers among you may find it hard to believe that any Christmas song could be underrated, but when you’ve heard Mariah’s one-item wish list for the 17th time since breakfast, there’s nothing better than sticking on some lesser known Yuletide bangers.
Now you may not immediately associate California and Christmas, but that didn’t stop Doggs Snoop and Nate from churning out the epic Santa Claus Goes Straight To The Ghetto in 1996. You are unlikely to hear it on many Christmas compilations, but let me assure you of both its funk and awesomeness. And not only were they “passin’ out gifts” and “blazin’ up spliffs,” they also raised a bunch of money for charity in the process.
However, storming home in first place are The Waitresses with their 1981 belter, Christmas Wrapping. Besides a great band name, and a song title that is also a silly festive pun, (yes please) the track itself has everything you could want; catchy hooks, Christmas apathy, odd time signatures, groovy bass, real world-induced fatigue, and even holiday romance. Totally underrated.
Most Cringe Worthy Christmas Music Video
Everyone loves a bit of cheesiness at Christmas – who doesn’t want to see George Michael frollicking in the alpine snow? But there’s plenty of Christmas videos that take cheesemongery to a whole different level.
Cue Cliff Richard, with Mistletoe and Wine. The video begins with a scene that probably would have been shot differently, had it been filmed after certain (disproven) allegations had been made, with ol’ Cliff lurking outside some unsuspecting child’s window. Things don’t really improve from there either, as Cliff then proceeds to redefine the term “dad-dancing”.
I’m going to give this one to John Travolta and Olivia Newton John though, for their marvellous contribution to the Christmas Canon of Cheese, I Think You Might Like It. Where do I even begin to start with this one? Travolta’s goatee and wallet chain combination? The shot of him landing a plane as he sings about “getting his wheels down?” Or maybe the wonderfully gratuitous “run towards each other and hug” scene? Whichever way you look at it, it’s cheesetastic.
Best Christmas Song by a Former Beatle
You may think that this category would be a two horse race between John’s Happy Xmas (War Is Over) and Paul’s Wonderful Christmastime, but that’s where you’d be mistaken! Haven’t you heard Ringo’s 1999 album I Wanna Be Santa Claus? And what about George’s 1974 (not quite a) hit, Ding Dong Ding Dong?
But whose was the best? If the category were “Best Beatles Xmas Album” then Ringo would walk it – though admittedly by default. On the other hand, if the category were “Worst Beatles Xmas song,” the contents of that album would also pretty easily take first, second, and third place. George gets a lot of credit for his nudity and fabulous boots in the video for Ding Dong, as does Paul for the hilariously dated special effects in his video, but for me, War Is Over reigns supreme.
Most Awkward Christmas Song To Listen To With Your Family
You’re the only person in your family that has sex, right? Wrong! And deep down, both you and your loved ones know it. But nothing’s worse than being reminded of it. For example, you probably don’t want to be chatting to your Auntie Maria about her reflexology business when Girls Aloud begin offering up “a peep inside my stocking – if you show me yours” (Not Tonight Santa). And you really don’t want to be finding out about your Grandma’s latest bowls game when Sarah Taylor starts singing I’ve Got Some Presents For Santa Claus (unless you want you and your gran to simultaneously hear “He squeezes into my hot chimney, where it’s oh so warm and tight.” Which you really don’t…)
A special mention also goes out to Eartha Kitt for her steamy 1953 classic, Santa Baby, which has been making families slightly uncomfortable for generations now, and really spawned the whole “Sexy Santa” genre. However, first place goes to Clarence Carter for his salacious 1968 effort, Back Door Santa, which basically does what it says on the tin – no further explanation required.
Best Christmas Song, full stop.
Fairytale of New York, by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl. End of debate.