Ah Christmas – you’re gaudy, bright and sparkly – and boy, do we love you! Despite the damp, dark evenings we are determined to be full of seasonal good cheer – and while it lasts, our British reserve, subtlety and taste stay, well, under wraps. December means time to wheel out the cheesiest song tracks in the race to win the coveted number one spot over Christmas. From David Essex to Sir Cliff to Wham or Alvin and the Chipmunks – who would we give the top cheese prize to?
According to the Mirror, Morrisons commissioned a poll of 1,500 staff and customers to find the most irritating songs and remove them off the playlist (presumably in a bid to keep their shoppers happy). Not unsurprisingly Mr Blobby was voted the most annoying, with Alvin and the Chipmunks coming a close second with their high pitched grating (excuse the pun!) track. But forget the children’s characters – the adults have certainly done their bit to be included in ‘The Cheese Factor’.
For example, how about Cliff Richard’s sanctimonious 1988 offering “Mistletoe and Wine” – according to the Independent this is worse even than his Lord’s Prayer set to music. As John Porter says, “A disaster in which Chris-ti-an is a three-syllable word.” Or rewind another 40 years to the cringe-inducing “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth” (if you can bear to!). Then there was Kylie’s ghastly “Santa Baby” or Destiny Child’s “A DC Christmas Medley” which holds the top position in the Metro’s worst offenders. Or how about Wham’s bittersweet “Last Christmas” – sob, we’re trying to be merry here! Surely all of these offerings are worthy of joining our cheese platter?
Maybe it’s a bit harsh to accuse them all of being awful – certainly for many die-hard Bowie fans his single with Bing Crosby “The Little Drummer Boy/ Peace on Earth” will have an extra poignancy this year. And yes, it’s hard to get the balance right. Perhaps Chris Martin and Bono’s Band Aid 20 just tried too hard to recapture the magic of the original? The jury’s also out on Bob Dylan’s “Must be Santa” as some find the earthy legend too gritty for this kind of Christmas jollity.
The accolade of best loved Christmas song of all time (according to the Mirror) justifiably goes to The Pogues and the late Kirsty MacColl with “Fairytale of New York”– would anyone disagree? And it wouldn’t be Christmas without Slade’s “Merry Xmas Everybody”, voted the UK’s most popular Christmas song in 2007 according to Wikipedia. For Noddy Holder, a £1 million a year pay check in royalties from the song must help him to feel pretty cheery!
So in an attempt to get in the mood we thought we’d join in with our very own Event Manager’s carol – please sing along to the tune of Once in Royal David’s City…
Once in Royal London City,
Stood a wheel, all so tall.
Where a group of lucky people,
Gathered round to watch the show.
They’ll have fun and stay out late,
Merlin’s events are always first rate!
Perhaps we need to give in and accept the inevitable – so pass the stilton and mulled wine and sing after me “So here it is, Merry Christmas…” After all, you can’t beat a bit of Slade can you? Merry Christmaaaaaaaaaaaas.